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Saturday, August 21, 2004



[ WARRIOR FOOTBALL ]


Purcell expected to be
ready for UH opener

The starting defensive end should
be back from a foot injury in time
for the Sept. 4 game


The Hawaii football team got some much needed good news from the training room yesterday, the last day of two-a-day practices.

Starting junior defensive end Mel Purcell will be back from a foot injury in plenty of time to play in the Sept. 4 season-opening game against Florida Atlantic at Aloha Stadium.

"The official report is a sprained left foot, and he's expected to be out for around a week," UH spokeswoman Lois Manin said.

Purcell hurt his foot during practice Wednesday, and had difficulty walking on it Thursday. Diagnostic tests Thursday and yesterday ruled out a broken bone.

Yesterday, Purcell wore a walking boot to keep pressure off the foot.

Junior Kila Kamakawiwo'ole started at left end and junior Tony Akpan at right end in team drills yesterday.

Also, sophomore cornerback Kenny Patton returned to the starting lineup. He took Thursday off with general soreness. He said the hamstring that dogged him all of last season is fine.

Two other defensive starters, senior tackle Lui Fuga and senior outside linebacker Paul Lutu-Carroll remained out of action with knee sprains. Both are expected back in time for the first game.

Second-team junior cornerback Turmarian Moreland did not practice yesterday because of a groin injury.

On offense, senior slotback Gerald Welch returned from a sore back that had kept him out two days.

Glovely: Junior safety Leonard Peters has played in 22 games in his UH career, starting eight, and he has zero interceptions. That was barehanded, though. Peters is hoping to change his luck by wearing gloves.

He wore them for the first time yesterday, and made a nice interception early in practice.

"I dropped about four, though," he said. "It's something I've got to get to work on getting used to."

UH picked off 15 of 467 passes thrown last season.

"Our goal is to lead the nation in interceptions," Peters said.

Little big men: It might be some time before they get game action since there are so many experienced players at their position. But freshmen slotbacks Landon Gouveia (5-foot-5, 162 pounds) and Patrick Olchovy (5-8, 160) got themselves noticed yesterday, despite their diminutive physical stature. Both made several catches in seven-on-seven and team drills.

"Yeah, we put them in there because we know what some of the others can do. They're coming along well," coach June Jones said. "Landon's really picked up (the offense) quickly, a lot. He's got a lot of heart and guts like his dad and gets in there and competes. Something about the genes. Sometimes the sons follow."

Gouveia's father is Kurt Gouveia, the Waianae and BYU star who played middle linebacker for the Washington Redskins, and later, the San Diego Chargers when Jones was their coach. Kurt Gouveia is now a team manager for UH while he completes work on a bachelor's degree in business.

Landon Gouveia starts college Monday, but he's been busy studying his playbook.

"I just have to keep learning the routes a little bit more every day," Gouveia said.

He grew up in the Washington, D.C., area. Gouveia said he chose to walk-on at Hawaii not only because of his family ties to the islands.

"I knew they had a couple of small guys like me and a lot of other teams weren't really giving me a chance because I'm small. Maybe I'd get a chance here," he said.

Gouveia, an outstanding second baseman in high school, said he plans to also walk-on to the UH baseball team.

Olchovy has improved steadily since joining the team last spring.

"Everything's starting to click," he said. "I'm just trying to get a feel for all the quarterbacks and improve on my routes and timing."

QBs close: Jones said junior Kainoa Akina and second-year freshman Jack Rolovich are still close in the battle to be the No. 2 quarterback to senior Tim Chang.

"If we were to start right now, I'd say Kainoa and Jack would be second," Jones said. "I think the freshmen (Tyler Graunke, Taylor Humphrey and Brandon Satcher) are getting better. We've got another week to evaluate."

Short yardage: Today's practice is 8:30-10:30 a.m. Tomorrow's session is 2-5 p.m., and will likely include the first full-contact scrimmage of fall camp. ... The Pigskin Pigout fund-raiser at Murphy's Bar & Grill on Thursday night raised generated around $120,000 for the UH football training table.


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