Thursday, October 4, 2001
[ UH FOOTBALL ]
Pisa Tinoisamoa's performance has resembled the stock market of late -- up, down, and up, the future unpredictable.
By Dave Reardon
Hawaii's junior outside linebacker was spectacular in the season opener against Montana but disappeared at Nevada. Last week against Rice, Tinoisamoa again looked like the blue chip he was out of high school in San Diego, playing with discipline and logging eight tackles against the Owls' option attack.
UH (1-2, 0-2 WAC) can't afford another downward trend from Tinoisamoa if it is to beat 5-point favorite Southern Methodist (0-3, 0-1) in Dallas on Saturday.
"We need to have consistent play from him each week," defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa said. "We can't have one good game and one bad game. He's potentially an excellent player."
Tinoisamoa said that is his goal.
"I'm trying to be more focused in practice," the Warriors' leading tackler, with 281/2, said. "Against Nevada I took my job lightly. I didn't really feel like I was going to have a major impact on the game. Now I know every game I have a major role. To develop as a player you have to play the same way every game and to do that you have to practice well."
Tinoisamoa was a major force in Hawaii's 30-15 victory over SMU last season at Aloha Stadium. He made a career-high 15 tackles, including three sacks, on his way to the WAC defensive player of the week award.
"I think I just prepared well last year and was fortunate things worked for the best," he said. "I know they'll have my number this year, I'm expecting to be blocked a lot. But I'm practicing a lot on getting off blocks."
Hawaii coach June Jones said Tinoisamoa is best when he doesn't try to do too much.
"When he plays his assignment and does what he's supposed to do, he plays really well," Jones said. "It's important that everyone play within themselves and don't worry about what other people are doing."