About 2,000 Hawaii football fans showed up in Seattle on Saturday to watch the Warriors in a 40-32 loss against Washington, but their support often was drowned out in the din that is Husky Stadium.
They probably won’t be drowned out this Saturday.
A crowd in the low 20,000 range is projected for UNLV’s home opener against Hawaii at Sam Boyd Stadium, with about 7,000 Warriors fans expected to attend.
"It’s always tough to play on the road, but when you see a good crowd, it helps a lot with momentum, getting the crowd behind you, cheering you on," Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz said. "UNLV is always a 50-50 crowd, so that’s a very exciting crowd."
The Warriors are practicing this week at Bishop Gorman High School. Staying in Las Vegas allows them to avoid the jet lag of flying back and forth to Honolulu.
Moniz said tutors help with school work, including administering tests.
Hawaii joins the Mountain West Conference next year in football only, adding to an already special connection between the Rebels (0-2) and Warriors (1-1).
Some of UNLV’s largest home crowds have been for games against Hawaii, including 38,125 in 2007, the fourth-highest turnout. The three games above it, including the record 42,075 in 2002, have been against Wisconsin.
"They call Vegas the ninth island because there are so many local people that love to come here," Moniz said. "A lot of local people live here now. It’s an important game for us."
UNLV sophomore quarterback Caleb Herring played all the snaps in two blowout losses, as junior college transfer Sean Reilly remained on the sideline. "We discussed (playing Reilly), but the fact of the matter is we’ve got a young quarterback, and the more game (repetitions) he gets, the better he’s going to be," UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said. Herring ran the pistol offense at Washington State, even though only third-string quarterback Taylor Barnhill operated it in training camp. … Ian Bobak’s blocked field goal against the Cougars was UNLV’s first since Malo Taumua in 2008, which secured an overtime upset victory at Arizona State. … Hawaii leading receiver Jeremiah Ostrowski, who has 19 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown, had his right foot in a walking boot and did not practice Wednesday. If he doesn’t play, Terence Bell probably will start. … Warriors coach Greg McMackin owns a home in Summerlin.
UNLV’s defensive line vs. Hawaii’s offensive line
The Warriors start an entirely new offensive line this season. They expected left tackle Austin Hansen back, but the NCAA suspended him for the rest of the regular season because of an undisclosed violation. UNLV, which has only two sacks in two games, must pressure Moniz to have any hope of slowing the Warriors’ run-and-shoot offense.
|(Supplied by UNLV)|
MARK ANDERSON/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL