Sunday, November 29, 2015         


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Quarterback collective

McMackin says UH's three signal callers are on the same page

By Jason Kaneshiro


The quarterback position tends to focus on the individual.

Hawaii's signal callers prefer to think in collective terms.

When Bryant Moniz went to the sideline after absorbing a hard shot in the third quarter of Thursday's season-opening loss to USC, Brent Rausch and Shane Austin proved effective in relief.

"It's one of the things we took pride in, to try to be the best unit in the nation as quarterbacks," Moniz said. "They showed that. They both got in there and threw nice passes."

While Moniz eases back into action, Rausch and Austin split the repetitions in yesterday's practice, staying ready for their next opportunity, whenever that may be.

"You just get more experience and more chemistry with the offense, and it helps in the game," Austin said. "It gives us more looks against the scout team, more looks against Army, because they have a little different defense than we're used to, so it's good to get those reps."

Moniz sat out yesterday's practice, but UH head coach Greg McMackin said the junior will get some work today before the team departs for the East Coast in advance of Saturday's game at Army.

"Mo stayed out until he had a chance to talk to the doctor, and he's going to get some reps (today)," McMackin said. "We're just being cautious."

Moniz has not practiced since being leveled by USC linebacker Michael Morgan in the third quarter of UH's 49-36 defeat to the Trojans. Although he didn't finish the game, Moniz said the aftermath the following day wasn't much different from "the regular bumps and bruises."

"I'm going to run around a little bit, throw the ball, get a sweat in," Moniz said of the plan for this morning's session.

With Moniz watching yesterday, Rausch was first in the rotation while he and Austin got equal work in 7-on-7s and in team periods against the scout defense. And both were reminded of the unpredictable nature of the backup roles.

After Moniz shakily left the field, Rausch -- seeing his first game action since 2008 -- completed his first three passes, and the fourth was a deep ball Rodney Bradley nearly reeled in for a touchdown.

"Before the game, I figured I'd be a little nervous if it happened, but I was ready to go," said Rausch, whose 2009 season was sidetracked by a broken bone in his throwing hand. "I wasn't happy to see him go down, but I was ready to go.

"It gives me a little more comfort, makes me feel a little better in the pocket getting some experience."

The coaches gave Austin a look in the fourth quarter, and he coolly led the Warriors to two scores, both touchdown passes to Kealoha Pilares. The Warriors offense also turned in its first turnover-free game since a win over UNLV early in the 2007 season.

"I was really happy with the way both of them performed," McMackin said. "I wasn't surprised at all. I know they're all on the same page."

The Warriors will practice this morning on campus before embarking on their cross-country trek tonight. They are scheduled to arrive in Newark, N.J., tomorrow around noon Eastern time and will have a light walk-through later in the day.

McMackin said having some extra prep time following Thursday's game will help make up for the travel and 6-hour time difference when they face Army in West Point, N.Y.

"It's not a problem; we just have to be mentally tough," McMackin said. "We play at 6 in the morning our time, but we practice at 7."

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