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'Kiko' offense produces

By Stephen Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 1:41 a.m. HST, Oct 12, 2010

While expressing admiration for Nevada's offense, the Hawaii football team insisted it is not following the Pack.

"This is Hawaii," said UH quarterback Bryant Moniz, whose Warriors host the 19th-ranked Wolf Pack on Saturday. "We're different here."

Comparisons were drawn when the Warriors tinkered with their four-wide offense, aligning the running back 3 yards behind Moniz in the shotgun attack -- the same formation as the Pack's popular pistol offense. During the past 11 seasons, the UH running back usually was aligned to the side of the quarterback.

The pistol, created by Nevada head coach Chris Ault, places quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the shotgun, 4 yards from the center, with the running back 7 yards from the line of scrimmage. The pistol has been so successful it has spawned imitators across the country. UCLA credited Ault after the Bruins used the scheme to upset Texas last month.

The Warriors like the look of the formation, but insist the two teams' formations are nothing alike. UH head coach Greg McMackin said Nevada's offense is really a run-oriented, double-dive scheme. McMackin said the Warriors' scheme is an extension of their run-and-shoot passing offense.

UH offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich said he likes the "symmetry" of aligning the running back directly behind the quarterback. Rolovich said it disguises the direction of the running play, as well as makes it easier for the back to block an on-rushing defender.

In previous years, if the back were aligned on the right of the quarterback, defenses would overload the weak side.

Now, running back Alex Green can block either side, as well as release a block and curl into the flats for a screen pass.

"We're still the run-and-shoot," Moniz said. "We're not the read-and-whatever-they-are offense. We're still different."

The Warriors began practicing their new formation during training camp. At first, it was called the "Colt," in tribute to former UH quarterback Colt Brennan.

But after some study, the formation is now known as "kiko," which has several translations.

One meaning is "trigger," which gives credit to the pistol.

The more preferable meaning is "dot," as in dot of the 'i.' Or, for the Warriors' purposes, the running back is the dot of the I formation.

"It's a good name," Moniz said.

It also has been productive. Moniz leads the nation in total offense with 388 yards per game.

Yesterday, McMackin told booster-club members that Moniz is the best quarterback in the nation.

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