Sunday, November 4, 2001
[ UH WARRIOR FOOTBALL ]
UH finds a wayThe shootout never really materialized, but Hawaii's offense survived a lackluster first half and its defense worked overtime as UH beat San Jose State 34-10 last night at Aloha Stadium.
past San Jose
Hawaii overcomes 4 turnovers to
get its fifth straight win
Brown's belief spurs on Laboy
By Dave Reardon
A rain-soaked 33,923 watched as the Warriors never trailed but let the Spartans stick around until UH broke it open with three second-half touchdowns.
"We didn't play our best game, but we won, so we're getting to be a better football team," UH coach June Jones said. "I think if we had been on top of things we would have put them away earlier."
Hawaii (6-2, 5-2 WAC) won its fifth consecutive game for the first time since 1984. But UH is probably out of a shot at a share of the conference title because of Louisiana Tech's victory over Boise State yesterday. The Spartans (2-6, 2-3), who had similar but very slim hopes, are definitely out of the race.
UH's defense yielded only 375 yards on 87 plays (compared to 58 plays for Hawaii's offense), resulting in only one touchdown and one field goal to a team that had scored 63 and 40 points in its last two games -- not to mention 57 points in beating UH last year.
"I was nervous at the beginning of the week," Hawaii defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa said. "But then I said, I don't know why I'm nervous. They didn't play us. This is not the same team as last year."
The Warriors, who had lost only two fumbles in their seven previous games, gave it up three times on the ground and quarterback Nick Rolovich was intercepted by the Spartans' Ricky Lavender -- all in the first half.
But San Jose State was unable to take advantage of Hawaii's mistakes, and made several of its own. Three Hawaii interceptions of Clint Carlson -- two by Kelvin Millhouse and one by Jacob Espiau -- led to UH scores or, in the case of Millhouse's second pick, iced the game.
Espiau's interception gave Hawaii the momentum to keep with 8 minutes and 28 seconds left in the third quarter.
"There were three of us jousting for the ball," said Espiau, who along with safety Robert Grant sandwiched Spartan receiver Rashied Davis in the UH end zone on the play. "Someone had to come down with it. Lucky it was me."
Lucky because the acrobatic play got UH the ball back when San Jose State appeared to be driving for the lead. The Warriors held a tenuous 13-10 advantage at the time.
But four plays after Espiau's interception, Thero Mitchell ran 18 yards for the first of his two touchdowns. Rolovich hit Ashley Lelie on a 49-yard bomb to account for most of the 80-yard drive.
Mitchell's second TD, a 20-yard run, came after a three-possession field position battle that Hawaii won with big thanks to Mat McBriar's 61-yard punt and Sean Butts' tackle of return man Alex Wallace for a 1-yard loss at the Spartans' 9. Mitchell's eighth rushing score of the season made it 27-10 with 10:45 left in the game.
Justin Colbert scored on a 39-yard pass from Rolovich with 6:20 left.
Once again, Rolovich started slowly but finished strong. He completed 18 of 35 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns.
"They switched up what we thought they'd do," said Rolovich, who is 5-0 as Hawaii's starting quarterback this season. "We had to read each play and we couldn't get comfortable because they gave us a bunch of different looks. But we ended up doing what we needed to do."
Hawaii's defense played most of the game without starting linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who injured his lower right leg, and all of it without starting cornerback Abraham Elimimian, who had sprained his right ankle against Fresno State last week.
But Tinoisamoa's replacement, Keani Alapa, made a game-high 13 tackles.
"I can't do what Pisa does," Alapa said. "But everybody stepped up a level. Everybody played a great game today."
Espiau was in on 11 stops, safety Nate Jackson and linebacker Chris Brown 10 as the Warriors defense was on the field for nearly two-thirds of the game.
Defensive end Travis Laboy had three tackles for losses among his nine stops.
Brown left the game in the first half but returned after injuring his right shoulder.
Justin Ayat kicked field goals of 37 and 35 yards and Rolovich hit Craig Stutzmann for an 18-yard touchdown pass immediately after Millhouse's second interception of the season to account for a 13-3 first-half lead.
San Jose State closed to 13-10 at 12:42 of the third quarter when Jarmar Julien -- who finished with 124 yards rushing -- scored on a 5-yard run. It was only the fourth rushing TD against Hawaii this season.
