Desperate times at Aloha Stadium


POSTED: Saturday, November 07, 2009

Over the years, homecoming has indeed become a time for celebration for Hawaii.

The Warriors have been victorious on homecoming night each of the past seven years. Rarely, though, have they been in greater need of a win than they are today.

Although playing at home hasn't offered much of an advantage lately, given the amount of time they've spent on the mainland over the past two months, the Warriors certainly welcome a return to Aloha Stadium for their Western Athletic Conference game against Utah State.

The Warriors will take up station on the mauka sideline laboring through a six-game losing streak, the program's longest in more than a decade.

Pacing the makai sideline will be first-year Utah State head coach Gary Andersen, coming off 11 seasons as an assistant and defensive coordinator at Utah, with two BCS bowl wins as part of his resume, enduring some expected yet no-less-agonizing growing pains with the Aggies.




UTAH STATE (2-6, 1-3) AT HAWAII (2-6, 0-5)

        When: Today, 5:05 p.m.

Where: Aloha Stadium


TV: PPV, Dig. Ch. 255


Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM


Line: Utah State by 2




Both teams arrive at today's game at 2-6 looking to vent some of the pent-up frustration in hopes of shifting the momentum of their seasons.

“;We just have to keep our faith high, believe and see where we go,”; Warriors defensive end Fetaiagogo Fonoti said. “;This is Hawaii, everybody's together in this, especially the coaches and players and the fans. We just have to give it all we've got now.”;

The Warriors—2-point home underdogs as of yesterday—were outscored 96-26 in losses to Fresno State and Boise State in their last two games in Halawa.

Although there were encouraging signs in a 31-21 loss at Nevada a week ago, each miscue and every missed opportunity in the red zone becomes magnified during a losing streak that has assured UH its first sub-.500 Western Athletic Conference record since 2000. The Warriors need to sweep the final five games of the season to avoid a losing campaign.

“;We just have to eliminate some mistakes, some young mistakes, some inexperienced mistakes, and keep fighting,”; Hawaii head coach Greg McMackin said. “;They showed me last week after getting drilled the week before. ... They came out and played their hearts out. They made some mistakes and we ended up losing the game, but they're playing full speed.”;

Utah State was also left bemoaning opportunities that slipped away following a 31-27 loss at Fresno State in which the Aggies were shut out in the second half and missed two field goals.

Dwelling on what might have been figures only to raise the frustration level considering the Aggies have suffered losses by four points or fewer to New Mexico State, Nevada and Fresno State over the last four weeks. They were able to break through with a 23-21 win over Louisiana Tech two weeks ago.

“;It's frustrating for all of us, there's no question, but that's where we're at,”; Andersen said. “;We're not in a position to finish people for a few different reasons.”;

The Warriors will face a Utah State defense that spent the last three weeks loading up against the run in matchups with Nevada, Louisiana Tech and Fresno State. Hawaii enters the week atop the WAC and third in the nation in passing offense, with quarterback Bryant Moniz continuing to develop his rhythm and timing with the Warriors receivers.

“;It's a difficult scheme to get used to, especially in this conference when you get used to going against the run and you have to change gears completely and prepare for Hawaii throwing the ball all over the field,”; Andersen said.

The Warriors, meanwhile, will try to contain Utah State's combination of quarterback Diondre Borel and running back Robert Turbin. Turbin averages 109 rushing yards, while Borel has the ability to turn broken plays into gains with his athletic ability.

“;A lot of what those two young men are doing is on their own,”; Andersen said. “;A lot of the things that went in our favor (last week) were two tremendous football players creating plays on their own abilities.”;





























































































































































































































LT52Spencer Johnson6-5291
LG79Robert Hill6-2260
C61Brennan McFadden6-2295
RG68Philip Gapelu6-2305
RT74Tariq Polley6-4299
TE83Jeremy Mitchell6-5248
WR85Omar Sawyer5-9174 
WR81Nnamdi Gwacham6-3211
WR11Stanley Morrison5-9162
TB6Robert Turbin5-10212
QB12Diondre Borel6-0187
DE37Quinn Garner6-3236
DT54Nathan Royster6-0262 
DT91Sean Enesi5-10275
DE42Junior Keiaho6-3242
LB25Adrian Bybee5-11202
LB9Bobby Wagner6-1217
LB31Paul Igboeli6-0220
OR43Kyle Gallagher6-1203
CB1Kejon Murphy5-9168
FS27Rajric Coleman6-2179 
SS3James Brindley5-11189 
CB23Curtis Marsh6-1193
PK16Chris Ulinski6-3203
Punt8Peter Caldwell6-4231
LS89Patrick Scales6-4230
Hold82Eric Moats6-0178
PR1Kejon Murphy5-9168
KR85Omar Sawyer5-9174 
 34Michael Smith5-9199



Z7Jovonte Taylor5-9170
Y2Jon Medeiros5-9185
LT77Aaron Kia6-5290
LG64Ray Hisatake6-3315
C55John Estes6-3300
RG74Raphael Ieru6-2315
RT51Austin Hansen6-4285
H1Greg Salas6-2200
X21Kealoha Pilares5-11200
QB17Bryant Moniz6-0190
RB23Leon Wright-Jackson6-1215
DE90Elliott Purcell6-3255
or98Liko Satele6-2260
DT92Rocky Savaiigaea6-2305
DT95Vaughn Meatoga6-2290
DE58Fetaiagogo Fonoti6-2255
STUB59R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane5-11225
MLB50Mana Lolotai6-0230
BUCK53Blaze Soares6-1245
CB2Lametrius Davis6-0190
SAM9Spencer Smith5-11205
FS43Mana Silva6-1220
CB10Kawika Ornellas5-9170
PK20Scott Enos5-9180
P31Alex Dunnachie6-3235
Snap45Luke Ingram6-5210
Hold11Inoke Funaki5-11205
KR7Jovonte Taylor5-9170
PR1Greg Salas6-2200