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StarBulletin.com

Warriors hope for repeat performance vs. Aggies


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POSTED: Saturday, November 14, 2009

Don't change too much.

Especially the uniforms. That's a no-brainer, they got rave reviews.

The green jerseys and white pants are a winner, and Hawaii came out on the right side of a 49-36 score wearing them last week against Utah State.

“;We'll ask the players, but they've got my vote,”; coach Greg McMackin said of the combination of threads—which was not worn during UH's six-game losing streak.

Have the same guy sing the anthem. The band can dress up in Halloween costumes again.

You can even let the Sports Animals repeat the pregame toss; apparently they're undefeated in that role. But I'm told it is feared they may make off with the coin.

ACTUALLY, IS there much to alter at all as the Warriors take on 20-point underdog New Mexico State tonight?

Of course, every opponent must be prepared for individually. But these Aggies seem to have more in common with last week's foe than just their nickname.

In a word, they're bad. They're 3-6, and they've lost three in a row.

The offense is anemic. Despite being coordinated by a former NFL quarterback, Timm Rosenbach, NMSU averages just 11.8 points per game; the Aggies haven't scored a touchdown since Oct. 17 against LaTech when they lost 45-7.

Hard to believe this team is just a year removed from the prolific Chase Holbrook at quarterback, firing passes to a posse of receivers including the dynamic Chris Williams. But they're gone.

While last week's was a get-well game for the UH offense, this could be the equivalent for the defense. Hawaii allowed a lot of points last week, and it was far from a perfect performance. Still plenty of missed tackles.

And still too many missed opportunities in the 15 minutes following halftime. Hawaii finally scored a touchdown against a Division I opponent in the third, but the margin is still bad: Opponents 81, Warriors 19.

So, when it comes to halftime, ignore what I said in the first sentence; don't be afraid to make a change or two.

But maybe it won't matter, maybe this won't be close enough for it to be worth the trouble. Maybe you can get away with everybody just watching cartoons at halftime. Beware though; starting next week (as bad as San Jose State's record is, remember, this will be on the road, against Dick Tomey), adjustments will likely be important.

THE WARRIORS are getting healthier now, just in time for the stretch drive. But even at what now passes for full strength, sweeping the final four games will still be a monumental, if not impossible task.

Attendance is down, and despite the win, the Fire Greg McMackin page on Facebook is up to 65 members (and a former UH player told me yesterday he's signing up as soon as he can find it).

For tonight, though, the dollar defense will continue to confuse the opponents, and the new-found running game will take pressure off fledgling quarterback Bryant Moniz. It should be a fun time at the stadium for Warriors, and their fans—at least the ones who don't get stuck too close to the rowdy drunks that have taken advantage of the expanded tailgating hours.

It will be a two-game winning streak by 9 p.m. Nothing has to change from last week, not yet.