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Breakdowns, missed tackles draw criticism from Aranda

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Hawaii defensive coordinator Dave Aranda vowed to "fix" the defensive problems incurred in Saturday’s 31-13 football loss to Colorado.

The Warriors (1-2) returned early yesterday from a 12-day road trip during which they defeated Army in West Point, N.Y., but lost in the mile-high elevation in Boulder, Colo.

After reviewing video of Saturday’s game, Aranda said: "What really puts a bad taste in my mouth is, one, losing the game and, two, the last two touchdowns that were given up. Those were really kind of inexcusable things."

Assignment breakdowns resulted in scoring passes of 73 and 23 yards to turn a 17-13 UH deficit into a rout.

Aranda also expressed disappointment in the Warriors’ inability to defend the run in Colorado’s first two possessions of the second half. In both drives, the Buffaloes went to a no-huddle, hurry-up offense. Both possessions resulted in touchdown runs.

"Our tackling wasn’t good in those first two drives," Aranda said. Of the Buffaloes’ 252 rushing yards, 113 came during those two drives.

But the missed tackles were symptoms of UH’s difficulties in filing the gaps when Colorado went to misdirection run plays. A week earlier, the Warriors successfully defended Army’s run-option offense.

"I thought there would be some carryover from playing assignment football (against Army)," Aranda said. "We have to get back to that."

The Warriors managed to stop the run on the Buffaloes’ third drive of the second half, forcing them out of the no-huddle offense. But later, the Warriors had breakdowns on the two touchdown passes.

"There are plays we left on the field," Aranda said. "That’s a lesson. We’ll get it fixed."

Aranda praised strongside linebacker Corey Paredes, who had 16 tackles and played every defensive snap, and nickel back John Hardy-Tuliau and weakside linebacker Aaron Brown.

Hardy-Tuliau, a freshman, and Brown, a junior who redshirted last season, made their first UH starts.

"He’s a guy who’s earned it," Aranda said of Hardy-Tuliau, who had seven tackles and forced a fumble.

Brown had eight tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage.

"He’ll get better with more time," Aranda said.

The Warriors will meet this afternoon to go over the game plan for Saturday’s game against Charleston Southern.

They will resume practicing tomorrow morning.

 

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