The Hawaii defense’s collective effort last week was epitomized in one of the highlight individual moments of the night.
UH linebacker Simon Poti recorded the Rainbow Warriors’ first sack of the season when he chased down Washington quarterback Jeff Lindquist for a 16-yard loss in the fourth quarter of UH’s opener. The third-down stop forced the seventh of the Huskies’ eight punts in the second half and Poti distributed the credit 11 ways.
“We all count on each other,” said Poti, who posted five tackles in his first Division I start. “They kept him in the pocket, that’s all to the D-line doing their job, the DBs covering, the other linebackers covering. That’s how I got my sack, everybody doing their job.”
After falling a point short of the upset in a 17-16 loss, the Rainbow Warriors will need a similar effort in facing one of the nation’s top passers of last season with Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion’s return to Aloha Stadium on Saturday.
Mannion threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns in the Beavers’ 33-14 win over UH last year in Corvallis. He ended the season in Honolulu and passed for 259 yards and a score against Boise State in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl to close the year with a Pac-12 record 4,662 yards.
The 6-foot-5 senior completed 26 of 45 passes for 328 yards and a touchdown in a 29-14 win over Portland State last week. Storm Woods balanced the offense with 125 rushing yards, averaging 7.8 yards per carry.
“Different challenge completely,” UH defensive coordinator Kevin Clune said. “They’re a veteran group, good quarterback and that’s where everything starts. They have a great understanding of their scheme and who they are and what they do. Very pro style. On the surface it may look simple but they’ve got a lot of things going on.”
In the first of UH’s three Pac-12 matchups in the season’s opening month, the Rainbow Warriors shut out Washington for the final 34 minutes while holding the Huskies to 119 yards in the second half.
“It was good for the first game. All the mistakes are now on film and Oregon State’s looking at ‘em,’ Clune said. “So we have to step up mentally. Our biggest gain has to come mentally between game 1 and game 2.
“What I’ve told the guys is (last week’s effort is) a great thing to build on but that hasn’t earned us anything for the next game. We don’t walk in with 10 more points because we did a great job last week. So we have to start from scratch and earn that victory.”