Brewster finding
a way to stay healthy
for Warriors

The 5-6 running back leads UH
in scoring despite taking some
hard hits this season

He's one of the smallest guys out there, and he's taken some of the biggest hits.

Yet Michael Brewster is still apparently at full strength, despite absorbing a handful of shots that may see him making future appearances on his first two opponents' highlight tapes.

The senior running back leads his team in scoring, with four touchdowns. But on a week in which a handful of Warriors are wounded, Brewster is one of Hawaii's leaders in health, too.

This week's bye comes at a time when a significant number of Hawaii's players find themselves banged up. Notables include starting center Derek Faavi, who was relegated to the exercise bike yesterday, and starting linebackers Ikaika Curnan and T.J. Moe, who suited up in shorts and shoulder pads but sat out most of the day's drills with elbow injuries.

Receivers and defensive linemen are also working their way back to health.

The damage came courtesy of hard hits and harder turf last Saturday at Rice. But Hawaii also had to use its first bye of the season -- UH had an open date on Sept. 11 -- to recover from several bruises suffered in the Sept. 4 opener against Florida Atlantic.

"There's a lot of aggressive teams out there," UH defensive line coach Vantz Singletary said.

Brewster -- despite his 5-6 stature -- has been able to hold up to the pounding when so many others have had bad luck with the injury bug.

"I don't know (how)," he said. "I don't even know. I just believe, is all I can say."

Limited carries no doubt help. But Brewster has made the most of his opportunities, averaging 4.8 yards per rushing attempt and scoring three touchdowns on the ground. He's also caught 13 passes -- second best on the team -- including one for another score.

He's been one of UH's sparks in an 0-2 start.

"All I want to do is play," he said. "I'm like a little kid. I just want to go out there and have fun. Because a lot of people don't get to do what we do."

Part of his durability may be that, thanks to weight training, Brewster is bulked up to 185 pounds. But he isn't ready to declare that it's all muscle.

"I don't know," he said. "I don't eat nothing but junk food, so it could be anything."

End games: Hawaii has no tight ends. Most opponents do. This could present a problem in preparing a defense -- especially when tight end-centric offenses like Tulsa's are on the horizon.

But every year UH finds someone to take on the role for the scout team. This year it is Joey Hew Len, a reserve receiver who spent the occasional snap at tight end during his career at Sierra (Calif.) College.

During scout drills he wears a yellow skull cap on the top of his helmet and even raises his hands before plays so UH defenders can get used to finding Tulsa's All-WAC tight end Garrett Mills. But Hew Len said don't worry, they usually already know where he is.

"They're adjusting really quick," he said.

Receivers Orlando Wong and Nolan Lee are also scout tight ends.

Same old new line: With Faavi out, Hawaii's offensive line continued to work with the lineup it has shown this week: Uriah Moenoa (formerly at right guard) at center, Brandon Eaton (formerly at right tackle) at right guard, Jeremy Inferrera (formerly platooning at right tackle) at right tackle, with Phil Kauffman subbing in. Samson Satele and Tala Esera kept their regular spots at left guard and tackle.

Around the WAC: Five Western Athletic Conference players lead the nation in various stat categories. Louisiana Tech's Ryan Moats leads Division I in rushing with 198.3 yards per game. Hawaii's Chad Owens is averaging 11.5 catches a game. And Rice's John Syptak and Thadis Pegues and San Jose State's Tony Ficklin each have four sacks. ... Fresno State has lost starting offensive lineman Cole Popovich to a season-ending biceps injury, The Fresno Bee reported. Popovich was the first true freshman offensive lineman to start for Pat Hill. Manoa Pouono, a senior who started six games last season, is among those vying for the open spot.

University of Hawaii Athletics



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