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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, October 22, 2005

UH coach always scheming

 •  Friendly football rivalry set to begin

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Quarterback J.P. Greco made his first start of the season in a 38-21 loss to Boise State last Saturday. Adam Tafralis started the first five games.

MATT CILLEY | Associated Press

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SAN JOSE, Calif. With Christmas-morning enthusiasm, Jerry Glanville was the first to break the silence yesterday, as he hobbled toward University of Hawai'i football coach June Jones on the Hyatt San Jose's pool deck.

"Listen, I got up early and thought of this new scheme . . ." the defensive coordinator said, waving what was once a sheet of scrap paper.

"That's Jerry," Jones said. "He's always thinking up something new."

When it was suggested that his death-bed wish would be a new defensive plan, Glanville smiled and said: "I can see that. I'd have to make it a good one, too."

And so it goes for Glanville, whose game plans might as well be written in chalk. In last week's 49-28 victory over New Mexico State, Glanville overhauled the defensive strategy in the middle of the game, switching to a 4-3 scheme that was never rehearsed. Glanville's mad-scientist innovation has confounded opposing coaches.

"I think coach Glanville really improved their defense," said San Jose State coach Dick Tomey, whose team hosts UH today at Spartan Stadium. "They're very unpredictable, and that makes it difficult."

The best guess is the Warriors will align in a 3-4 and blitz frequently. Everything else is subject to change. "You never know," Glanville said.

Here's a closer look at today's game:

UH OFFENSE

LWR88 Chad Mock 6-0 178 Jr.

LSB7 Davone Bess 5-9 187 Fr.

LT70 Tala Esera 6-4 295 Jr.

LG64 Samson Satele 6-2 305 Jr.

C59 Derek Fa'avi 6-1 273 Sr.

RG66 Brandon Eaton 6-2 295 Sr.

RT72 Dane Uperesa 6-5 315 Jr.

RSB1 Ryan Grice-Mullen 5-10 174 Fr.

RWR82 Ross Dickerson 5-10 185 Jr.

QB15 Colt Brennan 6-2 190 So.

RB48 David Farmer 6-0 240 Fr.

RB47 Mario Cox 5-11 235 Fr.

RB4 Nate Ilaoa 5-9 229 Sr.

Outlook: Brennan is on pace to having the most accurate season for a UH quarterback. Brennan has been intercepted five times, or once every 49 passes, and has completed 68.9 percent of his throws. Most significant, he is averaging nearly 12 yards a completion, a statistic boosted by the Warriors' post-catch runs. With most opponents playing a two-deep zone the safeties retreat into a prevent defense Brennan has been forced to throw screens, shovels and to the flats. But the receivers have used their elusiveness to turn short passes into extended plays. The Warriors' yards-after-catch (YAC) average is 6.37. Grice-Mullen leads with a YAC of 7.29.

Another key is each receiver's ability to get open when Brennan abandons the pocket. When Brennan scrambles, Bess said, "if you're running an under route, you go deep. If you're running a deep route, you go under. The main thing is to get open." Grice-Mullen added: "We know when Colt's scrambling, it's all fair game. The defense doesn't know what we're going to do. It's free-style football. Colt has the feel where we're going to be. We have the feel where he's going to throw. We're on the same page. That's what makes plays continue to work when he starts scrambling."

Brennan said the bond was formed during unsupervised summer workouts. Even now, Brennan and the receivers will play catch during their free time. "When you go through the grind during the summer, it makes it easier during the season," Brennan said. "We've had months of hard work. The games are for fun."

Ilaoa, who did not play last week because of a sprained right big toe, practiced this week. Cox, who is suffering from a sprained ankle, also will be in the rotation at running back.

UH DEFENSE

LE97 Renolds Fruean 6-4 275 Jr.

NT67 Michael Lafaele 6-1 310 So.

RE91 Ikaika Alama-Francis 6-6 250 Jr.

SOLB45 Tanuvasa Moe 6-0 220 Sr.

SILB41 Solomon Elimimian 5-11 224 Fr.

WILB43 Brad Kalilimoku 5-11 204 So.

WOLB1 K. Kamakawiwo'ole 6-3 240 Sr.

CB6 Turmarian Moreland 6-1 200 Sr.

SS15 Lono Manners 5-10 199 Sr.

FS8 Landon Kafentzis 6-0 202 Sr.

CB22 Lamar Broadway 6-0 186 Sr.

Outlook: The Warriors will return to a more physical defense. Last week, they aligned their safeties deep to help Manners, who was playing with three dislocated fingers. "I kept him out of action," Glanville said. "We put him in a spot where he wasn't involved a lot because of the condition of his hands. He should have his best game (today)."

With cornerback Kenny Patton limited because of injuries to his right shoulder and left quadriceps, Broadway, a free safety, has practiced at cornerback. Whether Patton plays or not, Moreland will make his first NCAA start, replacing Keao Monteilh.

