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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, September 6, 2002

UH vs. BYU: How they match up

Warriors, Cougars lie low before tonight's kickoff
An early victory over Cougars could go long way


LWR 10 Andrew Ord 6-2 208 Sr.
SB 26 Rod Wilkerson 6-1 181 So.
RWR 20 Reno Mahe 5-10 195 Sr.
TE 89 Spencer Nead 6-5 262 Sr.
QB 5 Bret Engemann 6-5 238 Jr.

The skinny: In some alignments the Cougars use as many as five receivers; in others, they use up to three tight ends. But in almost every scheme, Mahe is the first option. Although he is as listed as a wideout, Mahe often aligns in the slot, where he has easy access to the flats for screen passes. Sometimes he will start off in the backfield, obscured by the huge offensive line, then sneak his way into the passing lanes. Wilkerson, who can run 100 meters in 10.6 seconds, is the deep threat. Engemann is an accurate passer who prefers to remain in the pocket.


LT 79 Dustin Rykert 6-7 322 Sr.
LG 74 Quinn Christensen 6-6 300 Jr.
C 64 Scott Jackson 6-5 300 Jr.
RG 59 Ryan Keele 6-4 300 Sr.
RT 73 Isaac Herring 6-5 303 Sr.
RB 32 Marcus Whalen 5-11 205 So.

The skinny: The Cougars' best lineman, Ben Archibald, suffered a season-ending injury in training camp. But there was a hardly a dropoff with the promotion of Herring, who can bench press 475 pounds. Whalen is the type of tough interior runner that has frustrated the Warriors in recent years. Also look for Mahe to get the ball on the "scissor" play, in which he will line up in the slot, fake going out for a pass, the veer into the backfield for a delayed handoff.


LE 94 Jeff Cowart 6-5 265 Sr.
LT 56 Ryan Gunderson 6-4 280 Jr.
RT 95 Ifo Pili 6-3 310 Jr.
RE 49 Brady Poppinga 6-3 260 So.
SLB 7 Levi Madarieta 6-3 223 Jr.
MLB 47 Paul Walkenhorst 6-5 252 Jr.
WLB 46 Coby Bockwoldt 6-2 225 Jr.

The skinny: Last year, the Cougars would sit back in the 4-3 alignment, funneling the action to the middle linebacker. But after Tulane and Hawai'i raced past the BYU linebackers, the Cougars returned to their previous style of shifting and stunting defensive linemen to pressure the quarterback. Cowart, a defensive tackle last season, moves to end, where he helps collapse the passing pocket. Poppinga, who can run 40 yards in 4.5 seconds, gives the Cougars the edge rusher they were lacking last season. Defensive end Shaun Nua, who weighs 270 pounds but can run the 40 in 4.65 seconds, also is used in passing situations.


LCB 1 Chad Barney 6-1 188 Jr.
SS 33 Aaron Francisco 6-2 214 So.
FS 43 Michael Madsen 6-2 197 Jr.
RCB 34 Brandon Heaney 5-11 179 Jr.
NB 25 Mike Sumko 5-10 172 Sr.
DB 16 James Allen 5-10 160 Jr.

The skinny: The Cougars' best cover defender, Jernaro Gilford, is not expected to play because of a knee injury, and Madsen is recovering from a shoulder injury. But the Cougars are confident their new defensive aggressiveness the corners try to press the wideouts at the line of scrimmage should create enough problems for the Warriors. The Cougars probably will be in the nickel and dime alignments most of the game, with Sumko and Allen covering the wideouts. Sumko, who can run 40 yards in 4.38 seconds, is the fastest Cougar.


LS/FG 79 Dustin Rykert 6-7 322 Sr.
LS/P 42 Gabe Reid 6-4 256 Sr.
PK/P 38 Matt Payne 6-4 241 So.
KR 16 James Allen 5-10 160 Jr.
PR 20 Reno Mahe 5-10 195 Sr.

