’Dogs stick with run
RUSTON, La. » Louisiana Tech entered yesterday's game against Hawaii with the 103rd-ranked rushing offense in NCAA Division I football.
The Bulldogs certainly didn't look it while piling up 327 yards on the ground in trampling Hawaii 46-14 at Joe Aillet Stadium. It is the most rushing yards the Warriors allowed in a game since last year, when another group of Bulldogs -- those from Fresno State -- rolled for 503 while crushing UH 70-14.
"They got a pretty good size advantage on the offensive line," Hawaii coach June Jones said of LaTech's effort yesterday. "They just kind of wore us down."
Defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville was more blunt.
"We got our butts kicked," Glanville said. "Their players played excellent and their coaches coached better than I did."
Mark Dillard carried 15 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns to lead the LaTech attack. He and Freddie Franklin (15-82) and Patrick Jackson (14-75) ran through big holes time after time. Dillard and Franklin are sophomores and Jackson is a true freshman.
"We had the run going early, so we stayed with it and tried to keep their offense off the field. Everybody knows Hawaii has a great offense," Bulldogs left guard Aaron Lips said.
"Being able to run the ball and move it kept the defense fresh. And our defense is having a heckuva year."
It was the most rushing yardage for the Bulldogs since the second game of last season, when they gained 328 against Louisiana-Lafayette. Ryan Moats, now of the Philadelphia Eagles, had 257 of them.
Warriors linebacker Brad Kalilimoku said he didn't know LaTech would still be able to run as well post-Moats.
"I was surprised," Kalilimoku said. "They did a lot of cutbacks and stuff. They were good."
Purcell hurts knee: Starting defensive tackle Mel Purcell left the game with a left knee sprain late in the first quarter. The severity of the sprain will be determined by an MRI exam tomorrow. His early status for Saturday's game against New Mexico State is questionable.
"That was big. He's one of the leaders on the team. You lose somebody like that who knows what's going on -- that's going to hurt your defense," said Ikaika Alama-Francis, who starts at the other tackle.
Purcell was replaced by sophomore Karl Noa, who was in on two tackles.
Special teams player and backup linebacker Victor Fergerstrom left the game with a bruised lower back.
Starting right tackle Dane Uperesa (elbow) and wide receiver Ross Dickerson (leg) also suffered injuries, but returned to the game.
Mock debuts: Junior receiver Chad Mock finally got his first action for UH after making the two-deep last spring. He caught four passes for 60 yards, starting in place of freshman Michael Washington. Jordan Slye, who made his debut last week, did not make the trip because of an eligibility issue Jones said he cannot comment on further.
"I was pretty happy with some of the things he did," Jones said of Mock. "Hopefully he'll give us a shot in the arm over there. Ross is hurting a little bit, a little gimpy, so we're a little thin at wideout."
Snapping: Glanville, who coaches the field-goal and point-after defenses, said there is a consistency problem in enforcement of the rule on how much defenses can go after snappers on kicks.
"They told 20 (Michael Malala) you can't put your hands on the field-goal snapper. So no one knows what the hell the rule is," Glanville said.
Last week, Boise State went after UH snapper Tanuvasa Moe and blocked a field-goal and extra-point attempt, returning them both to the Hawaii end zone.
Freshman backup defensive lineman Jake Ingram did most of the snapping duties yesterday for UH, giving starting outside linebacker Moe a break. Moe was in on 10 tackles, second to linebacker Solomon Elimimian with 13.
"I was a little jittery on the first (snap), but did OK after that," Ingram said.
Representing: Ruston-area resident John Santiago painted his face a la Vili The Warrior and waved a Hawaiian flag on the UH sideline yesterday.
"I'm here to support the Warriors however I can when they come out here," said Santiago, who also had a conch shell.