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Sunday, September 5, 2004



FLORIDA ATLANTIC 35, HAWAII 28

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GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Florida Atlantic running back Doug Parker kept an eye on Hawaii's defender Lamar Broadway as teammate Aaron Sanchez escorted him into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.


Owls outlast
Warriors

Parker scores in OT to
give Florida Atlantic a win

» FAU no surprise to Chang
» Crissinger-Hill shows value of tight end
» Akpan's heroics go for naught




UH schedule

Yesterday Fla.
Atlantic
L, 28-35, OT
Sept. 18 at Rice
Oct. 2 Tulsa
Oct. 9 Nevada
Oct. 16 at Texas-El Paso
Oct. 23 San Jose State
Oct. 29 at Boise State
Nov. 6 Louisiana Tech
Nov. 12 at Fresno State
Nov. 20 Idaho
Nov. 27 Northwestern
Dec. 4 Michigan State


If it was Florida, Florida State, heck, even Central Florida, things might not look so bad right now.

But Hawaii's season-opening 35-28 loss last night at Aloha Stadium was to Florida Atlantic.

And while the Owls from Boca Raton proved they are a good team, not too many expected them to beat the Warriors.

FAU, 19- to 24-point underdogs going in, stuck with the Warriors all night, and then stuck it to them in overtime.

"I hope everybody understands that this type of loss hurts," UH coach June Jones said. Perhaps the understatement of the young college football season to date.

The Warriors have been down this dark path before, losing their 2000 season opener to Portland State 45-20. That had to sting even more, since it was to Jones' alma mater. And what happened after was ugly, a 3-9 nightmare season that so far is the only losing one in Jones' 5-year tenure.

"But it's just one game, we'll come back. You kind of learn from it, and our guys will learn from it," Jones said.

The lessons have to come quickly, as two weeks before the Western Athletic Conference opener at Rice suddenly doesn't seem like enough time to correct everything that needs fixing.

Quarterback Tim Chang and the rest of the state can put any Heisman Trophy hopes on the way, way back shelf. Although his touchdown (two) to interception (zero) ratio was good, Chang didn't do what he needed to do, what he has done in the past, and what he had chances to do: Win the game at the end.

Chang could only complete one pass for 7 yards, to Gerald Welch, in four downs in overtime after FAU's Doug Parker scored on a 7-yard run.

"We killed ourselves," Chang repeated over and over..

Chang was often off-target, and several normally sure-handed receivers dropped balls when they were wide open.

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RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii sophomore wide receiver Ross Dickerson ran ahead of Florida Atlantic defensive back Rickey Bethel during the third quarter of the Owls' victory over the Warriors last night at Aloha Stadium.


"We had a lot of things that happened that normally don't happen," Jones said. "And you can't have them happen against a good team."

Chang finished with 302 yards passing on 38 completions in 64 attempts. But the Owls finished with the biggest win in their four years of existence.

"This was another step up the ladder to greatness I hope," Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger said. "We've got a long way to go, but this was a big step."

FAU trailed from the end of the first quarter until the final 23 seconds of regulation. That's when quarterback Jared Allen completed a 31-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Crissinger-Hill on fourth-and-11, tying the score at 28-28.

Crissinger-Hill finished with 15 receptions for 183 yards and two TDs. Allen completed 28 of 44 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns.

After the TD stunned a crowd of around 30,000 (with 39,390 tickets distributed), UH got a miracle of its own. Tony Akpan blocked the extra-point try by Mark Myers that probably would have won the game.

The Warriors got the ball at their own 45 after the kickoff, and Chang tried three long passes, all incompletes, before time expired, setting up overtime.

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RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii receiver Chad Owens couldn't hang on to this second-quarter pass from Tim Chang during last night's game.


The Owls, who left Hurricane Frances behind them in Florida, played inspired football, hanging in against a school that has fielded a team 92 more years than they have.

"Our defense had a very good scheme," Schnellenberger said. "They didn't run a tight end, so you don't need big guys in the secondary. It's more like playing a game of touch. You've got to keep their quarterback from completing 70 percent of his passes and four or five touchdowns."

As for his team's ferocious hitting:

"Force is mass times velocity squared. These kids know all about that now," said Schnellenberger, who was part of four national championship teams and built this one from the ground up.

It didn't matter that the game ended at 4:11 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time. And it didn't matter that many of the Owls had the safety of family and friends in at least the backs of their minds.

They outplayed UH, and at least one Warrior admitted it.

"We were playing on fumes. They out-ran us and out-hit us," linebacker Ikaika Curnan said. "We knew them. We studied them. We had so many chances."

