|Boise State seeks revenge against Hawaii|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 16 October 2008 12:35|
Redemption is driving the No. 15 Broncos this week, and several players acknowledged they're turning back the clock to last year's season finale when the Warriors beat the Broncos 39-27, a victory that clinched the Western Athletic Conference title for Hawaii and helped secure a trip to the Sugar Bowl.
``They wanted that game more than us,'' receiver Jeremy Childs said. ``But I cried after that game. I'm an emotional guy. Now I'm just ready to get after them.''
The loss also snapped Boise State's string of five consecutive WAC titles, and images of jubilant Warriors players celebrating with the home crowd in Honolulu left a sting that still lingers.
the conference title.
Hawaii (3-3, 2-1) has lost to conference foe San Jose State, but a victory over Boise State would put the Warriors back in the WAC title hunt.
``Everybody wants to pay us back after last season,'' said first-year coach Greg McMackin. ``That's just something we deal with.''
Despite being trounced by Florida in the opener and back-to-back defeats against Oregon and San Jose State, the Warriors have won two in a row, including a win at then-No. 22 Fresno State. And they've turned their season around with turnovers.
In the last two games, the Warriors' defense has forced 10 turnovers, including six against Fresno State, that led to 20 points. At the same time, the Warriors, ranked last in the nation two weeks ago in turnover margin, are doing a better job of protecting the ball.
``Ten in two weeks. Oh, that's fun,'' McMackin said of his defense. ``They're excited and having fun and that's what defense and football is.''
For Hawaii to get its first victory in Boise, the Warriors' defense will have to find a way to keep freshman Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore in check.
Moore is the second-leading passer in the WAC, averaging 267 yards per game with 10 touchdowns. Twice this season the lefty has thrown for more than 300 yards and spread the wealth to more than 10 different receivers.
ense, fumbling three times and throwing an interception in a 24-7 win. The running game helped pick up the slack offensively, accounting for 180 yards, the second-highest total this season, despite not having a single tailback rush for more than 56 yards.
But Broncos coach Chris Petersen says the biggest challenge may be finding a way to stop Hawaii quarterback Inoke Funaki, who is as dangerous scrambling out of the pocket as former Warriors quarterback Colt Brennan was at picking apart opposing secondaries through the air last year.
Funaki threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead Hawaii to a 24-14 win over Louisiana Tech last week. So far this season, the junior has rushed for 200 yards on 50 carries.
The Broncos' defense, allowing a WAC-best 11.2 points per game, has played well against mobile quarterbacks so far this season, holding Oregon's Darron Thomas and Southern Miss' Austin Davis in check. In last year's game, Boise State blitzed frequently to keep Brennan off balance.
But this year, the Broncos, leery of how a mobile quarterback can wreak havoc on even the most disciplined scheme, may focus more on containing Funaki than trying to disrupt his passing rhythm.
``You can be doing all the things right and he can take off and make a big play ... and then your confidence is shot,'' Petersen said. ``Those scrambling quarterbacks ... are always a problem.''