[ UH WARRIOR FOOTBALL ]
Pisa Tinoisamoa's stress-fractured right leg wasn't the only thing bothering him Saturday night
Tinoisamoa toughs it out
on the sideline
By Dave Reardon
The Hawaii outside linebacker felt the pain of his defensive teammates as they came out of UH's 52-30 victory over Air Force with injuries, only to return to the action despite their battered bodies.
Chris Brown. Matt Wright. Nate Jackson. Contusion. Knee. Stinger.
They all left and re-entered the fray. Then there were Travis Laboy (ankle) and Keani Alapa (shoulder); they didn't start because of injuries, but came in and helped slow the Falcons just enough. And that's not even taking into account several other Warriors who have played through pain all season.
"I felt kind of helpless, watching what other people are doing out there," Tinoisamoa said. "But the guys stuck it out and won. What guys like Chris are going through make my injury seem minor by comparison.
Tinoisamoa, who was enjoying a breakthrough season, has played only one down in the Warriors' last four games. He was among the leading tacklers in the Western Athletic Conference. He was originally diagnosed as out for the season, but hopes he can play in the season-closing game Dec. 8 against Brigham Young.
"They're doing some more X-rays on the bone sometime this week," Tinoisamoa said. "I've been doing a lot of jogging, but can't run full-speed yet. That's when it tends to ache."
Tinoisamoa also said he is looking into trying to get back the freshman season of eligibility he lost because of a high school class that didn't count toward NCAA requirements. Tinoisamoa, who is a junior in eligibility now, said he might be able to get the year back if he graduates in four years.
"I'm not sure how many credits I would have to take (per semester), but I know I have my work cut out for me," he said.
Hello, bye: UH defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa is grateful the Warriors have this week off.
"If we had to play we'd be in serious trouble," he said. "Everyone's banged up."
The Hawaii defense was so decimated last week that backup fullback Jonathan Kauka ended up playing defensive tackle. Also, backup linebackers Donny Faaliliu and Bobby Morgan played at positions for which they didn't practice.
Lempa said he wasn't discouraged that the defense gave up more than 600 yards for the second week in a row.
"The only stat that counts is a win," Lempa said. "In order to win on defense, you need to get turnovers. If you look through the stats, the teams that win are the ones that get turnovers.
Hawaii has now forced 28 turnovers and given it up 21 times this season.
Short yardage: Around 9,000 tickets are still available for the BYU game, according to a representative at the Aloha Stadium ticket office. ... Hawaii has scored in 31 of the last 32 periods (counting an overtime session), including the last eight in a row.
Ka Leo O Hawaii