Moniz hopes to learn from mistakes


POSTED: Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Nick Rolovich has seen both sides.

He knows what it means to struggle in the spotlight.

He's also experienced the adulation that comes with success.

Learning to straddle the extremes becomes part of the education of a Hawaii quarterback and it's a process Rolovich is helping Bryant Moniz navigate as the sophomore continues to grow into the role.

Moniz rode the peaks of two early touchdowns and a season high in passing yards, and the depths of two critical interceptions that led to Nevada scores in last Saturday's 31-21 loss in Reno.

Clearly, the latter stat weighed more heavily on his mind in the moments following the game.

“;It shows how much he wants to be a Warrior and he wants this program to succeed,”; said Rolovich, the Warriors' quarterback in 2000 and '01 and now their quarterbacks coach.

“;He didn't let it bother him during the game, he was bothered after the game. I feel much better that he didn't get down on himself during the game, he kept fighting. It's in his heart, how much it means for him to be given this opportunity and play at home for the University of Hawaii.”;

Moniz is just four starts into his Division I career but understands the importance of maintaining an even demeanor in leading an offense. He held the starting role for three years at Leilehua, then at Fresno City College before transferring to UH this year.





        » Who: Utah State (2-6, 1-3) at Hawaii (2-6, 0-5)

» When: Saturday, 5:05 p.m.


» TV/Radio: PPV Ch. 255/KKEA, 1420-AM


“;It's part of the game and it's part of the job being a quarterback,”; Moniz said. “;You have the highs and you have to take the lows too.”;

Since taking over for senior Greg Alexander — who yesterday made his first appearance at practice since suffering a season-ending knee injury in late September — Moniz has kept the Warriors atop the WAC and third in the nation in passing offense. He's completed 56.6 percent of his throws, with six touchdowns against five interceptions and threw for a season-best 374 yards last week.

What he has yet to experience as a starter is a victory. The Warriors (2-6, 0-5 Western Athletic Conference) will try to halt their six-game slide when they face Utah State (2-6, 1-3) on Saturday at Aloha Stadium.

“;Like coach (Greg McMackin) says, there's a 48-hour rule after the game. Whether you win or lose you have to let it go, because here comes the next one,”; Moniz said.

While Moniz has moved on from last week's loss, he's not leaving the game entirely in Reno.

“;If you learn from it, but you don't make the adjustment the next week then it doesn't matter,”; Moniz said. “;You have to learn from it and correct it.”;

Rolovich learned a few lessons the hard way in his first run as Hawaii's starting quarterback. He struggled early on and was benched in the 2000 season. He bounced back dramatically as a senior, throwing for 3,361 yards and 34 touchdowns in a remarkable nine-game stretch after taking over for an injured Tim Chang.

“;I just wasn't ready for the magnitude of the job at that point,”; Rolovich said of his first season at UH. “;I learned that within that year ... and decided I was going to do everything I could to make it better.

“;I think Mo is at that point already. I think he came in at that point.”;

Carrying a lighter load

The coaches have modified Moniz's throwing regimen to make sure his arm stays fresh for game days. Backups Shane Austin and Brent Rausch took the reps in Monday's light practice and the trio shared snaps yesterday. Moniz will get the majority of the reps as the Warriors get into their heavier workdays today and tomorrow.

Moniz had experienced some arm fatigue with his increased work since taking over as the starter. He sat out practices early last week while recovering from a mild concussion, and said the time off helped him regain the zip on his throws.

“;Six days of throwing a thousand balls or whatever it is, my arm was starting to fall off,”; Moniz said. “;The coaches are really helping me out with letting my arm rest yesterday and today. This past week my arm felt good.”;

Pollard easing back

Wide receiver Royce Pollard participated in practice yesterday as he continues his recovery from a stress fracture in the fibula of his left leg. Still wearing a brace on his lower leg, he took part in warm-ups but didn't run routes in the team periods. Pollard was to have the injury evaluated by a doctor yesterday.

“;I'm taking it step by step,”; said Pollard, who started two games prior to suffering the injury against Fresno State on Oct. 10. “;It felt pretty good compared to last week when I tried to jog on it, put a lot more pressure on it. I still want to take it a little slow because I've heard a lot about this injury coming back if you don't take your time.”;

McMackin said cornerback Jeramy Bryant (biceps) probably will not be available this week. Safety Richard Torres continues to work to rehab a pulled hamstring, but could miss this week's game as well.