Sunday, December 1, 2002
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii quarterback Tim Chang, who was intercepted four times yesterday in a 21-16 loss to No. 14 Alabama, walked off the field after the game.
RolledTime has been the Hawaii football team's worst enemy this season.
UHs gallant comeback falls shortScoring drives
to time ... and Tide
Defense came through for Warriors
Chang ran out of tricks
Tide happy to win their 'bowl'
Life is sweet as Stabler calls Alabama home
By Dave Reardon
Yesterday's loss was eerily similar to Hawaii's two others -- the Warriors driving and scoring late, and trying to get the ball back for one last desperate shot.
But as it did on the road at Brigham Young and Boise State, the clock ran out on the Warriors (9-3) just as it seemed they were getting warmed up.
This time it was at home against Alabama (10-3) as UH fell 21-16 to the 14th-ranked team in the nation.
A national audience and 46,580 at Aloha Stadium saw the potential of Hawaii's run-and-shoot in the fourth quarter. But it also saw how unreliable the offense can be, especially against a good defense.
The Warriors turned the ball over five times -- four interceptions of Tim Chang and a fumble by Chad Owens on the opening kickoff. But UH's tenacious defense, some clutch late passes by Chang and nine catches for 207 yards by Jeremiah Cockheran kept Hawaii in the game to nearly the end.
With its 13-point fourth-quarter rally, Hawaii might have salvaged its No. 24 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. UH might have gotten some more votes from the writers in the Associated Press poll, but only if they watched the entire game.
"We're good, too," Cockheran said. "Who said we wasn't?"
But coach June Jones is not interested in consolation prizes.
"There is no solace in losing," Jones said. "We just ran out of time."
Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa did everything but turn back the clock. He made a career-high 19 tackles, including four for loss and two sacks.
The Tide rolled up 280 yards on the ground, with Shaud Williams leading the way with 160 on 23 carries, but UH made enough defensive stops to keep the Warriors in it.
"If you had said before the game that our defense would play that well against Alabama, I would say we would win the game," Jones said.
But Alabama's defense -- third-best statistically in the nation -- shined as well.
Hawaii, which came into the game as the country's leading passing-yardage team and third in overall offensive yardage, was held to 372 yards passing and minus-12 on the ground.
"Defensively we held them to 360 yards and they're getting about 500," Alabama coach Dennis Franchione said. "And they got 97 on that last drive. They're capable of doing that."
Jones, who admitted leading up to the game that Alabama was physically superior, tried two trick plays that didn't work.
A fake punt from Hawaii's own 17 ended up giving Alabama the ball on Hawaii's 22. A 1-yard touchdown by Williams gave the Tide a 7-0 lead with 10:24 left before halftime.
The drive was fueled by Alabama's own fake field goal, a 12-yard run by Dre Fulgham on fourth down to the Hawaii 6.
"Coach put us in good position to give us good plays we could bust," Alabama tackle Wesley Britt said. "We came up with plays when we needed them."
Waine Bacon's interception of Chang set up the next score. The pick put the ball on Hawaii's 47, and five running plays later Ray Hudson broke left off the mass at the line of scrimmage and sprinted 14 yards into the end zone. The Tide led 14-0 with 8:39 to go in the second quarter.
UH's second failed trick play came when defensive tackle Abu Ma'afala was inserted as an eligible receiver on fourth down at Alabama's 11. Other receivers flooded the right side as Ma'afala snuck out to the left. He was wide open and Chang's pass was on the mark, but Ma'afala failed to hang on.
Hawaii failed to score in an entire half for the first time since Jones' first game as coach in 1999, a 62-7 loss to USC.
Justin Ayat's 30-yard field goal at 7:01 of the third quarter got UH on the board, but Sam Collins' 26-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Watts appeared to put the game out of reach at 21-3 with 11:30 left to play.
Not so fast.
Chang finally hit somebody deep. Cockheran got 70 of his career-high receiving yards on one play as he beat the Alabama secondary long. All of a sudden the Warriors were back in the game. It was 21-10 with 10:21 left.
The Warriors' defense, with Tinoisamoa and Houston Ala (five tackles for loss among his eight tackles) leading the way, forced Alabama to punt ... and then punt again after Hawaii turned the ball over on downs.
"We didn't really do anything different for this game," defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa said. "But the kids probably played their best game of the season. They all played hard."
By this time, there was only 3:33 left. Aided by two penalties against Alabama, Chang drove the Warriors down the field from his own 3. He hit Owens for a 12-yard score with 1:55 left. A 2-point conversion run by Shawn Withy-Allen failed, but more importantly, Hawaii was out of timeouts, and needed to get the ball back.
Ayat's onside kick went out of bounds, and that was it. Hawaii lost at home for the first time after nine straight wins going back to last season.
If not that of the nation, the Warriors did gain the respect of their opponents.
Bacon said Hawaii is as tough as most of the other teams on Alabama's schedule -- one that included Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, LSU and Auburn this year.
"Definitely," he said. "I knew they were good, but they showed us a lot today. We did a great job to limit them to 16 points."
