UH Football By The Numbers

Bobby Curran
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Friday - December 09, 2005
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When the clock wound down on the University of Hawaii football season last Saturday at Aloha Stadium, the Warriors had defeated San Diego State for their fifth victory against seven losses. The final score was 49-38, but there are other numbers that better describe the opportunities and challenges for the future of the Warrior program.

23,0235. This is the number of people who were actually in attendance for the Senior Night game. Yes, it was the same night as the Christmas lights ceremony in downtown Honolulu. And, yes, the Eagles were in concert at the Blaisdell. But no matter what explanations are conjured up for the nearly 27,000 empty seats, an alarm bell should be ringing loudly. The combination of increasing ticket prices and seat licenses, pay-per-view alternatives, the perception of stadium and parking hassles, and the losing record have conspired to drive attendance to dangerously low levels. Football is counted on to support the entire athletic department, making this a serious concern.

151. The rushing yardage for Nate Ilaoa, coming on 15 carries. It is expected Ilaoa will be granted another year, and you can’t help but be excited about the speed, vision and power exhibited by the 245-pound running back.

“This is what we expected when we recruited him, ” says UH head coach June Jones. “We knew it was there, and it was great to see it on the field.”

10/167/3. The receptions, yards and touchdowns recorded by freshman receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen in the final game. Not only did he easily exceed the 1,000-yard mark for the season, but according to Rivals.com he is only the second-best freshman receiver on the team. The sports Internet site named Davone Bess, also a thousand-yard man, a first team freshman All-American.

4,301. The final tally of passing yards for first-year sophomore quarterback Colt Brennan. Against the Aztecs, Brennan completed 25 of 37 for 326 yards, with five touchdowns and one interception. And he’s only just beginning to understand the nuances of the June Jones run-and-shoot. With a spring season and fall camp ahead, not to mention an off-season conditioning program set up by Mel deLaura, Brennan could be downright scary in 2006.

351. The weight of defensive lineman turned running back Reagan Mauia, who carried the ball 10 times for 56 yards and a touchdown. Mauia brought to mind the physical play of former Warrior West Keliikipi, only bigger. The thought of Mauia rotating with Ilaoa next season ought to cause opposing line-backers some sleepless nights.

588. Total offense generated by the Warriors, including 262 yards on the ground. Unlike last year, most of the offensive impact players are back, and should be better next year. One cause for concern is the possible loss of left guard Samson Satele to the NFL. Satele is exploring the possibility of declaring early for the draft.

554. The number of yards allowed by Hawaii’s defense. The defense needs to be shored up. Nationally, it will finish somewhere around No. 100. And some of its best players finished their career last week. Kila Kamakawiwoole, T.J. Moe and Lono Manners were excellent players and team leaders. There are some good young players waiting in the wings, but recruiting help at corner and defensive line is desperately needed.

0. The number of future games with Hawaii contemplated by the Aztecs. Hawaii is in a netherworld of scheduling. The Warriors are regarded as good enough to beat you, but not good enough to make that road loss acceptable. That makes it harder to bring in marquee teams. Call it the fear factor, and it probably explains why the Washington Huskies have decided not to come to Honolulu.

9/2/06. The date for Hawaii’s opener in 2006 against the University of Alabama. A shock-the-world opportunity. Tuscaloosa. Bryant-Denny Stadium. Roll, Tide, Roll. I can hardly wait.

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