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Chang's armed and dangerous --
Ones to watch
and he keeps getting better
Why he's good
Tim Chang has a thorough understanding of what he's trying to accomplish in the run-and-shoot offense, and he has the physical tools to get it done.
The word on the street used to be he had a weak arm, that his big passing numbers were merely a product of a system that throws the ball more than 70 percent of the time.
The reality is, while he doesn't possess NFL out-pattern velocity (yet, anyway), Chang has improved the zip on his throws since he arrived at Manoa four years ago. And his quick release and accuracy are way above par -- when he's right.
>> Named WAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in 2004
>> Named WAC Freshman of the Year in 2000
Chang has thrown for 79 touchdowns in his career, but he's also yielded 67 interceptions. Some of those are because receivers break the wrong way on timing patterns, but some are because Chang throws into tight spots when he should get rid of the ball or run. Either way, the picks have to decrease.
Chang's health is another big variable. Quarterbacks in the run-and-shoot can take a pounding. Although he isn't sacked very often because of a competent offensive line and the fact that he gets the ball in the shotgun, Chang has missed extensive playing time due to injuries and a backup who can win games has to be ready to go.
In the wings
Three true freshmen -- Taylor Humphrey, Brandon Satcher and Tyler Graunke -- got plenty of reps in fall camp. One or two will play QB for the Warriors some day.
One or two will transfer to another school or move to another position. One might be ready to play at some point this season, but if Chang goes down early, second-year freshman Jack Rolovich or junior Kainoa Akina gets the call.
Chang reported for interviews wearing a red and white retro aloha shirt at the WAC Media Days meetings in Reno, Nev., last month. "Got to represent the islands," he said.
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Ones to watch
The top players with the probable starter listed first:
Dan Morrison is in his fifth year. He was a longtime high school coach at Punahou and Roosevelt. His former players at UH include Dan Robinson and Nick Rolovich.