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Sunday, November 23, 2014         

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Hawaii turns the page after loss

By Stephen Tsai

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It appears emotional wounds do not leave scars.

Nearly two weeks after a one-sided road loss to Boise State, the Hawaii football team has been upbeat.

"You can't tell two days later if they just won or lost," said head coach Greg McMackin, a few minutes after the Warriors completed their final full workout before tomorrow's game against San Jose State. "They're ready to play the next game. We have a lot of goals ahead of us. We're not going to sit around and cry about something. We didn't after losing to (Southern California) or Colorado. Boise was a higher-ranked team. We don't cry over a loss. We move on to the next game."

The Warriors spent the past bye week revising the recruiting list, crafting the strategy for tomorrow's game and seeking improved health.

Right slotback Kealoha Pilares, who did not play against Boise State because of a strained left hamstring, has declared himself ready to play.

"Kealoha is a big-time playmaker," said left slotback Greg Salas, who works in tandem with Pilares to draw defenders away from each other. "It's good to have him back."

Defensive tackle Zach Masch, who is an effective interior pass-rusher, said he has recovered from a minor knee injury suffered against Boise State. Nicknamed the "Microwave," Masch is expected to bring energy in specific third-down situations.

"I have to be ready quickly, like a microwave," Masch said. "I can't be like an oven. I keep myself mentally ready on the sideline, going through plays in my head. When it's time to get in there, I give it everything I have."

Left cornerback Lametrius Davis said the bye week helped heal his surgically repaired right meniscus. The Warriors lead the nation in takeaways, but he is the only starting defensive back without an interception or fumble recovery.

"Sometimes you don't get things your way," Davis said. "It's part of the game. You can always do other things to help your team."

Davis is fifth on the team with 45 tackles, impressive considering he has been playing on a wounded knee for most of the season. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said Davis has played well in recent games.

"I'm healthier than the beginning of the season," Davis said. "It's not an excuse, but it's pretty evident."

Davis' difficulties began in January, when he began to feel discomfort in his right knee while working out.

"I knew I was hurt, but I don't remember hurting it."

While competing in spring training, the pain intensified.

"It came to a point where it was hard to move laterally," Davis said. "I finally got an MRI on it. It was a torn meniscus."

He did not compete in the Warrior Bowl, then underwent arthroscopic surgery. He said his rehabilitation was hindered when he went to the mainland to take care of "some family matters."

"I didn't want to make it an excuse to why I wasn't playing well," Davis said.

Davis said he aggravated his right knee against Louisiana Tech, and has only fully healed in the past week.






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