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2012 Opponent profiles

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:36 a.m. HST, Aug 31, 2012



PHOTOS OF HEADLINERS

 

SEPTEMBER 1, 1:30 P.M. HST (KHON)

———

LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM, LOS ANGELES

Capacity: 93,607 |||| Surface: Grass
HEAD COACH: Lane Kiffin (third year, 18-7)
2011 RECORD: 10-2, Pac-12, south division, 1st
Offense: Multiple |||| Defense: 4-3
Series: USC, 7-0
Last meeting: USC 49, UH 36 (Sept. 2, 2010, Honolulu)

 

OFFENSE

Headliner: With quarterback Matt Barkley returning for his senior season, the Trojans are back in contention for a national championship after serving a two-year postseason ban. Barkley finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting last year after throwing a Pac-12-record 39 touchdown passes with just seven interceptions while completing 69 percent of his passes.

Supporting cast: Barkley has two 1,000-yard receivers back in Robert Woods (1,292, 15 TDs) and Marqise Lee (1,143, 11). Running back Curtis McNeal rushed for 1,005 yards and six touchdowns and the Trojans added another 1,000-yard back when Silas Redd transferred from Penn State. Four starters return to an offensive line that allowed just eight sacks last year.

DEFENSE

Headliner: Free safety T.J. McDonald is putting together a resume to rival that of his father, former USC All-American and all-pro Tim McDonald (now Fresno State’s secondary coach). USC is touting McDonald as a favorite for the Thorpe Award (given to the nation’s top safety). He earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in posting 63 total tackles and three interceptions. 

Supporting cast: Linebacker Dion Bailey was named the Pac-12’s Freshman Defensive Player of the Year after tying for the team lead with 81 tackles. Fellow sophomores Lamar Dawson and Hayes Pullard also return to the starting LB unit.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliner:  Kicker Andre Heidari made 15 of 17 field-goal attempts in his freshman season to earn first-team All-Pac 12 honors.

Supporting cast: Woods averaged 23.1 yards on 17 kickoff returns last year and ranks fourth in USC history in career kickoff return yardage.

2011 RANKING

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 16 35.75
Yardage 21 456.75
Passing 15 294.17
Rushing 51 162.58
DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 45 23.58
Yardage 54 374.75
Passing 102 263.33
Rushing 18 111.42
Turnover margin T67 -0.08  

 

SEPTEMBER 15, 6 P.M.  (PPV)

ALOHA STADIUM, HONOLULU

Capacity: 50,000 |||| Surface: UBU Speed Series
Head coach: Ray Woodard (third year, 9-13)
2011 record: 4-7, Southland Conference, 6th
Offense: Multiple  |||| Defense: 3-4
Series: First meeting 

 

OFFENSE

Headliner: Ryan Mossakowski exited spring practice as the projected starter at quarterback for a Lamar program that was resurrected in 2010 after a 20-year absence. Lamar is Mossakowski’s third college stop after spending two years at Kentucky and another at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he threw 26 touchdown passes in 2011.

Supporting cast: Mike Venson’s total of 332 yards in 11 games was enough to lead the Cardinals in rushing last season. The receiver corps could get a boost with sophomore Kevin Johnson transferring in from Oklahoma State.

DEFENSE

Headliner: Defensive end Jesse Dickson led the Cardinals with 101⁄2 tackles for loss, including 41⁄2 sacks. He will have to adjust to playing in a three-man front as Lamar makes the transition from a 4-2-5 base alignment. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound junior also blocked two kicks.

Supporting cast: The defense took a hit when linebacker Anthony Beard, the Cardinals’ second-leading tackler last year, suffered a knee injury during the preseason. Marcus Malbrough tied for the team lead with 41⁄2 sacks and moves from defensive end to outside linebacker for a defense that finished last in the Southland Conference in points allowed last year.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliners: Punter Kollin Kahler averaged 42.3 yards per kick. He hit 13 over 50 yards, including a 72-yarder, last year. Kicker Justin Stout made five of eight field goal attempts, just 1-for-4 outside of 30 yards.

Supporting cast: Former Hawaii assistant Dennis McKnight joins the Lamar coaching staff as the Cardinals’ offensive line/special teams coach.

