Hawaii head coach June Jones thinks Jerry Glanville deserves some of the credit for the Warriors’ strides on defense even though Glanville left two years ago.
“He kind of got us back to playing hard-nosed, tough football,” Jones said.
Defensive coordinator Greg Madkin, a former defensive coordinator at the University of Miami and in the NFL, has taken up where Glanville left off, and the Warriors are starting to show some progress finally on defense.
Hawaii was 93rd in the nation last year in total defense but rose to 33rd this year, allowing 348.9 yards per game. It improved from 69th nationally in scoring defense to 40th despite allowing slightly more points per game.
“They have really made some great strides on defense,” said Boise State head coach Chris Peterson. “They are aggressive. They really attack you. Their defense has tightened up, and you have to score with them so when their defense is playing well, they are tough to beat.”
“I think their defense is more sound than it’s ever been,” said another WAC coach, Fresno State’s Pat Hill.
The Warriors’ defense is led by linebacker Solomon Elimimian, who has 132 tackles, including 11 for loss.
“They play hard, run to the ball,” Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “They are not overly sophisticated in what they do, but they do what they do well so it’s going to be a challenge.”