Starbulletin.com

Saturday, October 4, 2003



[ UH FOOTBALL ]


art
STAR-BULLETIN / OCTOBER 2002
Hawaii's Isaac Sopoaga mugged Tulsa running back Eric Richardson in a 2002 game at Aloha Stadium.


Hurricane ready
for the Warriors

Injuries to some key Hawaii
players won’t change Tulsa’s
approach to today's game


TULSA, Okla. -- You can still get a gallon of unleaded gasoline for $1.26 and a great rib dinner with all the fixings for under $10 here. But the locals insist times are hard economically.

Football season helps them take their minds off rising prices, and for the past two games even Tulsa has done its part along with No. 1 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.



On the road

Who: Hawaii vs. Tulsa
When: Today, 1:05 p.m., Hawaii time
Where: Skelly Stadium, Tulsa, Okla.
TV: Live on KFVE
Radio: Live on KKEA-1420



In recognition of the poor economy, TU charged only $1 per ticket for its home season opener Sept. 13; the promotion paid off as the Golden Hurricane beat Texas State 41-15 in front of around 35,000.

A lone buck won't get you into tonight's Hawaii (2-2, 1-0 Western Athletic Conference) game, though. A gathering closer to 20,000 is expected as Tulsa (2-2) hosts the favorite of some to win the WAC title. It's the league opener for the Golden Hurricane.

Nothing much is expected of Tulsa in the WAC season (TU has won one league game the past two years), but new coach Steve Kragthorpe hopes to build off the momentum of the Texas State win and a 54-7 romp two weeks ago of Arkansas State.

And the Hurricane had a bye last week, giving Kragthorpe and his staff more time to prepare for the Warriors' run-and-shoot attack.

"We call it an open date rather than an off week," Kragthorpe said. "We used it as an opportunity to try to continue to improve as a team."

While the Hurricane regrouped, the Warriors beat visiting Rice 41-21 in a get-well game after losing two in a row at USC and UNLV.

Hawaii is now 7-8 on the road under coach June Jones, including a 7-6 mark while on the WAC trail.

"Winning conference games on the road is the key to a good season," Jones said.

The numbers back him up. When the Warriors went 3-9 overall and 2-6 in the WAC in 2000, Hawaii was 0-4 on the road (all WAC games). In the other three seasons under Jones before this year, UH went 28-11 overall (17-6 WAC) while winning seven of nine road games against conference foes. This is the Warriors' first conference road game of the season, and if they don't win this one they can't consider any of the following treks (Louisiana Tech, San Jose State and Nevada) to be easy. Not that they're supposed to, anyway.

HAWAII HAS won both previous games here and leads the series 4-2.

But if the Warriors are to beat the Hurricane a third consecutive time, it will be with a depleted team.

Defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga -- perhaps the team's best defensive player -- is out with a knee injury, and WAC-leading receiver Jeremiah Cockheran has a sprained ankle that could keep him out.

Cockheran made the trip, but that's partly because he's a team captain. He likely can play if needed, but won't start.

"He practiced a little, but he's still hobbling," receivers coach Ron Lee said. "We'll see. We have to go with what we've got."

The team's top slotback and conference's second-leading receiver, Chad Owens, is out, serving the second of a two-game suspension for missing the team flight home from Las Vegas.

The Warriors will probably start Britton Komine, Ross Dickerson, Gerald Welch and Michael Miyashiro from left to right. Wide receiver Komine, a converted slotback, is the only starter from the beginning of the season. And he and Dickerson are the tallest of the four at 5-foot-10. Backup Jason Rivers (6-2) should see plenty of action, and there's been talk that athletic defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis (6-6) might line up at receiver.

Jones claimed earlier in the week that several other players were banged up to the point it could affect their play, including Sopoaga's backup, Lui Fuga, and talented defensive end Travis LaBoy. But both practiced well this week.

"They've got a lot of depth and we know they'll be a proficient team running and throwing and they'll be very aggressive on defense," Kragthorpe said. "The possibility of injuries doesn't change a lot for how we prepare. We prepare like they're all going to play. We won't know until they walk out on the field and we see who's in shirt sleeves and who's in shoulder pads."

Meanwhile, Tulsa is healthy. Linebacker Nick Bunting missed the second and third games, but returned in a big way with nine stops and an interception for a 12-yard touchdown against Arkansas State.

Bunting is among 12 true freshmen who have already played this season. He was also the WAC defensive player of the week for his work against Arkansas State.

Senior Jorma Bailey also helps make the Hurricane linebackers a strong point in their 3-3-5 base defense. A five-man secondary could help Tulsa cover the receivers in the nation's second-most-prolific passing attack, but Kragthorpe said he is worried about getting to UH quarterback Tim Chang.

"He's as good as a lot of NFL quarterbacks," Kragthorpe said. "He's one of the most athletic I've seen, very good out of the pocket."