2011 RANKING (FCS)

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 58 25.64
Yardage 83 331.45
Passing 52 216.18
Rushing 90 115.27
DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 115 39.09
Yardage 89 401.73
Passing 71 211.73
Rushing 98 190.00
Turnover margin 73 -0.27  

 

SEPTEMBER 22, 4:30 P.M. (NBC SPORTS NETWORK)

ALOHA STADIUM, HONOLULU

Capacity: 50,000 |||| Surface: UBU Speed Series
Head coach: Chris Ault (28th year, 226-103-1)
2011 record: 7-6, Western Athletic Conference, T2nd
BOWL: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, lost to SO. Miss. 24-17
Offense: Pistol  |||| Defense: 4-3
Series: Tied, 8-8
Last meeting: Nevada 42, UH 28 (Nov. 12, 2011, Reno, Nev.)

 

OFFENSE

Headliners: Cody Fajardo earned WAC Freshman of the Year honors while rushing for 11 touchdowns and throwing for six. Nevada developed a reputation as one of the nation’s top rushing offenses, but the addition of former UH offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich to the coaching staff could make the Pack a greater threat through the air.

Supporting cast: All-WAC offensive linemen Chris Barker and Jeff Nady return and the Pack closed the spring with four running backs in contention for the starting job. Stefphon Jefferson was the most productive of the group last year with 429 yards and five touchdowns.

DEFENSE

Headliners: Strong safety Duke Williams finished third on the team with 83 total tackles and is among three returning starters in the secondary. Cornerback Khalid Wooten had four interceptions and broke up five passes.

Supporting cast: OLB Jeremiah Green had 49 total tackles with three interceptions and broke up five passes while dropping into pass coverage. He returns to a front seven that took significant losses with the departures of lineman Brett Roy (181⁄2 TFL) and linebackers Brandon Marshall (103 tackles) and James-Michael Johnson (100).

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliner: Allen Hardison made eight of 11 field goal attempts and converted all 21 PATs last season.

Supporting cast: Wooten likely takes over punt return duties in place of Rishard Matthews, one of the WAC’s most dangerous punt returners last year.

2011 RANKING

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 35 31.69
Yardage 6 506.69
Passing 32 259.15
Rushing 9 247.54
DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 58 25.15
Yardage 52 369.23
Passing 58 221.85
Rushing 56 147.38
Turnover margin 59 0.00  

 

SEPTEMBER 28, 2 P.M. HST (ESPN)

LAVELL EDWARDS STADIUM, PROVO, UTAH

Capacity: 64,045 |||| Surface: Grass
Head coach: Bronco Mendenhall (eighth year, 66-24)
2011 record: 10-3, Independent
BOWL: Armed Forces Bowl, beat Tulsa 24-21
Offense: Pro Set |||| Defense: 3-4
Series: BYU, 20-8
Last meeting: BYU 41, UH 20 (Dec. 3, 2011, Honolulu) 

 

OFFENSE

Headliners: Cody Hoffman and Ross Apo give quarterback Riley Nelson tall targets on both sides of the formation. Hoffman (6 feet 4) emerged as a big-play threat while catching 61 passes for 943 yards and 10 touchdowns. Apo (6-3) set a BYU freshman record by catching nine touchdown passes.

Supporting cast: Nelson went 6-1 as a part-time starter last year and is the undisputed leader with Jake Heaps transferring to Kansas. Nelson will operate behind a line with three returning starters in guard Braden Hansen, center Houston Reynolds and tackle Braden Brown.

DEFENSE

Headliners: Linebacker Kyle Van Noy does a little bit of everything for the Cougars. Last year he recorded 15 tackles for losses, including seven sacks, intercepted three passes, forced three fumbles and recovered one, and blocked a kick. Brandon Ogletree also returns to the LB unit after leading the team with 76 total tackles.

Supporting cast:  Senior Ian Dulan, a 2006 Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate, is in line to start at defensive end. Dulan played three seasons, went on a two-year LDS mission, then redshirted upon returning to Provo last year.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliner: Punter Riley Stephenson averaged 42.2 yards and hit 15 over 50 yards. He landed 20 of his 47 kicks inside the opponent’s 20.