"We couldn't cash in," Spartans coach Fitz Hill said. "We moved the ball, had 20 first downs, but didn't execute and didn't make plays. That's all you can say. There's no excuse for that."
CONFERENCE OVERALL W L PF PA W L PF PA Str La. Tech 5 1 239 186 5 3 303 264 W2 Hawaii 5 2 256 152 6 2 286 164 W4 Boise St. 4 2 223 157 5 4 301 243 L1 Fresno St. 3 2 191 143 7 2 316 231 W1 Rice 3 2 167 161 6 3 227 249 L2 San Jose St. 2 3 150 154 2 6 190 279 W2 Nevada 2 3 142 161 2 6 179 275 W1 SMU 2 4 125 178 2 5 142 204 L1 UTEP 1 4 92 198 2 6 157 286 L4 Tulsa 0 5 80 203 1 7 138 285 L7
Hawaii 34, San Jose State 10
Louisiana Tech 48, Boise State 42
Nevada 35, SMU 14
Fresno State 52, Rice 24
Oklahoma 58, Tulsa 0 (nonconference)
Tulsa at Rice
Fresno State at SMU
Nevada at San Jose Stat
Louisiana Tech at UTEP
Boise State at Hawaii
San Jose State 0 3 7 0 10 Hawaii 3 10 7 14 34
Haw--FG Ayat 37, 2:49.
Haw--FG Ayat 35, 14:51.
SJS--FG Gilliam 44, 7:27.
Haw--Stutzmann 18 pass from Rolovich, (Ayat kick), 4:22.
SJS--Julien 5 run, (Gilliam kick), 12:42.
Haw--Mitchell 18 run, (Ayat kick), 7:12
Haw--Mitchell 20 run, (Ayat kick), 10:45.
Haw--Colbert 39 from Rolovich, (Ayat kick), 6:20.
SJS Haw First downs 20 16 Rushes-yards 40-124 20-85 Passing 251 318 Comp-Att-Int 24-47-3 19-38-1 Return Yards 19 79 Punts-Avg. 8-29.0 3-53.3 Fumbles-Lost 1-0 4-3 Penalties-Yards 11-78 4-40 Time of Possession 39:30 20:30
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICSRUSHING -- San Jose State: Julien 23-124, Whitaker 2-8, Pauley 1-7, Cunningham 2-4, Carlson 7-(-8), Ferguson 5-(-11). Hawaii: Mitchell 4-47, Misipeka 2-11, Bass 4-8, Rolovich 3-7, Galeai 3-5, Kauka 2-5, Stutzmann 1-3, Ala 1-(-1).
PASSING -- San Jose State: Carlson 22-44-3-245, Arroyo 2-3-0-6. Hawaii: Rolovich 18-35-1-307, Flint 1-3-0-11.
RECEIVING -- San Jose State: Wooden 9-87, Shepard 7-94, Pauley 4-45, Walden 3-25, Whitaker 1-0. Hawaii: Colbert 6-108, Harris 6-82, Stutzmann 3-59, Lelie 2-57, Gossett 1-11, Bass 1-1.
Espiau's pick took away certain San Jose scoreJacob Espiau's leaping interception in the Hawaii end zone 6 minutes and 32 seconds into the third quarter last night was more than a spectacular-looking play. It also took San Jose State's momentum away when the Spartans had a chance to go ahead for the only time.
With the ball on the Hawaii 26, Travis Laboy got his hand in quarterback Clint Carlson's face as he unloaded for receiver Rashied Davis in the end zone. Espiau beat Davis in a battle for the ball, giving UH the ball at its 20.
The Warriors then took control of the game. Nick Rolovich hit Ashley Lelie on a 49-yard pass to set up an 18-yard TD run by Thero Mitchell, making it 20-10 Hawaii.
Broncos come into town as desperate as HawaiiBoise State comes to town this week after a big downer at Louisiana Tech yesterday.
The Broncos' 48-42 loss to the Bulldogs seriously damages Boise State's (5-4, 4-2 WAC) hopes for a share of the Western Athletic Conference title -- as well as those of several other teams, including Hawaii.
Louisiana Tech (5-3, 5-1) does not play UH this season.
Saturday's game marks the first time Hawaii and Boise State play as WAC opponents. UH is 2-0 against BSU.
Broncos quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie went into yesterday's games leading the WAC in passing efficiency.
Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin
Ka Leo O Hawaii