Hawaii travels a long way for game

September 10, 2010, 6:43 AM HST · Updated September 10, 6:43 AM
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By Fred Guzman

You couldn’t travel much farther for a Division-I-A college football game than the 5,000-plus miles the University of Hawaii has for Saturday’s showdown against Army. Or force a team to get up much earlier based on its collective internal clock.

When the game kicks off at historic and picturesque Mitchie Stadium at West Point, N.Y., along the banks of the Hudson River, it will be 6 a.m., Hawaii time. Thankfully for UH players, they customarily practice at 7 a.m. when back home in Manoa.

This game will feature a sharp contrast in styles. Hawaii runs a high-powered offense, as evidenced by the 588 yards generated in last week’s opening 49-36 loss to nationally-ranked USC.

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Army operates a run-oriented, triple-option attack out of a spread formation that is reminiscent of the offensive system employed by UH before the arrival of its now trademark run-and-shoot.

That’s because Army’s head coach, Rich Ellerson is a former player and assistant at UH during the days of Dick Tomey, when the Bows used a system favored by then-offensive coordinator Paul Johnson. That’s the same Paul Johnson who has gone on to enjoy success as a head coach at Navy and, more recently, Georgia Tech.

The best news of the week for UH is that starting QB Bryant Moniz was cleared to play. Moniz was knocked out of the USC game when he was on the receiving end of a hit to the helmet in the third quarter.

Army opened its season last week with a 31-27 road victory over Eastern Michigan, scoring the winning touchdown on a seven-yard run by Jared Hassin with just 38 seconds remaining in the game.

Army gained 309 of its 374 yards on the ground, with four different players registering double-digit carries and three of them gaining 60 or more yards.

UH will continue to collect frequent-flyer miles during its current 13-day trip. The team will remain on the mainland following tomorrow’s game to prepare for a road showdown at Colorado the following week.

VOLLEYBALL: Rebounding from their first loss of the volleyball season, the sixth-ranked Rainbow Wahine made easy work of San Diego State last night.

Sophomore All-American Kanani Danielson had 19 kills and six digs as UH eased to a 25-17, 25-18, 25-13 romp that took all of 73 minutes to complete at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Aztecs are coached by Dietre Collins-Parker, who led UH to NCAA titles in 1982 and 1983.

In the first match, St. Mary’s defeated UC Irvine 26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 25-11.

The tournament continues tonight, with Saint Mary’s and San Diego State meeting at 5 p.m., followed by Hawaii vs. UC Irvine at 7 o’clock. On Saturday, San Diego State faces UC Irvine and UH hosts UC Irvine.

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