Chang, a junior, needs 319 yards passing to hit the 10,000 mark. He said he has a chance to do it this week, even without Cockheran.

"I think all our receivers are capable," he said. "Some have more experience than others, but I have confidence in all of them."

Chang operates behind an offensive line that is learning on the job. But the group has been more than adequate, allowing only eight sacks in 244 pass plays. Left tackle Jeremy Inferrera had a dinged foot early in the week, but will likely play, and right tackle Brandon Eaton will probably return with his ankle sprain healed. Tala Esera gets the nod if either can't go.

Tulsa's pass protectors have also performed well.

"They've got a very solid offensive line," Jones said.

Led by senior left tackle Austin Chadwick, TU has allowed only three sacks. That's given junior quarterback James Kilian time to find receiver Romby Bryant 13 times for a team-high 186 yards.

Senior Eric Richardson and sophomore Uril Parrish have shared the ball-carrying duties, and Parrish ranks 10th in the NCAA in kickoff returns.

The week began with Hawaii a 13-point favorite, but the line went all the way down to nine, probably because of all the talk about UH's injuries.

Kragthorpe said he sees the game as an opportunity, but also that Hawaii is closer in quality to Minnesota and Arkansas (outscored Tulsa 94-23) than to Texas State and Arkansas State (Tulsa outscored 95-22).

"Sometimes you can overlook the opportunity to improve because you're too euphoric over what you've done," he said. "There's two things we can control -- our effort and our attitude."


BACK TO TOP
|

Probable starters

HAWAII

Offense
LWR 84 Britton Komine 5-10 187 Jr.
LSB 82 Ross Dickerson 5-10 172 Fr.
LT 74 Jeremy Inferrera 6-2 281 Fr.
or 70 Tala Esera 6-3 283 Fr.
LG 64 Samson Satele 6-3 289 Fr.
C 59 Derek Faavi 6-1 273 So.
RG 69 Uriah Moenoa 6-2 365 Jr.
RT 66 Brandon Eaton 6-3 287 So.
or 70 Tala Esera 6-3 283 Fr.
RSB 38 Gerald Welch 5-8 205 Jr.
RWR 30 Michael Miyashiro 5-6 164 Sr.
or 19 Jeremiah Cockheran 6-0 190 Sr.
QB 14 Tim Chang 6-2 194 Jr.
RB 6 Michael Brewster 5-6 180 Jr.
Defense
LE 93 Houston Ala 5-11 260 Sr.
LT 99 Lui Fuga 6-1 299 Sr.
RT 92 Lance Samuseva 6-0 309 Sr.
RE 1 Travis LaBoy 6-4 254 Sr.
SLB 46 Keani Alapa 6-1 229 Sr.
or 5 Chad Kapanui 6-0 225 Jr.
MLB 56 Chad Kalilimoku 5-11 240 Sr.
WLB 51 Ikaika Curnan 5-11 218 So.
CB 37 Abraham Elimimian 5-10 173 Jr.
S 33 Hyrum Peters 5-8 188 Sr.
S 42 Leonard Peters 6-1 174 So.
CB 3 Kelvin Millhouse 6-1 205 Sr.
Specialists
P 25 Kurt Milne 6-0 204 Fr.
K 47 Justin Ayat 5-11 205 Jr.
Snap 45 Tanuvasa Moe 6-0 220 So.
PR 1 Clifton Herbert 5-7 159 Sr.
KR 82 Michael Brewster 5-6 180 Jr.
Hold 8 Jason Whieldon 6-1 187 Sr.

TULSA

Offense
SE 82 Romby Bryant 6-2 180 Sr.
TE 20 Garrett Mills 6-2 214 So.
LT 59 Austin Chadwick 6-4 283 Sr.
LG 61 Jesse Stoneham 6-4 316 So.
C 63 Derek Warehime 6-1 283 Jr.
RG 72 Victor Mercado 6-3 312 So.
RT 78 Jeff Perrett 6-7 312 Fr.
TE 16 Caleb Blankenship 6-3 227 Jr.
QB 15 James Kilian 6-4 214 Jr.
RB 25 Eric Richardson 5-10 175 Sr.
WR 84 Montiese Culton 6-2 174 Jr.
Defense
DE 90 Jeremy Davis 6-2 262 Sr.
NG 97 Brandon Lohr 6-0 250 Jr.
DE 95 Josh Walker 6-4 260 Jr.
OLB 32 Jorma Bailey 5-11 199 Sr.
MLB 41 Nick Bunting 6-1 205 Fr.
OLB 27 Michael LeDet 6-2 215 Jr.
SPUR 18 Clint Rountree 6-0 193 Jr.
BAN 3 Kedrick Alexander 6-1 197 So.
FS 47 Max Kraus 6-1 175 Sr.
RC 9 Oliver Fletcher 6-1 185 Jr.
LC 7 Jermaine Hope 5-9 165 Jr.
Specialists
PK 29 Brad DeVault 6-0 179 So.
P 5 Chris Kindred 5-11 185 Fr.
Snap 58 Thomas Perrault 6-2 228 Sr.
Hold 24 Landon Keopple 6-0 180 So.
KR 23 Uril Parish 5-9 192 So.