Alabama leaves with a victory, but its season is over. The Crimson Tide have no bowl game because of NCAA sanctions. This was it.
But Hawaii has a final regular-season game against San Diego State on Saturday, and the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Day.
That didn't matter to UH linebacker Matt Wright last night as the sun set.
"We played hard, but not hard enough," he said. "I don't want to think about that now. We lost and it hurts."
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[ SCORING DRIVES ]
1-10-H-22: Tyler Watts 1 run.
2-9-H-21: Santonio Beard 3 run.
3-6-H-18: Incomplete pass (Luke).
4-6-H-18: Dre Fulgham 12 pass from Lane Bearden.
1-G-H-6: Santonio Beard (-3) run.
2-G-H-9: Tyler Watts 8 run.
3-G-H-1: Shaud Williams 1 run -- TOUCHDOWN.
PAT: Kyle Robinson kick -- GOOD.
7 plays, 22 yards, 3:11
10:24 left in the second quarter.
ALABAMA 7, HAWAII 0
Notes: Alabama gained possession at the Hawaii 22 after stopping Chad Kapanui on a fake punt for 10 yards on fourth-and-15. ... Alabama picked up a first down on a fake field goal. Bearden, the holder, flipped the ball to Fulgham who ran up the middle for 12 yards. ... Williams' fifth TD rush of the season.
1-10-H-47: Tyler Watts 11 run.
1-10-H-36: Santonio Beard 13 run.
1-10-H-23: Santonio Beard 4 run.
2-6-H-19: Tyler Watts 5 run.
3-1-H-14: Ray Hudson 14 run -- TOUCHDOWN.
PAT: Kyle Robinson kick -- GOOD.
5 plays, 47 yards, 1:16.
8:39 left in the second quarter
ALABAMA 14, HAWAII 0.
Notes: Hudson's first touchdown run of the season. ... Drive set up by Waine Bacon's interception of a Tim Chang pass and return to the Hawaii 47. The interception came one play after Hawaii's Chad Owens returned a kickoff 63 yards to the Alabama 31.
1-10-H-38: Justin Colbert 33 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-A-29: Nate Ilaoa 7 pass from Tim Chang.
2-3-A-22: Jeremiah Cockheran 5 pass from Tim Chang. Penalty -- roughing the passer, Alabama.
1-G-H-8: Incomplete pass (Owens).
2-G-H-8: Incomplete pass (Ilaoa).
3-G-H-8: Incomplete pass (Mitchell).
4-G-H-8: Penalty -- delay of game, Hawaii.
4-G-H-13: Justin Ayat FG 30 -- GOOD.
7 plays, 49 yards, 1:32.
7:01 left in the third quarter.
ALABAMA 14, HAWAII 3.
Notes: Ayat now 14-for-22 in field goals this season and 4-for-5 from 30-39 yards. ... Colbert was aided on his 33-yard catch and run by a big block along the sideline by Chad Owens.
1-10-A-20: Shaud Williams 6 run.
2-4-A-26: Santonio Beard 0 run.
3-4-A-26: Sam Collins 7 pass from Tyler Watts.
1-10-A-33: Ray Hudson (-1) run.
2-11-A-32: Shaud Williams 41 run.
Timeout -- Hawaii (first).
1-10-H-27: Tyler Watts 1 run.
2-9-H-26: Sam Collins 26 pass from Tyler Watts -- TOUCHDOWN.
PAT: Kyle Robinson kick -- GOOD.
7 plays, 80 yards, 3:17.
11:30 left in the fourth quarter.
ALABAMA 21, HAWAII 3.
Notes: Collins' third touchdown reception of the season and Watts' sixth TD pass.
1-10-H-38: Tim Chang sacked by Antwan Odom (-8).
2-18-H-30: Incomplete pass (Colbert).
3-18-H-30: Jeremiah Cockheran 70 pass from Tim Chang -- TOUCHDOWN. Penalty -- roughing the passer, Alabama.
PAT: Justin Ayat kick-GOOD.
3 plays, 62 yards, 1:09.
10:21 left in the fourth quarter.
ALABAMA 21, HAWAII 10.
Notes: Cockheran's longest reception of his career and his fourth touchdown of the season. Chang's 21st TD pass. ... Chang has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 10 consecutive games ... The roughing the passer penalty on Alabama was assessed on the kickoff.
1-10-H-3: Thero Mitchell 8 pass from Tim Chang.
2-2-H-11: Jeremiah Cockheran 19 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-H-30: Justin Colbert 20 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-50: Thero Mitchell 15 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-A-35: Incomplete pass (Cockheran). Penalty -- holding, Alabama.
1-10-A-25: Penalty -- illegal participation, Alabama.
1-10-A-12: Chad Owens 12 pass from Tim Chang -- TOUCHDOWN.
PAT: Shawn Withy-Allen run failed.
5 plays, 97 yards, 1:38.
1:55 left in the fourth quarter.
ALABAMA 21, HAWAII 16
Notes: Owens' second touchdown reception of the season, and his first since scoring on a 50-yard pass and catch against Nevada on Oct.12.
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