POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 20, 2010
Head coach Greg McMackin said yesterday his coaching staff made the right decision in not going for the two-point conversion in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' 27-21 victory over Nevada Saturday night.
Bryant Moniz's 11-yard scoring pass to Royce Pollard extended the Warriors' lead to 26-14 with 5:27 to play. A successful two-point conversion would have made it a 14-point cushion.
Instead, the Warriors went for the point-after kick, making it 27-14.
The Wolf Pack drove 68 yards in eight plays to close to 27-21 with 3:06 to play, then recovered the ensuing on-side kick. The Pack's comeback attempt was thwarted when safety Mana Silva intercepted a tipped pass at the UH 12 with about 95 seconds remaining.
Of the decision to not go for the two-point conversion, McMackin said: "You've got 8 seconds to make up your mind. What my thinking was the defense was playing so good, I don't think they can score a touchdown on us. If we miss (the conversion), which two-point plays are tough to get in ... then now we have field goal problems."
He said he did not "count on" the Pack driving the field for a touchdown or claiming the on-side kick.
"You can't imagine," McMackin said. "But the point is, that was my logic: You can't move the ball against my defense. We're shutting them down. ... If we miss the two-point (conversion), now we have a problem where they can beat us with (a touchdown and) two field goals. That was my thinking."
The Warriors' four-game winning streak started when Bronson Tiwanak and Matagisila Lefiti began alternating at center.
Lefiti was projected to start this season before having foot surgery in May. He missed the first three games while Tiwanak, a walk-on senior from Damien Memorial School, started at center. Now each plays two series before rotating.
The arrangement enables each to "get some rest," Tiwanak said. "You also get a chance to watch from the sideline and see what the defense is doing. It works out pretty good."
Moniz did not practice yesterday, instead getting some physical therapy for minor wear and tear. He said he will be fit for Saturday's road game against Utah State.
Moniz said the Warriors are aware of the difficulties of playing in Logan's altitude (4,775 feet) and against the Aggies' no-huddle offense.
"It's tough when you have to travel over the water," Moniz said.
But he said the Warriors are prepared, and that it helped to have played in Colorado's thin air earlier this season.
Moniz leads the nation in total offense (371.57 yards per game), total passing yards (2,532) and touchdown passes (21). At least that is what he is told.
"Everyone tries to show him all of the newspaper articles, but he doesn't read them," said his girlfriend, Kiley Kealoha.
The couple has a 2-year-daughter, Cali, and lives in Wahiawa.
"He's the same," Kealoha said. "He is grounded. He just enjoys what he does. It doesn't matter about the hype. He loves football. He'll do anything to play football."
She said Moniz also is good at meeting his honey-do list.
"He takes out the trash can," she said. "He feeds the dogs every night. Well, his mom feeds them some nights. He washes dishes."