FRESNO, Calif. >>> Fresno State’s interim head football coach said he has given his team a warning about the University of Hawaii’s pre-game ha’a.
Eric Kiesau said that while he respects it, he wants the Bulldogs to turn their backs on the ha’a Saturday at Bulldog Stadium.
Asked by Paul Loeffler, the host of his ESPN 940 radio show, Wednesday night, “Have you seen the pre-game ‘haka’ dance up close and personal?” Kiesau said, “I have not. But I just spoke to the team about it today. And it kind of correlates to (the Rainbow Warriors’) their passion and how hard they play. And that’s how their engines kind of drive them. And I tell you we’ll respect it, but when they start doing it, just turn your back and walk the other way ‘cause that’s their deal and it is not about us.”
The 1-9 (0-6 Mountain West) Bulldogs fired their head coach, Tim DeRuyter, after a 1-7 start and are trying to end an eight-game losing streak, the longest in school history, and avoid their first 10-loss season.
UH, 4-7 (3-4), has hopes of reaching a bowl game if it can win its final two games.
Kiesau said he told his players, “Don’t focus on what they are doing. They have to kind of get their juices and their engines going, which I understand that. But, again, don’t concentrate on what they are doing, what the opponent is doing. It is about us and how we operate and how we execute and everything will take care of itself.”
On the road the ‘Bows have made a practice of performing their ha’a fronting the UH fan section.