Scouting Report: Hawaii

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Opponent #1: Hawaii Warriors (formerly known as the Rainbows or Rainbow Warriors)

2009 Record: 6-7 (3-5 in the Wac)

Series History: 6-0 USC (Last meeting: 63-17 Trojans in 2005)

Head Coach: Greg McMackin (3rd year)

McMackin took over for June Jones, who he assisted as his defensive coordinator.  He's 13-14 as the Warriors head man, including taking Hawaii to a bowl game in 2008. 

Players to Watch: WR Greg Salas (Senior, Chino, CA); QB Bryant Moniz (Junior, Wahiawa, HI)

Salas caught a ridiculous 106 balls last season for 1,590 yards and 8 TDs.  He plays the slot position, so expect freshman Nickell Robey to be thrown right into the fire against the Warriors star.

Moniz is a Fresno City College transfer, who passed for 2,396 yards and 14 TDs in '09 in eight starts.  As a product of their system, he completed 57.1% of his passes.

Strength: Spread Offense

"It's always something in our favor, you don't see it very much, " Greg McMackin said on a media teleconference.  "They've had time to work on us and study us.  I know they'll have a good plan for us and be a real challenge."

The Trojans will have at least five defensive backs on the field for nearly every snap to counter Hawaii's aerial attack.  With Robey on the slot receiver, Torin Harris will get an opportunity to shine on the outside opposite Shareece Wright.

Weakness: Line of Scrimmage

The Trojans should be able to overpower the Warriors on both sides of the ball.  Hawaii's offensive line is in transition particularly at the guard and center spots, so they're unlikely to find a lot of juice in their power run game, but they don't really emphasize that part of the gameplan anyway.

Defensively, Kiffin noted that the Warriors tend to gamble and move around a lot.  If the Trojans keep it simple, they should wear down Hawaii in the early evening heat as Marc Tyler and Allen Bradford pound the rock.

Hawaii Verdict

McMackin expects 40,000 plus fans to shake Aloha Stadium.  If they can get an early lead, they'll hope the momentum of the raucous crowd will unnerve the young Trojans.

They always put up yardage through the pass (3rd in the nation last season), but they'll need to convert sustained drives into touchdowns. 

Defensively, they don't have the talent to match the Trojans, so they'll need to force turnovers by confusing Matt Barkley or taking advantage of USC's tackle-free fall camp.

The all-time combined score between these two teams is 297-67 in favor of the Trojans, so this would be a monumental upset.


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