Hawai’i football Corner Backs Coach, Abe Elimimian, spoke at today’s Nā Koa luncheon and attributes this year’s success to “playing together.” He said that was also the key to their success in 2016 when Head Coach Nick Rolovich took them to their first bowl game.

“Play together…be united…care about each other” is all on display when the team stands armed linked behind their captains during the game’s coin toss. Coach Elimimian also feels it is the reason, along with good coaching, that penalties are minimal so far this season.

That was the kind of strength that was needed to bounce back from a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter against the Duquesne Dukes. “It was the first time we got punched in the mouth early” said Coach Abe, and it was a chance to see how players would react.

The coaches kept everyone calm and focused. Each coach knew their players’ capabilities and Coach Rolo had seen the situation before . . . there was no panic.

None, indeed, as the defense smothered Duquesne allowing just seven more points with a total of 166 net yards on 53 offensive plays. Zach Wilson got an INT and Scheyenne Sanitoa, Kaimana Padello, and Kana’i Picanco each recorded QB sacks.

Coach Elimimian’s corners kept disguising and switching coverages. He then proved it by showing detailed film on those movements and situations. He even showed clips of the offense emphasizing Furuta’s runs and Dale’s hurdle.

Coach Brian Smith knew the offense would score and he was right to the tune of 42 points on 77 plays gaining 518 yards…245 on the ground! Dayton Furuta carried 12 times for 114 yards, Elijah Dale hurdled a would be tackler, and eight receivers caught passes.

The offense has outscored opponents in nearly every quarter this season.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Hawaii 52 65 28 63 208
Opponents 35 31 30 57 153

Coach said our next opponent, the San Jose Spartans, is very dangerous. They played the University of Oregon tough and their battles with Hawai’i are historically tooth and nail fights in their backyard. To make matters worse, it will be SJSU’s homecoming AND they come off of a bye week.

We have to play well early; we cannot afford to get down by 14. The Spartans’ best offensive player is their Tight End. They also have a good slot and good height in their receiver corps. The Spartans run a split zone and RPO and employ a quick 3 step drop.

Coach Abe reported the Spartan Defensive Coordinator is familiar with the Run & Shoot having defended it on a daily basis against June Jones’ offense at Southern Methodist University.

Although this week’s game is on the road, Coach Abe encouraged everyone to get their friends down to Aloha Stadium for future games as it means so much to the student athletes to have big crowds and lots of noise!

Written by Gareth Sakakida