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UH Football Picked 5th In West Division; Tavai Preseason All-MW

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(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i football team was picked to finish fifth in the West Division of the Mountain West's preseason poll as voted by the league's media while senior linebacker Jahlani Tavai was the Rainbow Warriors' lone representative on the all-conference team.
 
UH, which finished 3-9 last season, received 45 points ahead of San José State (25) but trailed preseason favorite Fresno State (126), San Diego State (116), UNLV (78), and Nevada (72). The Bulldogs garnered 16 of 22 first place votes while the Aztecs received six.
 
In the Mountain Division, Boise State earned all 22 first place votes and 132 points followed by Wyoming (95), Colorado State (82), Utah State (78), Air Force (52), and New Mexico (23).
 
The two divisional winners will meet in the MW Championship Game on Dec. 1 with the host now being the team with the highest winning percentage in conference games only and head-to-head competition serving as the first tiebreaker. The new structure was announced by the league on Monday.
 
Tavai, a senior from Inglewood, Calif., was a second-team all-MW pick last season, marking the second straight year in which he earned all-conference honors. He led the team with 124 tackles, which ranked 10th nationally, and also finished among the MW's Top 10 in sacks (5.5) and tackles-for-loss (11.0).
 
Also on Tuesday, Tavai was selected to the watch list of the Bronko Nagurski Award after being named to the watch list of the Butkus Award on Monday.
 
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
 
Mountain Division
Rank Team (first-place votes) Points
1. Boise State (22) - 132
2. Wyoming 95
3. Colorado State 82
4. Utah State 78
5. Air Force 52
6. New Mexico 23
 
West Division
Rank Team (first-place votes) Points
1. Fresno State (16) 126
2. San Diego State (6) 116
3. UNLV 78
4. Nevada 72
5. Hawai'i 45
6. San José State 25
 
 
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
 
Offense
QB  Brett Rypien, Boise State
WR KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State
WR McLane Mannix, Nevada
RB Alexander Mattison, Boise State
RB Lexington Thomas, UNLV
OL Ezra Cleveland, Boise State
OL John Molchon, Boise State
OL Aaron Jenkins, New Mexico
OL Keith Ismael, San Diego State
OL Tyler Roemer, San Diego State
TE Dax Raymond, Utah State
 
Defense
DL David Moa, Boise State
DL Curtis Weaver, Boise State
DL Youhanna Ghaifan, Wyoming
DL Carl Granderson, Wyoming
LB Jeffrey Allison, Fresno State
LB Jahlani Tavai, Hawai'i
LB Malik Reed, Nevada
DB Tyler Horton, Boise State
DB Dameon Baber, Nevada
DB Tariq Thompson, San Diego State
DB Andrew Wingard, Wyoming
 
Specialists
P Ryan Stonehouse, Colorado State
PK Dominik Eberle, Utah State
KR/PR Avery Williams, Boise State
 
Offensive Player of the Year: Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State
Defensive Player of the Year: Andrew Wingard, DB, Wyoming
Special Teams Player of the Year: Avery Williams, KR/PR, Boise State