Tape It Up: Hawai'i: Up In The BCS Without A Safety

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Hawai'i: Up In The BCS Without A Safety

Still riding an undefeated season, Hawai'i has moved as high as No. 12 in the AP Poll and No. 14 in the BCS rankings, but with the meat of their schedule still ahead of them and some bad injury news suddenly upon them, the Warriors are not celebrating just yet. Starting safety Keao Monteilh injured his left shoulder in the third quarter of Saturday's win over New Mexico State, and will be out for an extended period of time. Defense is not exactly Hawai'i's strongsuit, so losing anyone from that unit, especially a starter, is not good news.

Monteilh has started all eight games this season, recording 19 tackles, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and two interceptions. He has also been used as a nickelback. After initial X-rays showed that the injury was severe, Monteilh was scheduled to undergo mroe testing on Monday to determine just how long the Warriors will be missing the redshirt junior.

"It took the luster off the win for me," defensive coordinator Greg McMackin said. "He's done such a great job, and he's such a great kid. I feel really bad for him and us."

Luckily, Hawai'i is off this weekend before hitting the final four games of their season, so Monteilh will have some extra time to recover. Still, if the injury is a fracture, as is feared, Monteilh will miss the rest of the year, since the recovery period for that injury is at least six to eight weeks.

"He's sort of the quarterback of our secondary," McMackin said. "He gets everybody organized. He's real valuable."

It looks like the Warriors are going to have to find value elsewhere, but there is some good news in terms of timing. Monteilh had been filling in at the nickelback slot for the past two games, since Ryan Mouton was out with a knee injury. Mouton was healthy enough to play in last week's game, stepping in once Monteilh went down, so the Warriors should not miss a beat on their nickel guy.

As for the starting safety spot, Desmond Thomas will most likely get the start. He was in the hunt with Monteilh for the starting job through training camp, and should be a capable backup.

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