Hawaii's Travis LaBoy wrapped up UTEP's Jon Schaper yesterday. Schaper escaped, but threw an interception on the play.
EL PASO, Texas >> Hawaii practices its fake-punt play at almost every practice. The Warriors finally put it into action last night in their 31-6 win at Texas-El Paso.
By Dave Reardon
Chad Kapanui's pass to Kilinahe Noa resulted in a 70-yard gain to the UTEP 3. Shawn Withy-Allen carried for a TD on the next play, giving UH a 21-6 lead with 2 minutes, 51 seconds left in the third quarter.
"The fake punt was a big play for them," UTEP safety D.J. Walker said. "It was a good decision and it was definitely a turning point in the game."
For all intents and purposes, the Miners were done.
"In life, you have to be willing to take risks and do things out of the ordinary," Warriors coach June Jones said. "We knew we were going to run a fake at some point because of the way they line up."
The Miners double-teamed the Warriors' gunners (the ends who rush downfield to meet the punt returner), leaving an opening for a pass to Noa, who is one of the blocking wings.
"It's a judgment play," said Kapanui, who calls the signals on the punt team. "It was set up right for it to work, so we did it."
The Warriors were facing fourth down and 3 at their own 27, and their last eight passes were incomplete.
"I knew I would be open and had to catch it," Noa said. "I just went out for a pass and caught it."
Pisa's pick: UH linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa's first-quarter interception was the first of his three-year career. He did some nifty running from the Hawaii 36 into the UTEP end zone, apparently giving the Warriors the game's first score. But the return was called back because of a clipping penalty.
Tinoisamoa smiled when asked if he was auditioning for running back.
"No, I know my role on this team," the former San Diego high school offensive player of the year said. "I just wanted to show some of the guys that I really did play some offense in high school."
Injury report: Cornerback Abraham Elimimian suffered a right hamstring pull in the second half, and is diagnosed as day-to-day.
Tinoisamoa left the game in the second half with cramps, but is not expected to miss any practices.
Short yardage: Houston Ala, Keith Bhonapha and La'anui Correa all got sacks for Hawaii. After leading tackler safety Hyrum Peters with 13, linebacker Chris Brown had 10, and tackle Isaac Sopoaga, Elimimian and linebacker Matt Wright were in on seven stops each. ... The Warriors' 11 penalties for 115 yards was their most since they were flagged 15 times for 168 yards last year against Brigham Young. ... Thero Mitchell's fumble near the end of the first half was the first in his college career. ... UH athletic director Herman Frazier will go to NCAA and WAC meetings in Dallas this week. He said one of his priorities while there is finding future opponents. ... Former Hawaii receiver Kyle Mosley, now a resident of Arizona, attended last night's game. ... Inside receiver Britton Komine has caught touchdown passes in all three of UH's games.