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Louisiana Tech's Tramissian Davis was smothered by Hawaii's Kelvin Millhouse and Ikaika Curnan yesterday in Ruston, La.
Warriors turn to Brewster
RUSTON, La. >> Michael Brewster's always been a favorite among his Hawaii teammates for his tireless practice style and good humor.
Now the Warriors can thank the diminutive running back for playing a big part in a big win.
Brewster, a 5-foot-6, 180-pound junior from Houston, fueled Hawaii's second-half comeback yesterday with all of his team-high 54 yards rushing and 32 more receiving coming after intermission. The production included a 17-yard touchdown pass from Tim Chang with 3 minutes, 59 seconds left for the final score in the Warriors' 44-41 victory at Louisiana Tech.
Brewster's success was especially exciting for him because the Tennessee transfer had dozens of family members and friends from Texas and Alabama in attendance.
"Because he's short, he's had to prove himself all his life," said his father, Michael Brewster Sr. "And every time he gets in there he gets a little better."
The running back hero of last week's Fresno State game, West Keliikipi, started and played most of the first half. But coach June Jones decided to go with a little more quickness after halftime.
"We played Brew a little bit in the second half, trying to get him the ball. I knew we were going to be able to run it a little bit and I wanted to run a couple of screens. We popped them just about the right time," Jones said.
Brewster's first opportunity turned into a disaster for the Warriors. Chang fumbled on a handoff to Brewster, and the Bulldogs took over at their own 36. Three plays later, Ryan Moats scored on a 2-yard run and the game was tied at 24 with 6:41 left in the third quarter.
But Brewster accounted for 50 of the 69 yards in UH's next scoring drive, which was capped by Chang's 8-yard pass to Chad Owens, and retied the game at 31 with 12:08 left.
Then, in UH's final drive, Brewster rushed for 12 yards and caught a pass for 7 more before what turned out to be the game-winner.
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Hawaii freshman Jason Rivers stiff-armed LaTech's Derrick Farrow after a second-quarter reception. Rivers had four catches for 82 yards.
"Everybody got on somebody and it was like a walk. The blocking was great," Brewster said. "I was just real happy to get a second chance. We knew we would get more chances. We just didn't know when it would come. The game's just five or six plays, you just don't know when they're going to happen."
Zone to man: After a first quarter in which Chang did as he pleased, completing 10 of 13 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns, LaTech finally found a way to slow him down a little.
"We tried to go a little bit more man because they were hitting the holes in the zone. So we tried to change it up," Bulldogs cornerback Corey Brazil said. "But in the fourth quarter they changed it up and were able to put more points on the board."
Hurting: This is the time of the season when just about everyone is day-to-day or worse when it comes to injuries.
UH reported no new significant injuries, but starting cornerback Abraham Elimimian aggravated an ankle sprain and needed crutches to get to the team bus.
Jones also said safety Hyrum Peters got "banged up" and had to leave the game in the late going.
"We've got a lot of injuries," Jones said.
Defensive linemen Mel Purcell (elbow), Lui Fuga (knee) and Isaac Sopoaga (knee) were among those who played hurt, and rare was the player without ice on a shoulder or knee after the game.
Senior wide receiver Jeremiah Cockheran returned from missing two games with a sprained ankle in a big way with six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown.
"They thought it was their homecoming, but it was actually mine, and our team's," said Cockheran, a native of New Orleans. "It's sore, but right now it feels great. It's going to feel great for at least three days.
"(Receivers coach Ron) Lee told us we were going to have to score five or six touchdowns, and that's what we did," Cockheran said.
Owens led the way with eight catches for 162 yards.