Wednesday, November 17, 1999
TODAY'S RAINBOW NOTEBOOK
Anderson is center
Air Force next opponentIt's not often a lineman is the center of attention, but for the Hawaii defensive unit, Naval Academy snapper Terrence Anderson is somebody to avoid.
"This guy is sweet," middle linebacker Jeff Ulbrich said of Anderson after this morning's practice. "He has a great motor and can flat out knock you down.
"We were watching the tape of the Notre Dame game and their linebackers were no match for this guy. He knocked them off their feet all afternoon."
Anderson recently was awarded a National Football Foundation scholarship for his work in the classroom. The 5-foot-11, 285-pounder from Stillwater, Okla., has a chance to be an All-American this year for his efforts on the football field.
"Terrence Anderson is as good, if not better, than any center in America," ESPN analyst Mike Gottfried said. "I know I didn't see a better center in the games we did on ESPN."
You won't get any argument from defensive tackle Tony Tuioti. Like Ulbrich, he's watched film of the economics major and is a believer the senior center is among the best nationally.
"He has great feet," Tuioti said. "An offensive lineman with great footwork makes it tough on defensive linemen and linebackers because he's balanced."
Navy head coach Charlie Weatherbie is Anderson's biggest fan. The midline option and fullback dives are keyed off Anderson's blocks downfield.
"He's not only a great player, but a great kid," Weatherbie said. "He's smart in the classroom and on the field. He makes our offense go."
Safeties Nate Jackson and Dee Miller took part in practice today, trying to forget about the bumps and bruises the pair suffered in the victory over Fresno State.
Jackson had his wobbly knee lightly wrapped. It's the same one that was operated on early in the season to repair slight ligament damage. He's expected to play in this Saturday night's game with Navy at Aloha Stadium.
So is Miller. His ankle is tender as is defensive lineman Lui Fuga's sprained foot. He took part in today's practice, but his limp was noticeable.
"We don't have any major injuries, just a lot of aggravating bumps and bruises," UH head coach June Jones said. "We've been fortunate not to have any more major injuries than we've had. But our depth on defense is being tested."
Hawaii will be without the services of safety Phil Austin (hamstring) and defensive lineman Matt Elam (stress fracture). Austin is involved in all of Hawaii's nickel packages, something the Rainbows probably won't use that much against the option attack of the Midshipmen.
"But we'll miss his leadership," UH defensive coordinator Greg McMackin said. "Hopefully, he can make it back in time for the bowl game next month."
UH quarterback Dan Robinson has broken so many passing marks this season, the sports information department keeps the record book handy in case another one is about to be erased.
So far this season, Robinson has broken 16 records and now has his sights set on the all-time passing mark of 5,631 yards held by Garrett Gabriel.
Robinson needs only 377 yards in his last two games to surpass Gabriel, who needed four years to set his. Robinson is only in his second full season under center.
"That alone tells you how long my records will stand," Robinson said. "Some young gun will come in here and really do some damage if he plays four full seasons.
"I don't really care about those records. The only one that matters to me is victories. As long as we keep winning, I'm happy."
That sentiment was echoed by offensive lineman Andy Phillips. He and his fellow big uglies are responsible for keeping Robinson on his feet.
"Dan cares about winning and we care about keeping Dan healthy," Phillips said. "This is a team game where individual records don't really matter. All we want to do is keep putting up the Ws."
By Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin
RAINBOW FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
Bows winningWhat's good for the University of Hawaii football team is good for the state as well, says Gov. Ben Cayetano.
ways rub off
Cayetano, responding to the UH's 31-24 victory that claimed a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship last Saturday night, said UH coach June Jones' remarkable turnaround of a 0-12 team last year to a record of 7-3 with two games left to play this year has been an "incredible force of optimism" for the state.
He said a winning football program does affect the state because it changes the outlook of people. Cayetano said former Gov. John Burns put it best when Burns stated the UH athletic program was important to the morale of the community.
"I think any time something positive happens in the state, it kind of rubs off and affects people's attitudes in other areas," he said.
Cayetano said Jones' sincere love for Hawaii and level of skill and innovation has been key to the Rainbows' success. He praised Jones for taking full responsibility and not making excuses for what happens to the football team.
And Jones has worked hard to create a foundation for university athletics that other faculty should take note of, said Cayetano, who attended the game.
"I've gotten to know June very, very well," he said. "We could use another hundred like him, maybe a thousand.
"That victory was really something to behold. I felt very, very touched for the players. To see them jumping around and hugging and kissing each other like kids, that's what college is football and athletics is all about."
Injury reportA good portion of the Hawaii defense spent yesterday morning's practice on the sidelines, nursing a variety of injuries.
The most serious was to senior safety Phil Austin, who will miss the remainder of the regular season with a nasty hamstring pull.
Jones said he was hopeful Austin could be back for the bowl game, but that is questionable.
"I hope I can make it back by then," Austin said. "But it doesn't look good. I'm very disappointed to end my college career like this. I pulled it on a kickoff coverage."
Austin isn't the only player feeling the effects of a long season. Safeties Dee Miller (ankle) and Nate Jackson (knee) are probable, but Jones said neither will be at full speed for Saturday's game with Navy.
"What worries me is we're going into a tough, physical game kind of beat up," Jones said. "You don't want to play a team that primarily runs the ball when you're not at full speed. These guys could get hurt worse playing an option team like Navy's."
Jackson missed the first part of the season with a sprained knee. He reaggravated it in the victory over Fresno State. Jones also said that defensive lineman Lui Fuga reinjured his sprained foot that sidelined him for the San Jose State game.
The Rainbows also will be without Matt Elam (stress fracture). The defensive lineman could be out for the season. Tony Tuioti (back) will be slowed as well.
"We've got a lot of guys down on defense, but we're not out," UH defensive coordinator Greg McMackin said. "We're hopeful most of those guys will be in there on Saturday."
Moving on upHawaii moved up to No. 69 in this week's Matthews/Scripps Howard News Service college football computer power rankings with a rating of 86.91.
By comparison, Florida State is ranked No. 1 with a rating of 115.19. That means at a neutral site, the Seminoles would be favored by about 30 points.
Navy comes in at No. 77 with a power rating of 85.79. Give Hawaii four points for being at home and the Rainbows should be favored by five. This morning's Las Vegas line finds the Midshipmen a three-point choice.
By Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin
Star-Bulletin reporter Pat Omandam contributed to this report