Supporting cast: Justin Sorenson is looking for more consistency in his sophomore year after going 15-for-25 last season and is coming off back surgery in the offseason.

2011 RANKING

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 42 30.08
Yardage 41 405.69
Passing 47 245.38
Rushing 57 160.31
DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 23 20.38
Yardage 13 313.38
Passing 32 200.92
Rushing 19 112.46
Turnover margin 74 -0.15  

 

OCTOBER 6, 2 P.M. HST (CBS SPORTS NETWORK)

QUALCOM STADIUM, SAN DIEGO

Capacity: 54,000 |||| Surface: Grass
Head coach: Rocky Long (second year, 8-5)
2011 RECORD: 8-5, Mountain West Conference, 4th
BOWL: New Orleans Bowl, lost to La.-Lafayette, 32-30
Offense: Pro-style |||| Defense: 3-3-5
Series: SDSU, 15-9-2
Last meeting: UH 49, SDSU 38 (Dec. 3, 2005, Honolulu)

 

OFFENSE

Headliners: Ryan Katz started at Oregon State in 2010 but lost his job due to an injury and transferred to San Diego State for his senior year. He participated in spring practice and will throw to a receiver corps that returns all three starters in wide receivers Colin Lockett and Dylan Denso and tight end Gavin Escobar and added USC transfer Brice Butler.

Supporting cast: Center Alec Johnson and guard Nik Embernate return to an offensive line that helped Ronnie Hillman rush for 131.6 yards per game and 19 touchdowns before he bolted for the NFL.

DEFENSE

Headliner: Cornerback Leon McFadden, a two-time All-MWC pick and preseason defensive player of the year, intercepted two passes and broke up 15 more last season. He’s one of four starters returning to the secondary a year after the Aztecs intercepted 15 passes, tied for the MWC lead.

Supporting cast: Sophomore linebacker Jake Fely is the only returning starter among linemen and ’backers. He had 5 1⁄2 tackles for loss and forced three fumbles in his freshman year.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliner: Colin Lockett’s production as a receiver and a kickoff returner led to the sophomore finishing third in the MWC in all-purpose yardage. He averaged 21.9 yards per return and took one back for a touchdown.

Supporting cast: The Aztecs made just six of 15 field-goal attempts last year. Freshman Seamus McMorrow could end up handling both placekicking and punting duties.

2011 RANKING

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 46 29.77
Yardage 32 427.28
Passing 49 242.92
Rushing 30 184.46
DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 57 25.00
Yardage 68 391.23
Passing 56 221.69
Rushing 77 169.54
Turnover margin T9 -0.92  

 

OCTOBER 13, 6 P.M.  (PPV)

ALOHA STADIUM, HONOLULU

Capacity: 50,000 |||| Surface: UBU Speed Series
Head coach: Bob Davie (First year)
2011 record: 1-11, Mountain West Conference, T6th
Offense: Pistol |||| Defense: 3-4
Series: UH, 14-7
Last meeting: New Mexico 30, UH 20 (Oct. 24, 1998, Honolulu)

 

OFFENSE

Headliners: Bob Davie’s return to coaching includes introducing the Pistol in Albuquerque. Quarterback B.R. Holbrook, who threw four touchdown passes and seven interceptions last year, will be asked to the make the transition to the new system. After the Lobos reached the end zone just 17 times in 2011, things can hardly get worse.

Supporting cast: Tight end Lucas Reed made the All-MWC first team in 2010 and caught 22  passes last season. Injuries limited wide receiver Lamaar Thomas, a transfer from Ohio State, to nine receptions last fall. He recovered by the spring to place fifth in the 100-meters at the MWC championships with a time of 10.64 seconds.

DEFENSE

Headliner: Joseph Harris posted 55 tackles, including 61⁄2 for losses, and forced four fumbles after making the switch from linebacker to defensive end last year. With Davie installing a 3-4 base alignment, Harris moved back to outside linebacker in the spring and could be used as a rush end as well.

Supporting cast: Reggie Ellis had 16 tackles as a defensive tackle last year and becomes an end in the new scheme. Linebacker Dallas Bollema returns after finishing last year third on the team with 68 total tackles.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliner: New Mexico’s moribund offense meant Ben Skaer was among the MWC’s busiest punters last season. He averaged just over six punts per game and averaged 39.7 yards.

