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Bill Kwon

Sports Watch

By Bill Kwon

Thursday, September 16, 1999



’Bows still have a
long way to go

CHASING Rainbows. Hawaii's football team has a long way to go, as head coach June Jones will be the first to admit. The road to respectability won't be traveled overnight, certainly not in Jones' first year. That would be too much to ask.

But you've got to chuckle at what the football 'Bows did by beating Eastern Illinois last Saturday night to erase the stigma of owning the nation's longest losing streak.

They might not be overnight wonders. Yet, with their victory, they went from owning the nation's longest losing streak to having the only winning streak among Western Athletic Conference teams.

OK, so the other seven WAC teams lost last week. And, boy, did they lose. They gave up 309 points to nonconference foes, an average of 44.1 points a game.

It won't get any better for the WAC this Saturday:

Texas-El Paso is at Kansas State, Rice at Texas, Tulsa at Texas A&M and Fresno State at UCLA.

Wanna bet that those four WAC teams will be hard pressed not to give up 44 points a game in going 0-for-4?

San Jose State should beat Division I-AA St. Mary's for the only victory that the WAC can count on this week.

I haven't forgotten the Rainbows. They're 6-point underdogs to visiting Boise State, but they do have a good shot at winning their second straight.

No, I'm not smoking anything funny kine.

OF course, the play of the UH defense and kickoff-return team will have to improve dramatically for that to happen.

"We will have to play a whole lot better than we did last week to win," Jones said.

It was certainly disturbing to see EIU rack up BYU-like numbers on offense against the defenseless Rainbows.

Figure on Boise State, a WAC wannabe, doing much of the same.

The good thing, though, is that the Rainbows have finally found out what it feels like to win a football game. And, having shaken the long losing streak that hung over them, the 'Bows, Jones feels, can now play with a little less fear when they take the field.

Actually, I have more confidence in the football 'Bows in their game against Boise State than the Rainbow Wahine in their volleyball match tonight against Long Beach State at Stan Sheriff Center.

And I'm talking about an unbeaten Wahine team that doesn't know how it feels to lose yet this season. The Wahine looked impressive in dispatching UCLA and Southern Cal (take that, Trojan fans) in starting out 6-0 this season.

Of course, the 49ers, also off to a 7-0 start, have an awesome winning streak of 42 victories in a row going, including an unbeaten season last year en route to the national championship.

THE nation's longest losing streak among Division I-A teams now belongs to Kent, which has lost 15 in a row.

Thanks to its 62-7 victory over Hawaii, USC tops the NCAA statistics in team scoring. The Trojans figure to stay right up there among the leaders as they host San Diego State this Saturday. They're favored by 22 points, but the margin of victory should be considerably larger.

The Aztecs still won't be much of a test to determine how good the Trojans are this season.

They probably won't win over any skeptics until they beat UCLA.

For UH's sake, especially after that 62-7 drubbing, let's hope that USC wins the Pac-10 championship. That should make Rainbow fans feel a whole lot better about losing that badly to the Trojans.



Bill Kwon has been writing
about sports for the Star-Bulletin since 1959.
bkwon@starbulletin.com



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