PARK RIDGE, N.J. » Before walking toward the leaf-sprinkled path leading to the buses, Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz gazed around the Park Ridge High football field.
The trees that ringed the complex … the peace …
"It’s like Wahiawa on steroids," Moniz said, smiling. "I like it here."
Yesterday’s 105-minute practice marked the Warriors’ final full workout before tomorrow’s game against Army.
The Warriors fine-tuned the gameplan, and focused on several techniques. The UH safeties practiced push-and-sidestep moves designed to fend off low-blocking Army receivers.
"It was a good practice," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "We got a lot of things accomplished."
The Warriors have scheduled a walk-through this afternoon at Michie Stadium. That activity is intended to help the Warriors get accustomed to the backdrops and potential humidity. Kickoff is at noon Eastern time. The other details were settled during yesterday’s practice and evening meetings.
The most pressing concern was the health of Moniz, who departed the Sept. 2 season opener after being struck on the helmet by a Southern California linebacker in the third quarter. Moniz was held out of two practices, but resumed workouts Tuesday. Yesterday, he threw crisply against UH players portraying Army’s defense.
Moniz, again, declared himself physically fit. He will make the 10th start of his UH career.
Right tackle Laupepa Letuli also is ready to reclaim his starting job. Against USC, Letuli suffered what was termed a strained left calf. The recovery period is usually two weeks. Yesterday, Letuli was back with the first team.
"The guys are coming back," McMackin said. "We’re in good condition."
At the suggestion of assistant coach Mouse Davis, the Warriors arranged to practice at Park Ridge, a school with a senior class of 90. Before their home games, the New York Jets and New York Giants use the hotel where the Warriors are staying.
Park Ridge High players watched yesterday’s practice, which opened with the Warriors performing the haka.
The Warriors mixed business with fun. As part of their daily sprints, each player was required to take reps on the kickoff team. During one sequence, the coverage team consisted of mostly offensive linemen.
When a player missed an assignment, drawing a groan from teammates, McMackin interjected: "Hey, this is ‘Positive Thursday.’ Let’s work together."
"It was a good workout," said linebacker Aaron Brown, who worked out with the safeties.
After practice, the Warriors yelled, "thanks," to the Park Ridge High players and coaches. They posed for pictures and signed autographs. McMackin taught some the shaka sign.
"The players were in good spirits," McMackin said. "This is the positive experience we needed. We’re ready to play."
Tulane to play UH in 2011
Tulane will replace Oregon State on Hawaii’s 2011 football schedule athletics director Jim Donovan announced yesterday.
The Warriors and Green Wave will meet on Nov. 26, 2011 at Aloha Stadium.
Hawaii’s game with Oregon State was moved to the 2014 season at Oregon State’s request. Tulane, out of Conference USA, finished 3-9 overall in 2009.