Supporting cast: Justus Adams, a 6-foot-4 junior, was the Lobos’ kickoff specialist last season but could contend for the full-time kicking duties this season. The Lobos were just 6-for-12 on field-goal attempts a year ago.

2011 RANKING

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 120 12.00
Yardage 113 296.17
Passing 92 183.00
Rushing 103 113.17
DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 119 41.67
Yardage 118 492.08
Passing 87 245.17
Rushing 119 246.92
Turnover margin 100 -0.67  

 

OCTOBER 27, 1 P.M. HST (PPV)

HUGHES STADIUM, FORT COLLINS, COLO.

Capacity: 32,500 |||| Surface: FIELDTURF
Head coach: Jim McElwain (first year)
2011 RECORD: 3-9, Mountain West Conference, T6th
Offense: Multiple |||| Defense: Multiple
Series: CSU, 11-9
Last meeting: Colorado State 63, UH 0 (Oct. 4, 1997)

 

OFFENSE

Headliners: As offensive coordinator at Alabama, McElwain had the luxury of giving Trent Richardson the ball as the Crimson Tide rolled to the BCS championship. He takes over in Fort Collins with an established producer in the backfield in junior Chris Nwoke. Nwoke ran for 1,130 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

Supporting cast: Tight end Crockett Gillmore led the Rams with 45 receptions for 468 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Garrett Grayson started three games as a freshman, throwing for 542 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 193 and a score.  

DEFENSE

Headliners: The Rams return preseason All-MWC linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who led the team with 99 total tackles, including 41⁄2 for losses. All-MWC defensive end Nordly Capi or Mike Orakpo might have been the players to watch had they not been dismissed from the team following an on-campus fight in April.

Supporting cast: Tackle John Froland and end C.J. James are back to lead the defensive front. James was second on the team with eight tackles for loss last year, including five sacks. Froland made 34 total tackles.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliner: Punter Pete Kontodiakos ranked second in the MWC with an average of 43.6 yards per kick in the light air with a long of 64 yards.

Supporting cast: Freshman Keenan Adams enrolled at CSU in the spring as a grayshirt. Two kickers combined to go 10-for-16 on field-goal attempts last year.

2011 RANKING

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 101 21.42
Yardage 87 351.42
Passing 90 184.58
Rushing 44 166.83
DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 91 31.25
Yardage 85 413.25
Passing 13 179.58
Rushing 116 233.67
Turnover margin 85 -0.33  

 

NOVEMBER 3, 1 P.M. HST (PPV)

BULLDOG STADIUM, FRESNO, CALIF.

Capacity: 41,031 |||| Surface: fieldturf
Head coach: Tim DeRuyter (first year)
2011 RECORD: 4-9, Western Athletic Conference, T4th
Offense: Spread |||| Defense: 3-4
Series: Fresno State, 22-21-1
Last meeting: FSU 24, UH 21 (Nov. 19, 2011, Honolulu)

 

OFFENSE

Headliners: The Bulldogs begin a new regime with two proven producers leading the Bulldogs’ up-tempo spread offense. Running back Robbie Rouse finished last season ninth in the country with 119 rushing yards per game in racking up 1,549 and 13 touchdowns and could thrive in the new offense. Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 3,544 yards and 26 touchdowns as a sophomore and was named the preseason MWC offensive player of the year.

Supporting cast: Carr and Rouse have four starters returning on the offensive line, though they are learning a new blocking scheme. But the Bulldogs won’t have their top receiver back after Jalen Saunders (50 catches, 1,065 yards, 12 TDs) transferred to Oklahoma.

DEFENSE

Headliner: DeRuyter previously served as defensive coordinator at Ohio, Nevada, Air Force and most recently Texas A&M. All-WAC linebacker Travis Brown (85 tackles, three sacks) returns to a defense looking to reinforce the cracks exposed while giving up more than 35 points per game last year.

Supporting cast: Cornerback L.J. Jones intercepted three passes and broke up 13. Safety Terrence Dennis was the team’s second-leading tackler last year.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliner: Punter Andrew Shapiro averaged 39.7 yards and stopped 21 inside the opponents’ 20.

