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Hawaii FB picked seventh in MWC

July 24, 2012 - Robert Collias
Here is a copy of a story I just put together for tomorrow's paper:

LAS VEGAS — The University of Hawaii football team was picked to finish seventh in the 10-team Mountain West Conference in a media poll released Tuesday.

“You have to go play the games,” UH head coach Norm Chow said on the school’s athletic website. “Obviously the teams that got picked ahead deserve it. I think our goal is to be the best we can be. We're going to worry about ourselves and not worry about our opponents. Obviously we do schematically, but our goal is to be the best we can be.”

Boise State was predicted to capture the title. The Broncos garnered 27 first-place votes, and earned a total of 296 points in a poll of 30 media members. Boise State posted a 12-1 overall mark in 2011, finishing sixth in the USA Today/Coaches poll and eighth in the Associated Press.

Hawaii finished with 116 points in the poll and had one selection to the preseason all-conference team — senior defensive lineman Paipai Falemalu.

“I'm kind of shocked to be part of that group,” said Falemalu, who along with junior defensive back Mike Edwards represented UH at the media days. “It's an honor.”

Fresno State junior quarterback Derek Carr is the preseason offensive player of the year, and San Diego State senior defensive back Leon McFadden is the preseason defensive player of the year.

The Broncos return five starters from an offensive unit that ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense last year and ninth in total offense. Three starters return for the Boise State defense, which ranked 12th nationally in scoring defense and 16th in total defense. Nevada, which enters its first season in the Mountain West, was picked second in the media poll. The Wolf Pack return six starters on an offense that finished last season ranked sixth nationally in total offense and eighth in the country in rushing.

Fresno State was picked third and Wyoming was fourth. San Diego State claimed fifth and the remaining first-place vote, Air Force was sixth, Hawaii seventh, Colorado State eighth, UNLV ninth, and New Mexico 10th.

UH opens with Pac-12 favorite USC on Sept. 1 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Trojans are garnering preseason No. 1 billing from several sources. The Warriors’ first home game is against Lamar on Sept. 15.

Here is a link to UH's press release on the subject, which includes links to taped interviews with Chow, Falemalu and Edwards, as well as links to MWC releases on the preseason poll and all-conference teams.


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