UH led 14-10 at halftime as Chang threw touchdown passes to Se'e Poumele and Chad Owens, who both later left the game with injuries. Poumele had a hamstring pull and Owens returned after hurting his back. Sophomore running back Ryan Stickler also injured his shoulder on the opening kickoff and is day to day.

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RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Chad Owens, left, and Jason Rivers celebrated after Owens hauled in a second-quarter touchdown catch.


Both teams had trouble getting on track offensively in the early going. Hawaii finally scored on the last play of the first quarter when Chang found Poumele crossing the back of the end zone for a 6-yard TD.

Justin Ayat, who had been bothered by a sore groin most of preseason camp, made the conversion kick with ease.

The first of Abraham Elimimian's two interceptions set up the score by giving UH the ball at the FAU 17.

The Owls tied it when Allen dove in from the 1 at 11:14 of the second quarter. The TD was set up by a 27-yard pass to Crissinger-Hill on third down at the Hawaii 28.

UH retook the lead on an 11-yard pass from Chang to Owens in the corner of the end zone. A nice blitz pick-up by running back Mike Bass made the play possible. Hawaii led 14-7 with 6:33 left before halftime.

On the ensuing kickoff, FAU's Larry Taylor ran the ball the length of the field into the Hawaii end zone, but the apparent touchdown was called back as Erik Benson was flagged for blocking in the back.

With time running down in the half, the Owls drove from their own 20 to the UH 22. But on third-and-6, Hawaii's Mel Purcell sacked Allen for a 4-yard loss. Myers then kicked a 43-yard field goal as the half ended.

The Warriors scored on their first possession of the second half, as Michael Brewster rushed in from 12 yards for the first of his two TDs behind Brandon Eaton's block, capping an 8-play, 75-yard drive. UH led 21-10 at 10:08 of the third.

Purcell got his second big sack at 8:14 of the third quarter, moving the ball back to the UH 16 and forcing FAU to settle for another field goal by Myers, this one 33 yards.

Ross Dickerson returned the next kickoff to the UH 44, but the Warriors squandered the good field position with three incomplete passes. A short punt by Kurt Milne then gave FAU the ball at its own 34.

The Owls drove steadily and scored on a 3-yard pass to Crissinger-Hill from Allen. A 2-point conversion try by the same combination slipped off the receiver's fingertips, but FAU had closed it to 21-19 at 4:21 of the third quarter.

Hawaii came back with another good return by Dickerson, to the 32, and eventually, another touchdown by Brewster, again behind Eaton. This one was a 10-yard run with 1:57 left in the third quarter, and the Warriors got breathing room at 28-19.

FAU had a golden opportunity early in the fourth quarter, as Milne's short punt gave it the ball at the Hawaii 25. But the Owls had to settle again for a field goal -- and Myers had to kick it twice. After he made it from 44, it was ruled the play clock had run down to zero, and the Owls were penalized 5 yards. Myers made it again from 49, and UH's lead was cut to 28-22 with 11:39 left in the game.

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Florida Atlantic 35, Hawaii 28, OT

At Aloha Stadium

Florida Atlantic (1-0) 0 10 9 9 7 -- 35
Hawaii (0-1) 7 7 14 0 0 -- 28

First quarter
UH 0:00 Se'e Poumele 6 pass from Tim Chang (Justin Ayat kick) 0-7

Second quarter
FAU 11:14 Jared Allen 1 run (Mark Myers kick) 7-7
UH 6:33 Chad Owens 11 pass from Chang (Ayat kick) 7-14
FAU 0:00 FG 43 Myers 10-14

Third quarter
UH 10:08 Michael Brewster 12 run (Ayat kick) 10-21
FAU 7:44 FG 33 Myers 13-21
FAU 4:21 Anthony Crissinger-Hill 3 pass from Allen (pass failed) 19-21
UH 1:57 Brewster 10 run (Ayat kick) 19-28

Fourth quarter
FAU 11:39 FG 49 Myers 22-28
FAU 0:23 Crissinger-Hill 31 pass from Allen (kick blocked) 28-28

Overtime
FAU -- Doug Parker 7 run (Myers kick) 35-28

Attendance: 39,390. Time: 4:04.

Officials -- Referee: Dan Romeo; Umpire: Steve Kohler; Linesman: Glen McKuin; Line judge: Patrick Turner; Back judge: Joe Pester; Field judge: Shane Standley; Side judge: Ed Knetig; Scorer: M. Owens.

