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Hawaii 5-0: Warriors live up to hype so far

University of Hawaii football coach June Jones has been around the game long enough to not get caught up in the hype — and plenty of it has surrounded his Warriors this year.

Quarterback Colt Brennan entered the season with a truckful of national offensive and passing records and was tabbed as a candidate to win the Heisman Trophy.

An ankle injury to Brennan earlier in the year only added more to the attention.

Then came the No. 16 ranking for the undefeated Warriors, and then talk began of Hawaii having its best team ever.

"We don't pay much attention to it. It is great for the media and everyone else," Jones said of the national ranking. "Until the end of the year, I'm not going to worry abut it. No one is going to say, 'Hey, they were ranked 15th in Week 5.' That is going to be forgotten."

Wide receiver Ryan Grice-Mullin agreed.

"That's a great honor. I'm not going to lie and say it's not," he told the Hawaii Star-Bulletin. "It's definitely cool and all that, but we've still gotta work. It's only five games, and our journey's not over yet."

Next up for the Warriors (5-0, 2-0) is Utah State (0-5, 0-1).

"We're definitely not going to take any team lightly," Grice-Mullin said.

Jones takes the same no-nonsense approach when dealing with Brennan's run for the nation's top individual award.

"I don't really pay much attention to that," the coach said. "His chances are based more on us winning."

The Warriors have been winning big. In five games, they have yet to score fewer than 45 points. They rank second in points (54.6) and passing offense (448.20) and seventh in total offense (531.40).

"What scares me more than anything is their offense," Utah State coach Brent Guy said. "They're scoring over 60 points both times they've been home on the island and over 40 in games off the island."

In their last two games against Utah State, the Warriors have scored 50 (2005 in Hawaii) and 63 (last year in Logan).

"Last year was last year. That's something I've been treating my whole career is that after that game is over, it's over, move on to the next game," Utah State receiver Kevin Robinson said. "I haven't really given too much thought into what happened last year. I just know last year we lost. I'm going into this year like it's a whole new game and start from there."

In the easy win over Utah State last year, Brennan threw for 486 yards as the Warriors tallied 572 yards total offense.

Utah State leads the all-time series 4-3 and is 2-2 in Hawaii, but the Aggies haven't won a game in the series since 1966.


E-mail: jhinton@desnews.com