Sports Notebook

Thursday, October 4, 2001


Warriors still tinkering
with defensive lineup

By Dave Reardon

The Hawaii football team continues to adjust its defense, trying to find the right combination of personnel.

Outside linebacker Matt Wright and cornerback Abraham Elimimian have impressed the coaches and steadily gained playing time. Both have worked out extensively with the first team this week in practice and might start at Southern Methodist on Saturday, defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa said yesterday.

"Matt's competing with Keani Alapa and Abraham with Kelvin Millhouse," Lempa said. "They might start, but we won't decide until later in the week."

Elimimian, a 5-foot 10-inch, 175-pound redshirt freshman from Los Angeles, has made six tackles in three games, including one for a loss.

Wright, a 6-0, 215-pound junior from Iolani School and Kailua, has been in on five stops in two games.

Quarterback shuffle:

With starter Tim Chang out for at least this game with a sprained right (throwing) wrist, junior Shawn Withy-Allen will make the trip as the third quarterback. He's behind Saturday's starter, Nick Rolovich, and backup Jared Flint.

Withy-Allen has yet to play in a game.

Hunter hurting:

Sophomore defensive end Wayne Hunter did not practice yesterday or Tuesday because of back spasms. But he is still making the trip and might play on Saturday.

Senior defensive end/ linebacker Joe Correia has returned to practice after another foot injury. He and senior safety Nate Jackson (concussion) are expected to play Saturday.

Branching out:

UH will have at least one fan at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Saturday morning. Former Rainbow wide receiver and kick returner Darrick Branch, who is from Dallas, said he will be at the game.

Branch has played for the Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena League the past three seasons. He also recently took a job as a regional director for Bally Fitness.

Short yardage:

SMU's Chris Cunningham has caught a pass in all 25 games he's played in. ... UH true freshman slotback Nate Ilaoa said he expects to redshirt this season. Ilaoa said he doesn't plan to interrupt his college career with his Mormon mission. ... Jones said Chang's wrist showed a little bit more range of motion yesterday. The quarterback will undergo another X-ray next Monday before he can be cleared to practice again. ... SMU's Jonas Rutledge leads the WAC in kickoff returning with a 36.0 average.

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