Hawaii depends on Raphel Cherry, the conference's '83 leader in passing and total offense, and wideout Walter Murray, who caught seven of Cherry's 18 TD passes. Another weapon is Mike Akiu, who has blocked three punts, four field-goal attempts and an extra point in two years. Wyoming, which won its final three games of '83, was one of the youngest teams in the nation. With 30 players coming off a redshirt year, watch out.
Utah was only nine points from going 8-3 last season, and with quarterback Mark Stevens back the Utes should win eight in '84. But Air Force is beginning a new era. Coach Ken Hatfield went to Arkansas, and most of the offense has taken to the wild blue yonder. The new coach is Fisher De-Berry, who had been the offensive coordinator at Appalachian State. His top players are Mike Brown, who averaged 8.5 yards per carry in '83, and defensive tackle Chris Funk.
Colorado State has most of its '83 first-teamers back, including tight end Keli McGregor, who grabbed 69 passes last year, and fullback Steve Bartalo, who gained 1,113 yards. San Diego State is in the middle of changing its program from one that's made up of 75% J.C. transfers to one composed primarily of players recruited out of high school. This year's squad, mostly redshirt freshmen and sophomores, will grow up fast. Three of the Aztecs' first four games are against Air Force, UCLA and Oklahoma State. Texas-El Paso's idea of improvement is losing with more dignity: The Miners were beaten by an average score of 48-6 in 1981 and 35-15 in '82, but only 28-18 in '83.
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