Team statistics


FLORIDA ATLANTIC HAWAII
FIRST DOWNS 25 20
NET YARDS RUSHING 147 27
Rushing Attempts 39 10
Average Per Rush 3.8 2.7
Yards Gained Rushing 167 39
Yards Lost Rushing 20 12
NET YARDS PASSING 298 302
Completions-Attempts-Int 29-46-3 38-66-0
Average Per Attempt 6.5 4.6
Average Per Completion 10.3 7.9
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS 445 329
Total offense plays 85 76
Average Gain Per Play 5.2 4.3
Fumbles: Number-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties: Number-Yards 11-108 7-60
PUNTS-YARDS 4-173 7-274
Average Yards Per Punt 43.2 39.1
Net Yards Per Punt 38.0 33.7
Inside 20 0 3
50+ Yards 1 0
Touchbacks 1 1
Fair catch 0 0
KICKOFFS-YARDS 6-364 5-317
Average Yards Per Kickoff 60.7 63.4
Net Yards Per Kickoff 33.0 35.2
Touchbacks 1 0
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD 3-38-0 2-21-0
Average Per Return 12.7 10.5
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD 4-141-0 5-166-0
Average Per Return 35.2 33.2
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD 0-0-0 3-0-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD 0-0-0 0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards 0 0
Possession Time 31:35 28:25
Third-Down Conversions 11 of 20 3 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions 1 of 1 2 of 4
Red-Zone Scores-Chances 4-5 4-5
Sacks By: Number-Yards 0-0 3-13
PAT Kicks 3-2 4-4
Field Goals 3-3 0-0

Individual Offensive Statistics

Rushing -- Florida Atlantic: D. Parker 19-86, Sanchez 3-31, Jackson 8-23, Embick 1-8, Allen 8-(minus 1). Hawaii: 6-26, Bass 2-5, Chang 2-(minus 4).

Passing -- Florida Atlantic: Allen 28-44-2 291, Embick 1-2-1 7. Hawaii: Chang 38-66-0 302.

Receiving -- Florida Atlantic: Crissinger-Hill 15-183, D. Parker 5-27, Taylor 3-29, Dareus 2-17, Tellis 1-12, Bynes 1-12, Jackson 1-11, T. Parker 1-7. Hawaii: Owens 13-89, Rivers 6-56, Brewster 6-26, Welch 5-47, Poumele 4-26, Komine 2-44, Dickerson 2-14.

Individual Defensive Statistics

Florida Atlantic

Player Solo Ast Tot
Laskowski 5 3 8
Acevedo 6 1 7
Skinner 5 1 6
Earls 5 0 5
Rodgers 4 1 5
Hughley 4 0 4
Higgins 3 1 4
Zak 2 1 3
McKinley 1 2 3
Gordon 2 0 2
Gray 1 0 1
Myers 1 0 1
Walker 1 0 1
Jenkins 1 0 1
Roundtree 1 0 1
Coker 1 0 1
Sloan 1 0 1
Pinnick 0 1 1
Pugh 0 1 1

Hawaii

Player Solo Ast Tot
Patton 8 1 9
Curnan 6 3 9
Moe 8 0 8
Broadway 7 1 8
Purcell 5 2 7
Peters 3 4 7
Elimimian 5 0 5
Kamakawiwoole 3 1 4
Faga 2 1 3
Kapanui 1 1 2
Watson 1 1 2
Manners 1 1 2
Hogan 1 0 1
Tuioti-Mariner 1 0 1
Moreland 1 0 1
Miranda 1 0 1
Fuga 1 0 1

Tackles for loss-yards -- FAU: Earls 3-11, Laskowski 2-12, Gray 1-2, Walker 1-2. Hawaii: Purcell 5-11, Peters 1-10, Kamakawiwoole 1-5, Curnan 1-2, Kapanui 1-1, Watson 1-1.

Sacks-Yards -- FAU: None. Hawaii: Purcell 2-8, Kamakawiwoole 1-5.

Interceptions -- FAU: None. Hawaii: Elimimian 2, Peters.

Kicks blocked -- FAU: None. Hawaii: Akpan.

Quarterback hurries -- FAU: Laskowski 2, Guerrier, Pinnick, Strachan. Hawaii: Purcell 2, Curnan, Kapanui.

WAC STANDINGS


CONFERENCE

OVERALL
W L Pct W L Pct Str
Boise State 0 0 .000 1 0 .000 W1
Fresno State 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 --
Louisiana Tech 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 --
Nevada 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 --
Rice 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 --
Hawaii 0 0 .000 0 1 .000 L1
San Jose State 0 0 .000 0 1 .000 L1
SMU 0 0 .000 0 1 .000 L1
Tulsa 0 0 .000 0 1 .000 L1
UTEP 0 0 .000 0 1 .000 L1

Yesterday's results
Kansas 21, Tulsa 3
Texas Tech 27, SMU 13
Boise State 65, Idaho 7
Stanford 43, San Jose State 3
Florida Atlantic 35, Hawaii 28, OT

Today's games
Houston at Rice
Fresno State at Washington

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