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Smart Bryant tied at top of nation with 4 interceptions

By Stephen Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 2:12 a.m. HST, Oct 12, 2010

It was no surprise that Hawaii cornerback Jeramy Bryant was not selected as the Western Athletic Conference's defensive player of the week.

"What else is new?" associate head coach Rich Miano said of the Warriors' undercover cover defender. "He's under the radar."

Bryant is tied for the national lead with four interceptions this season.

In Saturday's 49-27 upset of Fresno State, Bryant had two interceptions -- returning one 48 yards for a touchdown -- and a pass deflection. He made two key third-down tackles.

"It was a redemption game for him," said Miano, noting Bryant struggled in last year's meeting against Fresno State.

During the road trip, Bryant asked to borrow a coach's laptop to watch videos of the Bulldogs' offense.

"We can only work with them so many hours each week," Miano said. "He wanted to do extra work. He wanted to watch films. He did that on his own."

The late-night movies were instrumental in Bryant's touchdown.

Bryant noticed the Bulldogs kept trying to set up a sail route to the left side. Bryant told Miano: "I'm going to jump it next time."

Miano gave his conditional blessing: Bryant needed to notify a safety, as insurance. Ryan Colburn threw to the left, and Bryant intercepted.

"He doesn't take risks, he takes educated risks," Miano said. "He knows what they're doing. He reads the routes, and he knows when to jump it. He's not doing daring things. He's doing things based on what he's seen on films and what their tendencies are."

Salas scores a KO

Teammates still were raving about left slotback Greg Salas' knockdown of Fresno State's Jermaine Thomas at the end of a 28-yard play.

"I had no other way to go," Salas said of the hit along the left sideline. "That was my only option."

After the impact, Salas noted, Thomas "went backward."

After that, Salas and Thomas exchanged commentaries.

"We talked a little bit, but I can't say what he said."

Smith close to return

Safety Spencer Smith, who has not played since suffering a fractured right forearm in the season opener, is scheduled to have the hard cast removed this week.

Smith is expected to miss the next two games. He said he hopes to return for the Oct. 30 game against Idaho.

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