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Kalani Simpson

Sidelines

By Kalani Simpson

Tuesday, October 8, 2002


Lots of (cheap) thoughts


FOURTEEN opinions for the price of one:

>> The radio was all but bouncing yesterday morning, in full "June Jones knows more than me, you, or any of us!" mode.

>> The line of the day went to KKEA's Jo McGarry, when asked why everyone blames the quarterback for a loss, she cut through it all simply, "That's what people do."

She's right. And Timmy Chang knew it before he took the job.

Of course, St. Louis never lost.

>> Shawn Withy-Allen's appearances in the Hawaii offense always provide the potential for a spark. I like what Jones does with Withy-Allen, whose role has gone from necessity to nice change-up. But for everyone (including my dad) who missed seeing Withy-Allen in Saturday's game, I think Boise State took Withy-Allen out of the Hawaii offense more than Jones did.

Being down three touchdowns kind of cuts down on your options. It's not a situation that screams "limited passing offense, running quarterback."

>> When we talk about people who were hyping up this defense, let's not forget that I was one of the people who was hyping up this defense.

I'm still stunned.

Here is what I wrote the night of the SMU game: "How much does opponent's level of play factor into this? Let's be honest. A lot."

Yeah -- a LOT more than I thought.

I'm still stunned.

Boise State was just one game. But so was SMU.

>> Boise State shows hope for the WAC. That is a very good football team. The differences between Boise State and a UTEP or an SMU are staggering. The bottom of the WAC is bad, bad, bad.

>> Time of possession doesn't matter if you score every time you have the ball. If you don't score every time you have the ball, you want as many chances as you can get. And time that you don't have the ball can add up on you in a hurry.

>> When the run-and-shoot is clicking it's beautiful, it's unstoppable. When it's not, it can be a lot of wide receiver screens.

>> If you block the way Boise State did, it doesn't matter what offense you run. The blitz pickups alone were masterful.

>> Chad Owens caught that ball.

"It was a catch," Jones said yesterday.

It was. But Owens -- and I have been an Owens cheerleader since his opening bursts last season -- too often lets the ball spill out when he hits the ground or gallops out of bounds. Yes, it's legal, the ground can't cause a fumble. Yes, they are catches. Yes, most everyone does it in the pros.

But if you let any doubt creep into an official's mind, sometimes he'll make the wrong call.

Better to take the Ed McCaffrey route and keep a death grip on that ball, even while unconscious.

>> That wasn't even the worst call of the day. Owens was not down on that punt return, when he tumbled over a Boise defender, popped up and kept chugging all in one motion, never having touched the ground himself. That was a beautiful Small-Kid-Time-On-the-Sideline-of-the-Real-High-School-Game move.

>> Justin Colbert is an artist, and Owens has redefined the Craig Stutzmann role and added explosiveness to it. But UH misses having a receiver who can blow you away.

Ashley Lelie didn't just produce big plays and make up for mistakes. He also had defenses back on their heels before the ball was even snapped. Channon Harris caught a lot of passes thanks to Ashley Lelie.

>> A halfback pass to the quarterback in the fourth quarter with a 45-17 lead was a June Jones play. And Boise State coach Dan Hawkins' explanation -- hey, they could come back, we've got to stay sharp -- was a Jones answer.

>> Speaking of Hawkins, do you think he'll be in Boise long? He isn't signing a long-term deal because there are concerns about the backing of the Bronco program (the kind of things Fred vonAppen wanted and June Jones finally received). You saw Saturday's game plan. He wins and he wins big games. Somebody's going to come along and make that man very happy.

>> My old coach used to always say, "We just made that guy an All-American!" (Yes, I had a lot of experience in how that last game must have felt.)

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Quentin Mikell, WAC defensive player of the year.

>> Here comes Nevada, and Nevada is not bad. Hawaii's defense should bounce back. It has to. Its offense has to find some rhythm. Nevada's offense already has it.

In Football Fever, I'm picking Hawaii to win. But I wouldn't be so stunned. Not this time.

Hawaii should win. But it will take their best game of the season. And if they don't have it, my radio might explode.



Kalani Simpson can be reached at ksimpson@starbulletin.com



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