Supporting cast: Four-year starter Kevin Goessling finished his career last year and another returnee left the team in the spring. Blake Dunn, formerly a walk-on at Washington State, joined the team during spring practice and will compete for the job in the fall.

2011 RANKING

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 52 28.54
Yardage 37 411.85
Passing 27 272.62
Rushing 75 139.23
DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 106 35.15
Yardage 100 435.85
Passing 106 269.23
Rushing 72 166.62
Turnover margin 116 -1.08  

 

NOVEMBER 10, 2 P.M. (NBC SPORTS NETWORK)

ALOHA STADIUM, HONOLULU

Capacity: 50,000 |||| Surface: UBU Speed Series
Head coach: Chris Petersen (seventh year, 73-6)
2011 record: 12-1, Mountain West Conference, 2nd
Bowl: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl, beat Arizona St. 56-24
Offense: Multiple |||| Defense: Multiple
Series: Boise State, 9-3
Last meeting: Boise St. 42, UH 7 (Nov. 6, 2010, Boise, Idaho)

 

OFFENSE

Headliner: For the first time since 2007, someone other than Kellen Moore will be taking snaps for the Broncos. Moore was college football’s most efficient passer and junior Joe Southwick wasn’t too shabby in his relief appearances, completing 40 of 54 passes over the last two years.

Supporting cast: Running back D.J. Harper ran for 557 yards and nine touchdowns while splitting carries with Doug Martin. Matt Miller was BSU’s second leading receiver with 679 yards and nine touchdowns as a freshman.

DEFENSE

Headliner: Most of the Broncos’ leaders of last year’s defense are gone with linebacker J.C. Percy the only returnee among their top eight tacklers. Percy was fifth on the team with 48 total stops.

Supporting cast: Punahou graduate Jeremy Ioane played in 10 games at safety last year and started against Georgia. He’ll be a contender to step into one of the many vacated starting roles.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliners: Boise State’s kicking game cost the Broncos BCS bowl berths the past two years. Dan Goodale and Michael Frisina combined to make six of nine field-goal attempts last season, but it was Goodale’s miss in the final seconds against TCU that was the most telling kick of the season.

Supporting cast: Mitch Burroughs is one of the MWC’s top punt returners and Percy was named the Broncos’ co-special teams player of the year while also starting on defense.

2011 RANKING

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 5 44.23
Yardage 10 481.31
Passing 11 309.38
Rushing 40 171.92
DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 12 18.69
Yardage 16 320.85
Passing 43 210.85
Rushing 17 110.00
Turnover margin 23 0.62  

 

NOVEMBER 16, 4:30 P.M. HST (ESPN2)

FALCON STADIUM, COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.

Capacity: 46,692 |||| Surface: fieldturf
Head coach: Troy Calhoun (sixth year, 41-24)
2011 record: 7-6, Mountain West Conference, 5th
Bowl: Military Bowl, lost to Toledo 42-41
Offense: Multiple |||| Defense: Multiple
Series: Air Force, 11-6-1
Last meeting: UH 52, AFA 30 (Nov. 24, 2001, Honolulu)

 

OFFENSE

Headliner: The Falcons don’t have much starting experience back but do have a senior taking over the option offense in Connor Dietz. Dietz averaged 6.6 yards per carry in rushing for 252 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw for a score in eight game appearances in relief of starter Tim Jefferson. 

Supporting cast: Wes Cobb moves from fullback to tailback after rushing for 426 yards and four scores. The offensive line replaces three starters around seniors Jason Kons and Jordan Eason.

DEFENSE

Headliner: Linebacker Alex Means was the Falcons’ top playmaker last year with 91⁄2 tackles for loss, including six sacks. He also forced three fumbles, recovered two, intercepted a pass and blocked two kicks.

Supporting cast: Safety Brian Lindsay finished last year with 42 tackles, including two for losses. The Falcons lost two of their top returnees when linebacker Jamil Cooks and safety Anthony Wooding were among five players removed from the team before camp.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliner: Kicker Parker Herrington made 15 of 18 field-goal attempts and was a first-team All-MWC selection.

Supporting cast: Punter Davis Baska averaged 40.8 yards in 32 punts, including a 65-yarder against Navy. He also scored a touchdown on a fake field goal and picked up two more first downs on fakes.