Meanwhile, Glanville praised Moe and Kamakawiwo'ole, both of whom are outside linebackers who can pass-rush and drop into coverage. "They're not normal in the fact they don't sit there and wait for every play," Glanville said. "Many times they're involved in creating pressure or cutting things off."

Kamakawiwo'ole, a former defensive end, is comfortable in a three-point stance. "He can slip inside and put a pass-rush move on somebody," Glanville said, "whereas 45 (Moe) doesn't have a penny of finesse. He's old school. He spills his guts every single play. He is an all-out, full-speed, no-dodging guy."

UH SPECIALISTS

PK99 Daniel Kelly 6-3 199 Fr.

P25 Kurt Milne 5-11 208 Jr.

KR/PR34 A.J. Martinez 6-0 185 So.

PR27 Andre Taylor 5-11 171 Jr.

Outlook: Martinez, inactive for three years, provided a surprising boost when he returned last week's opening kickoff 67 yards. His two kickoff returns totaled 111 yards. New Mexico State's ensuing two kickoffs were pooched away from Martinez; a third was an on-side kick. What makes Martinez effective is his patience. After fielding a kickoff, he'll jog about 5 yards, assessing the blocking patterns, before sprinting into a running lane. Martinez, who missed Wednesday's practice because of a groin injury, vowed to play.

SJSU OFFENSE

WR80 Rufus Skillern 6-1 179 Sr.

LT77 Amadeo Novella 6-5 315 Sr.

LG63 John Booker 6-4 308 So.

C68 Justin Paysinger 6-1 290 Fr.

RG76 Matt Cantu 6-3 290 Jr.

RT71 John Toensfeldt 6-8 284 Sr.

TE82 Bryan Watje 6-4 242 Sr.

WR81 John Broussard 6-1 165 Jr.

QB17 Adam Tafralis 6-1 226 So.

QB19 J.P. Greco 6-1 188 Jr.

FB42 James T Callier 6-0 218 So.

TB7 Al Guidry 6-0 198 Jr.

Outlook: The Spartans mostly align in the traditional formation of the West Coast offense two wideouts, a tight end and two runnning backs and they follow the scheme's ball-control, read-and-react system. Offensive coordinator Ken Margerum has an original playbook from Bill Walsh, credited with popularizing the West Coast offense. And yet . . . "I think the term West Coast offense is thrown around quite loosely," Tomey said. "Our offense is an evolving thing."

To be sure, the Spartans' offense has some variations. There is a formation involving three wideouts, a tight end and a back. Another has two tight ends, two wideouts and a back. The Spartans also have simplified their reads, using a three-option check list. For instance, they will attack only one half of the field at a time, with the first two passing options to one side and the third to the middle. Shortening the menu makes it easier for the quarterback to decide on a play and release the pass quicker a hardship for a blitzing defense.

The trouble is, the Spartans have not settled on a quarterback. Tafralis started the first five games, Greco opened last week.

The Spartans also have been ineffective on running plays, averaging 3.6 yards per carry.

SJSU DEFENSE

DE69 Kinji Green 6-2 275 Sr.

DT92 Freddie McCutcheon 6-1 295 Jr.

DT98 Anthony Flores 6-1 299 Sr.

DE53 Jarron Gilbert 6-5 250 Fr.

LB35 Matt Castelo 5-10 210 So.

LB26 Ezekiel Staples 6-0 213 Sr.

LB21 Eric Wilson 5-9 203 Sr.

CB4 Trestin George 5-10 183 Sr.

S33 Josh Powell 6-3 213 Sr.

S6 Bobby Godinez 5-11 213 Sr.

CB8 Christopher Vedder 5-10 196 Jr.

Outlook: The Spartans' 4-3 is really a 3-2, the defensive ends are outside linebackers, and the outside linebackers are defensive backs. Although defensive coordinator Tom Williams specializes in 3-4 schemes, in crunch time, the Spartans revert to the Desert Swarm defense that Tomey ran at Arizona. (The Desert Swarm is the same defense as the double-eagle scheme used at UH in the 1980s and early 1990s.) In its simplest form, the Spartans' defense involves the linebackers and safeties taking turns storming the backfield. Of the Spartans' league-high 19 sacks, only two were made by true defensive linemen. Justin James, an outside defender who does not start, has 9.5 tackles for losses, including 3.5 sacks.

SJSU SPECIALISTS

PK10 Jared Strubeck 5-8 162 Fr.

P18 Waylon Prather 6-3 219 So.

KR81 John Broussard 6-1 165 Jr.

KR4 Trestin George 5-10 183 Sr.

PR3 James Jones 6-1 202 Jr.

Outlook: George, a published poet, has been poetry in fast motion, averaging 28.9 yards per kickoff return. He's had a lot of practice; the Spartans have allowed 35 scoring plays in six games.

Eleven of Strubeck's 26 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks, and the Spartans recovered both of his on-side kicks.

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.