The Warriors arrived safely in town this morning. They have two destinations: Beach or bed. It’s been a long 12 days.
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So, after three games, including a tough loss to UNLV, what have we learned?
• UNLV really needs this series. The crowd was under 30,000, and it appeared at least a third were wearing green. In this down economy, the Hawai‘i visitors provided a lift.
• The Warriors miss defensive ends David Veikune (now a Cleveland Browns linebacker) and Fetaiagogo Fonoti, who has not appeared in a game this season because of a kneecap injury. More precisely, their pass-rushing abilities are missed.
• And not having Paipai Falemalu hurt, too. The Warriors spent 2 1/2 practices implementing a new scheme featuring a three-man front. Falemalu has emerged as their best pass-rushing end out of a three-man front. The break before the Louisiana Tech should be helpful for Falemalu, who has a high-ankle sprain.
• Cornerback Tank Hopkins was upset about UNLV’s winning play. But there was little more he could have done. He played tight coverage on Phillip Payne, who had a 6-inch height advantage. It was a nice lob pass.
• Kicker Scott Enos said he felt hurried on his field-goal attempt that sailed wide right. Indeed, UH did take few seconds too long to send in the field-goal team. But later, Enos proved he is a clutch kicker when he connected on the 47-yarder as time expired in first half.
• Give credit to slotback Kealoha Pilares, who played despite suffering from flu-like-symptoms earlier in the day. He received an IV treatment before the game and at halftime. He played on guts, so to speak.
• Departing on the 2:30 a.m. flight out of Las Vegas is a good idea for all road trips.
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During the game, the fire sirens went on in the Sam Boyd Stadium press box. It turned out that the Sterno triggered the smoke detector in the booth occupied by UH athletic director Jim Donovan and Manoa chancellor Virginia Hinshaw.