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OPEN GAME THREAD: Hawaii vs. WSU

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Game coverage from around SBN: Found here.

Time: 4 p.m. PDT

The place: Qwest Field - Seattle, Wash.

TV: SWX Spokane and various other outlets. GoCougs provides the information here.

Radio: Find your local station here.

The line: Hawaii by 2.5.

Last meeting: The Warriors defeated the Cougs 24-10 to end the 2008 regular season.

When the Cougs have the ball ...

WSU HAW
Pos. Name (# = Redshirt) Pos. Name
X Jeshua Anderson (6-2, 188, Jr.) RE Liko Satele (6-2, 260, So.)
F Gino Simone (5-11, 174, Fr.) RT Tuika Tufaga (6-2, 285, Sr.)
LT Steven Ayers (6-4, 315, #So.)
LT Vaughn Meatoga (6-2, 290, S0.)
LG Zack Williams (6-4, 293, #Jr.) LE Jake Heun (6-2, 240, Jr.)
C Kenny Alfred (6-2, 300, #Sr.) SLB Mana Lolotai (6-3, 230, Jr.)
RG B.J. Guerra (6-3, 311, #So.) MLB R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane (5-11, 225, Sr.)
RT Micah Hannam (6-4, 284, #Jr.) WLB Blaze Soares (6-1, 245, Sr.)
TE Tony Thompson (6-2, 241, #Sr.) LC Tank Hopkins (5-9, 165, Jr.)
Z Jared Karstetter (6-4, 203, So.) FS
Mana Silva (6-1, 220, Jr.)
QB Kevin Lopina (6-3, 241, #Sr.) SS Spencer Smith (5-11, 205, Jr.)
RB Dwight Tardy (5-10, 208, #Sr.) RC Jeramy Bryant (5-10, 180, Jr.)

When Hawaii has the ball ...

HAW WSU
Pos. Name Pos. Name (# = Redshirt)
WR Greg Salas (6-2, 200, Jr.)
LE Travis Long (6-4, 247, Fr.)
LT Aaron Kia (6-5, 290, Sr.)
DT Bernard Wolfgramm (6-3, 288, #Jr.)
LG Ray Hisatake (6-3, 315, Sr.)
DT Josh Luapo (6-0, 321, #Jr.)
C John Estes (6-2, 295, Sr.) RE Casey Hamlett (6-3, 250, Jr.)
RG Brysen Ginlack (6-2, 310, Jr.)
SAM Andy Mattingly (6-4, 255, Sr.)
RT Laupepa Petuli (6-4, 320, Sr.)
MIKE Louis Bland (5-10, 202, So.)
WR John Medeiros (5-9, 195, Sr.) WILL Jason Stripling (5-11, 225, #Sr.)
WR Kealoha Pliares (5-11, 190, Jr.) LCB Brandon Jones (5-9, 178, #Jr.)
QB Greg Alexander (6-3, 230, Sr.)
SS Xavier Hicks, Jr. (6-0, 211, #Sr.)
WR Malcom Lane (6-1, 180, sr.) FS LeAndre Daniels (6-1, 203, #Fr.)
TB Leon Wright-Jackson (6-1, 215, Sr.) RCB Chima Nwachukwu (5-11, 201, Jr.)

Special Teams ...

WSU HAW
Pos. Name (# = Redshirt) Pos. Name
K Nico Grasu (6-0, 221, Jr.) K Scott Enos (5-9, 180, Jr.)
P Reid Forrest (6-2, 193, #Jr.) P Alex Sunnachie (6-3, 235, Fr.)

Keys to the Game:

1. Pressure on Greg Alexander. The Wazzu secondary was a weak spot in the Stanford game. Andrew Luck bailed them out on multiple occasions by missing wide-open receivers. Of course, Andrew Luck was also able to sit back and survey the scene and find the most open guy to miss. Greg Alexander is a more experienced and accurate quarterback, and he isn't going to do the secondary as many favors. The Cougar front seven need to get in the backfield. Sadly, the Cougs most serviceable defensive end, Kevin Kooyman, is out 3 to 4 weeks with a PCL injury. Casey Hamlett (the transfer from the defunct WWU program) and Jesse Feagin will be playing in his place. I'm going to venture a guess that the WSU staff is going to need to dial up some blitz packages to get to the Alexander. It was feast or famine last season, as the Cougs either sacked Alexander or he busted off big gains on the ground.

2. Take advantage of the size difference. Greg McMackin likes to use smaller, faster players. The Cougar O-Line should be up against a pretty undersized Warrior defensive front. They need to exploit this in the run game and get a strong push off the line. Establish the run, control the clock, and keep Hawaii's run-and-shoot offense off the field.

3. Avoid special teams mistakes. The Cougs match up well with the Warriors on both sides of the ball. They have a good chance of winning this game, but they cannot shoot themselves in the foot with the kind of special teams play we saw against Stanford. Hopefully we will see the improvement on kickoff coverage that we saw between the Oklahoma State and Cal games last year. With James Montgomery returning kicks, we shouldn't see the circus that Aire Justin provided last week. Special Teams was a point of emphasis in practice this week, let's hope it shows today.

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