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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hawaii Bowl tale of two offenses


BY Stephen Tsai
HawaiiWarriorBeat.com Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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SHERATON HAWAI'I BOWL

WHO: Nevada (8-4, 7-1 WAC) vs. SMU (7-5, 6-2 C-USA)

WHEN: Today, 3 p.m.

WHERE: Aloha Stadium

TICKETS: $10-$45

TV: ESPN, live

RADIO: 1420 AM, live

ODDS: Nevada favored by 12 points

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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When: 3 p.m. today

Where: Aloha Stadium (50,000)

TV: Live on ESPN (channel 22, digital 222, high-definition 1222)

RADIO: Live on 1420 AM

PARKING: Opens 10 a.m. for lower Halawa; 11 a.m. upper Halawa. Public parking at Gate 1 at the bus lot only.

ALTERNATIVE PARKING

Radford High School is the only site available. It opens at noon and parking is $5 with no shuttle service.

Kam Drive-In, Leeward Community College and Ford Island are NOT available.

STADIUM TURNSTILE: Opens at noon.

TICKETS: Available at box office or online at http://www.sheratonhawaiibowl.com/tickets.html. Prices range from $10 to $45.

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In a Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl that is more of a science fair, two of college football most innovative offensive coaches Southern Methodist's June Jones and Nevada's Chris Ault will match up today.

Jones, who joined SMU after nine seasons in Hawai'i, took the seeds of the run-and-shoot and created his version of the four-wide passing attack. In 2006, under Jones' guidance, UH quarterback Colt Brennan had the highest-rated season in NCAA history.

Ault should receive a patent for his creation, the pistol offense, in which the quarterback is 4 yards from the line of scrimmage and 3 yards in front of the lone back. The scheme, which is rooted in the wing-T, allows the running back equal access to both sides.

While both schemes use four receivers, Jones' offense is designed to pass, Ault's scheme is built to run.

Both coaches admittedly make adjustments each year.

"There's nobody to copy," Ault said of his offense. "It's you. You're always trying to create new opportunities and advantages for your offense."

While Jones' homecoming has provided the week's back story, the focus will be on the battle of offenses.

"It should be a fun game," Jones said.

Here's a look at each team:

NEVADA OFFENSE

Pos.Player Ht. Wt. Cl.

X4 Brandon Wimberly 6-3 195 Fr.

F14 Chris Wellington 6-1 190 Jr.

T74 Steve Haley 6-5 305 So.

G62 John Bender 6-8 325 Jr.

C63 Kenneth Ackerman 6-4 280 Sr.

G75 Chris Barker 6-4 305 Fr.

T73 Alonzo Durham 6-4 285 Sr.

TE85 Virgil Green 6-5 240 Jr.

Z82 Tray Session 6-3 175 So.

QB10 Colin Kaepernick 6-6 220 Jr.

RB29 Lampford Mark 6-1 200 So.

Outlook: The Pack's bowl guide cover proudly proclaims: "Rushing into history." It is a reference to the Pack's three 1,000-yard rushers Kaepernick and running backs Vai Taua and Luke Lippincott. But the top backs will not be available to play today. Taua, who is ninth nationally in rushing (122.27 yards per game), did not earn enough credits during the fall semester to qualify. He is not on the 80-player travel squad. Last month, Lippincott underwent season-ending surgery to repair torn ligaments in the big toe on his left foot. Still, Ault insisted, the Pack is committed to the ground attack. Mark, who is capable of running 40 yards in 4.57 seconds, will get the start as the lone back, but Mike Ball and Courtney Randall also will get carries. Ball averages 10.6 yards per rush, and five of his 19 carries resulted in touchdowns "Those guys will run the ball, just like Vai and Luke did," Ault said. "We're going to call the same plays, and I expect Kap to still take charge. He's in charge, and in command of that ship."

There are few quarterbacks comparable to Kaepernick, who has a powerful arm and is capable of covering 5 yards in two strides. "Not too good over the 40," said Kaepernick, who can run the distance in 4.7 seconds. "You've got to have somebody chasing me to get me running a little faster. ... When I get my stride going, I can cover a lot of ground." Indeed, Kaepernick has run for 1,160 yards, an average of 7.8 yards per carry. Not including sacks, Kaepernick averages 10.98 yards per scramble. Kaepernick also can throw a pass 70 yards, often on the run. "He's a unique cat," Ault said. "There's not a quarterback that reminds me of him. I've seen a lot of a quarterbacks, but he's an interesting study because of his athleticism . Obviously, he's a running quarterback. But he has a great arm. He's special."

NEVADA DEFENSE

Pos.Player Ht. Wt. Cl.

E55 Dontay Moch 6-1 245 Jr.

T93 Zack Madonick 6-1 285 So.

T95 Nate Agaiava 6-2 285 Sr.

E99 Kevin Basped 6-6 240 Jr.

SLB52 James-Michael Johnson 6-2 240 So.

MLB36 Mike Bethea 6-2 245 Jr.

WLB33 Brandon Marshall 6-1 235 So.

CB6 Doyle Miller 5-11 185 Jr.

SS25 Mo Harvey 6-3 210 Sr.