2011 RANKING

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE Scoring 20 34.92 Yardage 22 454.85 Passing 113 140.08 Rushing 3 314.77 DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE Scoring 72 28.38 Yardage 65 386.46 Passing 7 166.77 Rushing 109 219.69 Turnover margin 6 0.77

 

NOVEMBER 24, 6 P.M. (PPV)

ALOHA STADIUM, HONOLULU

Capacity: 50,000 |||| Surface: UBU Speed Series
Head coach: Bobby Hauck (third year, 4-21)
2011 record: 2-10, Mountain West Conference, T6th
Offense: Multiple |||| Defense: 4-3
Series: UH, 13-8
Last meeting: UNLV 40, UH 20 (Sept. 17, 2011, Las Vegas, Nev.)

 

OFFENSE

Headliner: Running back Tim Cornett will try to become the first UNLV back to lead the team in rushing for three straight years since 1981. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry and ran for 671 yards and seven touchdowns, 106 yards and two scores coming against UH. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Supporting cast: Redshirt freshman Nick Sherry was named the Rebels’ starting quarterback last week, beating out junior Caleb Herring, who threw eight touchdown passes and six interceptions last year. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Sherry will work behind a line that returns all five starters, including tackle Brett Boyko, a 6-foot-7, 310-pound sophomore.

DEFENSE

Headliners: Baldwin graduate John Lotulelei started four of the last five games after joining the Rebels as a junior-college transfer and finished third on the team with 60 tackles. Tani Maka, who initially signed with UCLA, had 54 tackles and is back at middle linebacker.

Supporting cast: Desmond Tautofi, who attended Kaimuki but eventually graduated from Calvary Chapel Christian High in Las Vegas, closed the spring slated to start at defensive end while Peni Vea, a redshirt freshman from Kealakehe, was in line to start at free safety.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliners: Kicker Nolan Kohorst made five of his seven kicks from 40 yards and beyond and made all 24 of his PATs. Punter Chase Lansford tied for the MWC lead with 75 punts and averaged 41.2 yards.

Supporting cast: Receiver Marcus Sullivan was academically ineligible last year and could spark the return game after ranking 17th in the country with 27.9 yards per return in 2010.

2011 RANKING

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 113 17.25
Yardage 117 273.83
Passing 118 109.58
Rushing 49 164.25
DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 118 40.42
Yardage 105 443.17
Passing 90 249.00
Rushing 99 194.17
Turnover margin 38 0.25  

 

DECEMBER 1, 6 P.M. (PPV)

ALOHA STADIUM, HONOLULU

Capacity: 50,000 |||| Surface: UBU Speed Series
Head coach: Joey Jones (fourth year, 23-4)
2011 record: 6-4
Offense: Multiple spread |||| Defense: Multiple 3-4
Series: First meeting

 

OFFENSE

Headliner: The USA football program is in its fourth year of existence and is still a year away from full FBS status as a member of the Sun Belt. The Jaguars went 17-0 their first two years before going 6-4 in 2011 as they continue to upgrade their schedule. Sophomore quarterback C.J. Bennett went through some growing pains as a freshman starter, throwing 17 interceptions and seven touchdowns in 10 games.  

Supporting cast: Guard Melvin Meggs (6-3, 300) helped running back Kendall Houston lead the Jaguars with 558 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Bryant Lavender, the team’s leading receiver with 28 catches for 370 yards, also returns.

DEFENSE

Headliners: Inside linebackers Jake Johnson and Enrique Williams are back after combining for 143 tackles, including 12 for losses.

Supporting cast: Safety Charles Harris finished with 81 tackles and forced three fumbles, tying for the team lead with outside linebacker Clifton Crews.

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Headliner: Punter Scott Garber averaged 41.7 yards per kick, with four over 50.

Supporting cast: Jereme Jones handled kickoff and punt return duties for most of last year.

2011 RANKING (FCS)

OFFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 70 24.40
Yardage 88 326.80
Passing 91 172.20
Rushing 56 154.60
DEFENSE RANK AVERAGE
Scoring 27 21.70
Yardage 16 309.70
Passing 10 167.00
Rushing 41 142.70
Turnover margin 83 -0.40  

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