Wednesday, July 30, 2014         


 Print   Email   Comment | View 13 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Moniz will be missed

Hawaii will have a tougher road to a winning season

By Dave Reardon


RENO, NEV. » This wasn't how it was supposed to end for Bryant Moniz, but it almost seemed inevitable.

With all the injuries depleting his offensive line and receivers, it's a testament to Moniz's elusiveness and toughness that he didn't get badly hurt sooner than Saturday, in UH's 10th game of the season.

Regardless of what you might think of the University of Hawaii football team and the performance of its senior leader on offense the past few games, his legacy will be as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in UH history, as well as perhaps the most athletic to have played for the Warriors in the run-and-shoot era.

When he left the field with a college career-ending broken leg in the first half of the 42-28 loss to Nevada, coach Greg McMackin said some of the Warriors players "froze" momentarily -- and that was no reference to the chilly air at Mackay Stadium.

"It's pretty tough when you lose your leader right away," McMackin said.

When Moniz left midway through the first quarter, Hawaii held a 3-0 lead. But few illusions existed -- at least away from the Hawaii sideline -- that a UH team minus Moniz would stay in the game with the Wolf Pack.

The Warriors managed to hang in with Nevada until the Wolf Pack put it away with a fake field goal for a touchdown. That was ironic, since the maligned Hawaii special teams had done an excellent job to that point, and were a big reason UH was still in the game.

Shane Austin, the backup quarterback, did what he could to try to keep the Warriors in it, and directed a nice third-quarter drive. But there were too many mistakes to overcome, by Austin and others.

The biggest was a fumble into the end zone by Joey Iosefa after UH got the ball on the opening kickoff of the second half when Kawika Ornellas recovered Nevada's fumble.

It's easy to root for Austin. He's a gritty guy who walked on four years ago and has done everything asked of him, from running the scout team to training understudies who ended up getting more playing time than he did. McMackin acknowledged that Austin got the call when Moniz went down because he was judged to be the guy who would give UH the best chance to win the game.

He'd done it before, leading UH to a road victory at San Jose State two years ago when Moniz was out with an injury.

"I've been there a few times, so I know what it's like," Austin said.

But San Jose State in 2009 was nowhere near as good as Nevada in 2011. The Wolf Pack certainly weren't unbeatable, but they're probably the best team in the WAC right now.

Watching Nevada's No. 17, Cody Fajardo, run and throw so effectively in the second half made me think of Moniz at his best -- his ability to scramble and his playmaking skills could have made the difference in the second half.

Maybe, maybe not. The way things have been going for UH lately, it seems unlikely. But Moniz was UH's best offensive player.

He's also the player the 5-5 Warriors could least afford to lose as they try to regroup and win two of the next three games, finish the regular season with a winning record and get into the Hawaii Bowl.

Winning two against Fresno State, Tulane and Brigham Young was already an iffy proposition.

The coaches might decide to give David Graves an opportunity as early as next week, especially since Austin threw three interceptions and more incompletions (21) than completions (17).

"As far as the game goes we had a lot of opportunities and could have made a lot of plays, but that's just the way it goes sometimes," Austin said.

No offense to whoever plays quarterback for UH the rest of the season. But things get even tougher now for the Warriors without Bryant Moniz.

Reach Dave Reardon at dreardon@staradvertiser.com or 529-4783.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 13 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Bayman wrote:
Dave, dont you think we should just lose out and not make a bowl game, better chance to get a new coaching staff next year AND we dont have to be embarassed on national tv for yet another year...seems like a win-win.
on November 13,2011 | 07:17AM
LizKauai wrote:
Who is WE? Anyone emBARASSED by young men playing their hearts and bodies out for Hawaii on or off the small screen is not WE. GO WARRIORS!
on November 13,2011 | 09:18AM
Halemaumau wrote:
Yup, WE is not ME.
on November 13,2011 | 03:35PM
jcole wrote:
Well put LizKauai.
on November 13,2011 | 05:11PM
allie wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on November 13,2011 | 07:26AM
smooshpappy wrote:
Look at the NCAA QB stats before you say anything about a young man who gave it his all for the sake of his school and team. Read, learn and apologize: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/stats/playersort/NCAAF/QB Look at number 16 in the ranking. I notice many errors in your writing. Are you on something? What kind of fan are you that you would agree with anyone who says to write the season off?
on November 13,2011 | 10:46AM
PCWarrior wrote:
Think you gotta play Graves now. Playing Austin makes no sense.
on November 13,2011 | 09:15AM
bleedgreen wrote:
Austin has earned playing time for all that he has given to the program. But yes, time to get Graves ready for next season's opening game at USC.
on November 13,2011 | 10:59AM
mnt111 wrote:
Moniz was the team leader. now it's time for someone else to step up. the season isn't over yet.
on November 13,2011 | 02:43PM
808BigE wrote:
He will be missed. Hope his plans to work out for the draft, arent affected. Pay no attention to the idiots, there are never any "throw-away" seasons in my mind for UH. Also people need to quit blaming the coaching staff, it's easy to do when you have a fraction of the football IQ they got, you could never understand the depth of processing that goes through a coaches head.
on November 13,2011 | 03:50PM
islandsun wrote:
Take a look at the 49ers. Seems like they added another coach and most of the same players are now doing their job properly. Coaches get paid a lot of money so they have to take the blame eventually. Of course its not all coaching because you need real players. The coaches are responsible for scouting and recruiting so who else you want to blame. Maybe the Ad because he hired them? Come on....
on November 13,2011 | 06:00PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Moniz's injury is a bummer. But, so were all the other injuries to all the other players on the UH football team, and all the other UH teams, for that matter. I really wish he didn't get injured. The main reason is that I I wish he didn't have to go through the pain and inconvenience the injury has and will cause him. The close second reason, however, is that Moniz's injury might somehow create an "excuse" for Coach McMackin's continued poor performance in his job, as he captains the UH football ship on a slide into irrelevance. You're right Dave, Moniz will be missed. What has been missed all season, though, is a UH football team Hawaii will respond well to. That loss happened long before Moniz got injured.
on November 13,2011 | 07:54PM
aiea7 wrote:
Bayman, you don't have to worry - don't believe UH will make th bowl. The marginal record we have is due to coaching; this staff has got to go, need to move forward with a new staff. Can't really blames the players, they are told what to do, but were not taught well, as when they encounter a new situation, they cannot adjust.
on November 13,2011 | 08:15PM
braddah wrote:
You know what.....we cannot just give up on this season. Play Austin in hopes of making the Hawaii Bowl, and getting the extra practice time! Play Graves for two or three series to get ready for next year.
on November 13,2011 | 09:35PM