82 Romby Bryant 6-2 180 Sr.
PR 13 Jermaine Landrum 5-10 158 Jr.

Schedules

Hawaii (2-2, 1-0 WAC)
Aug. 30 Appalachian State W, 40-17
Sept. 13 at Southern California L, 32-61
Sept. 19 at Nevada-Las Vegas L, 22-33
Sept. 27 Rice W, 41-21
Today at Tulsa
Oct. 11 Fresno State
Oct. 18 at Louisiana Tech
Oct. 25 UTEP
Nov. 1 at San Jose State
Nov. 15 at Nevada
Nov. 22 Army
Nov. 29 Alabama
Dec. 6 Boise State

Tulsa (2-2, 0-0 WAC)
Aug. 30 at Minnesota L, 10-49
Sept. 6 at Arkansas L, 13-45
Sept. 13 Texas State W, 41-15
Sept. 20 Arkansas State W, 5-7
Today Hawaii
Oct. 11 at Boise State
Oct. 18 Nevada
Oct. 25 SMU
Nov. 1 at UTEP
Nov. 8 at Rice
Nov. 15 LaTech
Nov. 22 at San Jose State

Per-game comparison

Hawaii Category Tulsa
33.8 Scoring 29.5
81.0 Rushing 199.0
379.5 Passing 193.5
461.2 Total Offense 392.5
23.3 First Downs 19.8
3.8 FD Rushing 11.8
17.3 FD Passing 7.5
1.8 FD Penalty 0.5
33.3 Points Allowed 29.0
147.0 Rushing Allowed 230.8
186.0 Passing Allowed 185.5
333.0 Total Offense Allowed 416.2
5-4 Interceptions -- Yards 6-107
39.5 Punting 36.9
32-298 Penalties 30-311
11-6 Fumbles-lost 6-1
30:49 Time of Possession 31:31
22-64 Third Down Conversion 19-57
4-9 Fourth Down Conversion 5-5

Key players

Passing A C I Yards TD
Tim Chang, UH 185 111 5 1,066 6
Jason Whieldon, UH 47 29 2 452 5
James Kilian, TU 109 60 2 746 6
Paul Smith, TU 11 5 0 28 0
Rushing A Yards Avg TD
Mike Bass, UH 21 126 6.0 1
John West, UH 18 99 5.5 2
James Kilian, TU 32 202 6.3 2
Eric Richardson, TU 54 189 3.5 3
Receiving Rec Yards Avg TD
Jeremiah Cockheran, UH 28 428 15.3 4
Britton Komine, UH 19 189 9.9 1
Garrett Mills, TU 14 145 10.4 3
Romby Bryant, TU 13 186 13.4 2
Tackles S A Tot FL/S
Chad Kalilimoku, UH 17 11 28 5/1
Ikaika Curnan, UH 15 10 25 4/1
Hyrum Peters, UH 19 5 24 0/0
Travis LaBoy, UH 19 3 22 5/3
Abraham Elimimian, UH 10 8 18 1.5/0
Leonard Peters, UH 11 7 18 0/0
Kedrick Alexander, TU 22 13 35 1.5/1
Oliver Fletcher, TU 18 7 25 0.5/0
Jorma Bailey, TU 12 12 24 3.5/2
Jermaine Hope, TU 13 8 21 0/0
Max Kraus, TU 14 6 20 0/0

WAC standings


CONFERENCE OVERALL

W L Pct W L Pct Str
Nevada 2 0 1.000 3 1 .750 W2
Fresno State 1 0 1.000 3 2 .600 W2
Hawaii 1 0 .000 2 2 .500 W1
Boise State 0 0 .000 3 1 .750 W1
Tulsa 0 0 .000 2 2 .500 W2
UTEP 0 0 .000 1 4 .200 W1
Louisiana Tech 0 1 .000 2 2 .500 L1
San Jose State 0 1 .000 1 3 .250 L3
Rice 0 1 .000 0 4 .000 L6
SMU 0 1 .000 0 4 .000 L4

Today

Boise State at Louisiana Tech
Fresno State at Colorado State
Hawaii at Tulsa
San Jose State at Rice
UTEP at SMU
UNLV at Nevada

--Advertisements--
--Advertisements--


| | | PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION
E-mail to Sports Editor

BACK TO TOP


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Feedback]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://archives.starbulletin.com


-Advertisement-