The skinny: Payne missed three extra-point kicks and two field-goal attempts last week, failures blamed on Reid. Rykert will be the long-snapper on kick attempts today.


LWR 18 Justin Colbert 5-8 170 Sr.
LSB 2 Chad Owens 5-9 177 So.
LT 70 Wayne Hunter 6-6 299 Jr.
LG 77 Shayne Kajioka 6-3 308 Jr.
C 53 Lui Fuata 6-2 315 Sr.
RG 65 Vince Manuwai 6-2 309 Sr.
RT 69 Uriah Moenoa 6-3 327 So.
RSB 21 Clifton Herbert 5-8 157 Jr.
RSB 4 Nate Ilaoa 5-9 204 Fr.
RWR 88 Neal Gossett 5-10 177 Sr.
QB 14 Tim Chang 6-2 191 So.

The skinny: The Warriors relinquished one sack last week, and none when Chang was in the game. The key has been the guards, who are responsible for picking up the blitzes from the linebackers and safeties. Manuwai, in particular, is able to step out and cut off a pass rusher at the perimeter while Moenoa is blocking a defensive end. With enough time, Chang, who has the quickest pass release of the seven UH quarterbacks, can find an open receiver.


RB 24 Thero Mitchell 5-10 210 Sr.
RB 1 Mike Bass 5-6 158 So.

The skinny: The playbook always had a section for slotback rushes. Last week, Ilaoa ran on consecutive plays. But that was just a preview. The main attraction is when Owens runs behind Manuwai and Moenoa.


LE 58 La'anui Correa 6-5 264 Sr.
LT 97 Isaac Sopoaga 6-3 315 Jr.
RT 92 Lance Samuseva 5-11 290 Jr.
RE 1 Travis Laboy 6-4 249 Jr.
SLB 44 Matt Wright 6-1 225 Sr.
MLB 54 Chris Brown 6-1 255 Sr.
WLB 10 Pisa Tinoisamoa 6-0 218 Sr.

The skinny: Laboy's return from a one-game suspension should provide a lift for a defensive line that was emotionally floored by defensive tackle Lui Fuga's knee injury. Against Eastern Illinois, Wright was used as a down lineman, creating a 5-2 alignment. With Laboy's quickness at defensive end, the Warriors still can narrow the width of the Cougars' offense while allowing Wright to drop back and help defend against the run. Sopoaga, who had 31 sacks as a sophomore in junior college two years ago, earns his first start, while freshman Abu Ma'afala becomes the top backup at defensive tackle.


LCB 37 Abraham Elimimian 5-10 173 So.
SS 33 Hyrum Peters 5-8 188 Jr.
FS 23 Sean Butts 6-3 202 Sr.
RCB 3 Kelvin Millhouse 6-1 205 Jr.
NB 13 Keith Bhonapha 5-9 197 Sr.
DB 17 David Gilmore 6-0 197 Jr.

The skinny: The defensive backs have worked on their solo tackling to counter the Cougars' multiple-scheme offense, which uses receivers on reverse runs and tight ends on deep patterns. Because the Cougars throw so much to the tight ends, Gilmore, a backup safety, replaces cornerback Gary Wright as the sixth defensive back in the Warriors' pass-prevent defense.


LS/FG 53 Lui Fuata 6-3 315 Sr.
LS/P 45 Tanuvasa Moe 5-11 218 Fr.
PK 47 Justin Ayat 5-11 205 So.
P 49 Mat McBriar 6-0 221 Sr.
KR 6 Michael Brewster 5-6 176 So.
KR/PR 2 Chad Owens 5-9 177 So.

The skinny: After a hiatus that did not last a full game, Owens is expected to return kickoffs and punts. In last year's game against BYU, Owens scored on punt and kickoff returns. Jones had said he wanted Owens to focus on playing slotback this season, but he returned one punt last week and is expected to have an expanded role this week.