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Fast 40 countdown: Hawaii

August 24, 2011  |  By Benjamin Miraski

Hawaii

Last season: 10-4, 20th in the MRI

The good: Bryant Moniz returns in the ridiculous offense that the Warriors put on the field. At times last season, Moniz looked better than Colt Brennan or Tommy Chang, the two passers ahead of him on the all-time list at Hawaii, ever did. But he had a lot of help from a strong receiving core, one of the best to ever come through the islands, including Greg Salas, who finished as the all-time leader in receiving yardage.

The defense also returns the core of the team including Corey Paredes who led the team with 151 tackles last season (almost double the next player on the list). This is a defense that will be tougher to battle than last year and won't be susceptible to 30 point letdowns.

The added bonus for Hawaii is that this is its last year in the WAC, and one without Boise State clogging the top of the standings. In a year that is wide open, Hawaii has just as good a chance as anyone in the conference to take one last title.

The bad: Notice the only offensive player mentioned above was Moniz. That is because almost his entire set of targets from 2010 is gone.

Not only that, but Moniz will be working behind a line that is only as experienced as last season's model on paper. If you look behind the numbers, Austin Hanson holds all but one of the returning starts from the line.

Plus only Royce Pollard returns in the receiving core, which means breaking in a whole slew of new hands to grab Moniz' throws.

In an offense predicated on passing first and figuring out what to do after that, this is not a good sign, especially since last season, with a similiar number of returning starts, albeit more spread among the line, the Warriors surrendered 40 sacks.

Hope Moniz enjoy looking up at the clear skies in Hawaii.

Best name: While Bubba Poueu-Luna would normally win for the juxtaposition of Southern and island nomenclature, and Penitito Faalologo is just fun to say, the real winner is the one that has no business being crammed onto the back of a jersey. Chauncey Winchester-Makainai, the trophy is yours.

Trending: Down - So the MRI will always tend to overrate Hawaii thanks to their ability to play 14 games. But that shouldn't take away from the ability of the Warriors to consistently turn out winners. There should be a statue to June Jones in the parking lot for all he did to change the culture on the islands into one of winning. This is Greg McMackin's fourth season in charge of the Warriors and he has yet to step out of the shadow of Jones on the island. It probably won't change this season as no season has returned this few starters on offense since before 2004. The WAC is probably still up for grabs given that Boise is no longer there, but it will be tough for Hawaii to work its way this far up the MRI rankings again.

   

Posted August 24, 2011 11:49 PM

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