Hawaii defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa sees a huge change in attitude in the Warriors from a year ago.
with new attitude
By Dave Reardon
"I think we had a lot of talent last year. The biggest difference, I think, is that last year our players thought they could show up and win, because of the year before," Lempa said. "They won (in 1999) because some players prior to that had their butts kicked and were tired of losing and they made sure they weren't going to lose.
"From the end of last season our players invested a lot of time. When they came back, 90 percent of them passed their (agility and strength) tests. That wasn't the case last year.
"The attitude's a lot different than it was a year ago."
Lempa especially sees it in players like junior outside linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who came to camp nearly 40 pounds lighter than last spring.
It's shown on the field so far. Tinoisamoa anchored UH's defense in the season-opening 30-12 victory over Montana with 13 tackles, including three sacks. He expects more of the same as Hawaii begins its Western Athletic Conference season at Nevada on Saturday.
"We are different than last year," said Tinoisamoa, who was quick to spread credit to teammates after the Montana victory. "But it's not just me. It's the rest of the defense, the offense, everyone."
No. 1 is No. 1: Freshman Mike Bass, who wears uniform No. 1, is now in that position on the UH depth chart at running back. After much speculation, Bass started against Montana and responded with 72 yards rushing on 16 carries. The 5-foot 6-inch, 158-pounder proved his toughness by fighting for extra yards on several attempts.
"He's strong and he'll get even stronger," coach June Jones said. "I asked Barry Sanders (who Jones coached with the Detroit Lions) how much he weighed coming out of high school, and it was less than Mike. He played at 200 pounds with the Lions, so Mike can get bigger."
Jones said he still plans to use Thero Mitchell, especially in short-yardage situations.
Warrior hurts: Starting safety Jacob Espiau practiced yesterday, and Jones said he will probably play Saturday.
"His shoulder is probably going to bother him all season," said Jones of the subluxed shoulder Espiau suffered in the Montana game.
Starting defensive tackle Mike Iosua (knee), defensive back David Gilmore (hamstring) and linebacker Bronson Liana (concussion) are listed as questionable, while cornerback Josiah Cravalho (hamstring) and defensive tackle Lui Fuga (shoulder) are out.
Wolf Pack hurts: Running back Adrien Dugas is recovering from a sprained ankle but might be ready Saturday. Freshman Chance Kretschmer will start after rushing for 114 yards against Colorado State.
Sophomore rover Humphrey Garrett has missed both games because of a sprained ankle but might play Saturday.
Short yardage: UH safety Nate Jackson was interviewed by ESPN The Magazine yesterday for a feature on hard hitters. Jared Flint is No. 2 at quarterback on Hawaii's new depth chart, moving ahead of Nick Rolovich. Jones has indicated, however, that Rolovich would be the starter if Tim Chang is injured. Rolovich, a senior, can redshirt if he doesn't play this season and gain another year of eligibility.
Ka Leo O Hawaii