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Moniz, Salas sit out practice


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POSTED: Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Having two starters sitting out yesterday wasn't exactly ideal.

Still, there was a sense of relief that the injuries to quarterback Bryant Moniz and receiver Greg Salas weren't more severe.

Both had X-rays yesterday to evaluate injuries suffered in last Saturday's win over New Mexico State. They didn't participate in yesterday's workout, and while both figure to take it easy over the next few days, they're aiming to be ready for Saturday's game at San Jose State.

Salas, the nation's leading receiver, suffered a sprained foot and is taking a day-to-day approach. He said he won't practice today, but will try to test it tomorrow and Thursday.

“;It's just a sprain, so hopefully I'll be ready to go by this weekend,”; said Salas, who was relieved the examination didn't reveal a fracture.

Moniz was diagnosed with a bruised rib and is expected to be ready when the Warriors (4-6, 2-5 Western Athletic Conference) close the league schedule against the Spartans (1-8, 0-5) looking to stay in the hunt for a postseason berth.

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“;If it would have been cracked, that's six to eight weeks; that would have been devastating,”; UH head coach Greg McMackin said.

While Moniz may not throw much early in the week, that has generally been the case recently as the coaches limited his repetitions on Tuesdays to save wear on his arm.

“;You can give Shane (Austin) and Brent (Rausch) more reps (yesterday and today) and when Bryant comes back he gets most of the reps,”; offensive coordinator Ron Lee said.

Salas said he felt the twinge in his foot on the first of his school-record 16 receptions. He stayed in and ended up covering a career-high 196 yards by night's end.

“;I was trying to run away from a guy, but my foot got stuck underneath him and I was still trying to run,”; Salas said.

He said the foot wasn't quite right during the game, but it wasn't until he cooled off after the game that it began to bother him.

“;It was a little sore. It was tough to speed cut a little bit, but you're not really thinking about it,”; he said. “;You're thinking, 'All right you've gotta play, you have to get open.' After the play's over then you're like, 'That hurt a little.' But you have to keep sucking it up.”;

Salas is in a duel with Bowling Green's Freddie Barnes atop the national receiving rankings. Salas leads in total yardage and yards per game, while Barnes is ahead in receptions per game.

“;People tell me about it and occasionally I'll look on ESPN, but I'm not checking it every day,”; Salas said. “;I just want to help my team win.”;

Defensive end Paipai Falemalu also sat out yesterday after suffering a concussion in the game. Cornerback Jeramy Bryant was to have a second MRI taken on his injured biceps yesterday and will find out his status today. Bryant has missed the last three games.

Farewell tour

San Jose State head coach Dick Tomey announced yesterday his retirement effective at the end of the season. The timing of the announcement wasn't lost on McMackin, who worked with the former UH coach when they were with the San Francisco 49ers, and he expects the announcement to provide an emotional charge for the Spartans.

“;Dick Tomey's a great coach, great person. I think he's one of the best coaches in the country,”; McMackin said at his weekly press conference.

“;The thing is, I knew they'd be ready to play anyway. The Sugar Bowl year (2007) it was a miracle we won the game. And then they beat us by a field goal last year. They're going to be ready no matter what.”;

Along with the commotion surrounding Tomey's announcement, former UH assistant Ken Margerum will be honored before Saturday's game. Margerum, now the Spartans' wide receivers coach, is among this year's class of inductees to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Filling up the board

For much of his career, McMackin has tracked the success of his defenses in meeting a set of goals posted in the locker room.

Many of the boxes were left empty for much of the first half of this season, but McMackin said the Warriors were able to check off all but two this past week.

He said the only two goals the Warriors didn't meet were holding the opponent to 2.4 yards per run and not giving up a run of 20 yards. Along with holding NMSU without an offensive score, the Warriors kept the Aggies to a 1-for-8 showing on third down and came up with two interceptions.

“;We're starting to make plays defensively,”; McMackin said. “;I think they're starting to get a little swagger ... and they're getting some confidence.”;