FS49 Jonathan Amaya 6-2 190 Sr.

CB28 Isaiah Frey 6-0 190 So.

Outlook: The Pack is expected to employ a nickel defense against SMU's four -wide offense, but the details have not been finalized. That's because freshman Duke Williams, who plays nickelback, has been suspended because of an off-field incident Monday. Andre Davis, a backup middle linebacker , was dismissed from the team following his arrest on suspicion of shoplifting. A few weeks ago, another linebacker was dismissed , leaving Bethea as the only middle linebacker. Joe Easter, a backup weakside linebacker, is expected to move to the middle.

Moch and Basped are pocket-crushing defensive ends who can play on either side. Because of Basped's arthritic knee, Ryan Coulson has split time at rush end.

NEVADA SPECIALISTS

Pos.Player Ht. Wt. Cl.

K46 Ricky Drake 6-0 190 Jr.

LS58 Ryan Coulson 6-3 255 Jr.

SS61 Scott Frisbie 6-4 275 So.

H15 Luke Collis 6-2 210 So.

P48 Brad Langley 6-0 200 Jr.

KR5 Mike Ball 5-10 225 Fr.

PR11 Antoine Thompson 6-1 195 Sr.

Outlook: Drake has demonstrated a strong leg. He has made both field-goal attempts from 40 yards, and his kickoffs average 65.7 yards. He has forced 19 touchbacks .

SMU OFFENSE

Pos.Player Ht. Wt. Cl.

WO24 Aldrick Robinson 5-10 175 Jr.

SB17 Emmanuel Sanders 5-11 180 Sr.

LT70 Kelvin Beachum 6-3 270 So.

LG77 Josh Leribeus 6-2 330 So.

C51 Mitch Enright 6-1 266 Sr.

RG64 Bryce Tennison 6-3 285 So.

RT79 J.T. Brooks 6-5 311 So.

SB11 Cole Beasley 5-9 172 So.

WO18 Terrance Wilkinson 5-10 178 So.

QB2 Kyle Padron 6-4 201 Fr.

RB8 Shawnbrey McNeal 5-10 190 Jr.

RB48 Zach Line 6-1 238 Fr.

Outlook: Who says Jones' offenses don't stress running? Evidence No. 1: On the first day of training camp, the players must run 10 220-yard sprints, with times and breaks set by positions. It is the same discipline Jones employed at UH. "Oh, man, that first summer was hard," Sanders said. "I learned how to prepare for (the 220s), and I got used to it."

Evidence No. 2: the development of McNeal, who transferred after two seasons at Miami. With a freshman quarterback, the Mustangs compensated with a more balanced offense. McNeal, who gets the ball mostly on draws and traps, rushed for 1,125 yards during the regular season. McNeal has the speed. He can cover 40 yards in 4.42 seconds. In the Texas 3A high school championships, he ran 100 meters in 10.5 seconds as a junior and 10.48 seconds as a senior.

Padron, who started the past six games, has completed 64 percent of his passes, and only 2.5 percent of his throws resulted in interceptions. Sanders, who models his game after former UH player Davone Bess', is the Mustangs most dependable receiver.

SMU DEFENSE

Pos.Player Ht. Wt. Cl

LE47 Taylor Thompson 6-6 280 So.

NT93 Chris Parham 6-0 282 Jr.

RE99 Marquis Frazier 6-3 281 So.

OLB45 Youri Yenga 6-1 223 Jr.

ILB52 Pete Fleps 6-1 230 Jr.

MLB9 Chase Kennemer 6-0 215 Sr.

OLB56 Ja'Gared Davis 6-1 206 Fr.

LCB6 Bryan McCann 6-0 173 Sr

FS23 Chris Banjo 5-10 195 So.

SS10 Rock Dennis 5-9 180 Sr.

RCB5 J.R. McConico 5-8 175 Fr.

Outlook: The spirit of Jerry Glanville lives in Dallas. "That's Jerry's defense," June Jones said. "Everything is the same." Jones and Glanville, who recently resigned as Portland State's head coach, worked together at UH and with the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Oilers. Glanville's scheme once known as the "Grits Blitz" is a 3-4 alignment, with stout defensive ends, corners in man coverage, and all-point-blitz orders. There is a play that calls for as many as nine blitzers. Kennemer, who serves as a roving middle, is the key. The best cover defender is Sterling Moore, who missed the past two games because of a knee injury. Moore, who has 10 pass breakups, is available to play.

SMU SPECIALISTS

Pos.Player Ht. Wt. Cl.

K/P11 Matt Szymanski 6-1 193 Jr.

LS53 Mark Voosen 6-2 203 fr.

SS63 Blake McJunkin 6-2 262 So.

H14 Braden Smith 6-0 182 Fr.

KR6 Bryan McCann 6-0 173 Sr.

KR8 Shawnbrey McNeal 5-0 190 Jr.

PR17 Emmanuel Sanders 5-11 180 Sr.

Outlook: Szymanski is a dual threat, averaging 41.7 yards per punt, and converting eight of nine field-goal attempts from within 39 yards. The speedy McCann has scored touchdowns on two blocked kicks this year.