UH can’t leave Boise fast enough
Problems with their charter keep the Warriors on the road an extra 16 hours after their loss
BOISE, Idaho » Jeff Reinebold has seen a lot of strange things in more than 30 years of football throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.
"I've been in a situation where a charter (flight) wouldn't pick up a team because the owner couldn't pay for it, and we had to see who could put it on their credit card," the Hawaii defensive line coach said. "But I don't think I've ever had an overnight delay for a charter before."
That was the case as UH's Aloha Airlines charter plane never arrived in Boise on Saturday after the Warriors' 41-34 loss at Boise State.
The 88-member UH traveling party spent most of yesterday in Idaho after two mechanical delays -- and a third precautionary one when the plane took off from Honolulu but had to return 2 minutes into its ascent after a bird flew into one of its engines.
It added up to a 6-hour overnight wait at the airport and a nearly 16-hour total delay for the Warriors before they could board a flight home.
They finally left the airport early yesterday morning to go back to the team hotel after arriving at the airport around 10:30 p.m. following the game.
The Warriors were not scheduled to arrive in the islands until 4 p.m. Hawaii time yesterday. They finally left Boise at 2 p.m. Mountain time.
It wasn't the best day off for a team coming off a close loss to a conference rival.
"It's pretty unfortunate for these kids," UH coach June Jones said. "They were at the airport all night trying to sleep on the floor, three of them on crutches."
Aloha representative Kevin Velasco, who was with the team, said he would meet with executives from his company to discuss compensation for UH. He added that Aloha paid for the extra day of hotel rooms.
"We know it was a a bad situation, especially after a loss," Velasco said. "Our first priority is the group's safety and getting them home as quickly as possible."
Jones and Reinebold said the players made the best of the situation.
"It was frustrating for them," Reinebold said. "But the state should be proud of how they handled it."
The group made themselves as comfortable as possible during the wait without very much to eat or drink after the postgame box lunches. No concessions were open.
"Preposterous," senior tri-captain and defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis said. "But I was able to sleep."
Outside linebacker Tyson Kafentzis, one of the players on crutches, with a sprained ankle, joked that he didn't mind being in Boise an extra day.
"Let's play them in a rematch, right now," he said.
Kafentzis said the ankle was sore yesterday, but not badly swollen. It is not known when he will be able to return to the field. Junior Karl Noa was in on a career-high 10 tackles in his place Saturday after Kafentzis hurt the ankle in pregame warmups.
"He's earned some more playing time," Jones said of Noa.
Starting slotback Ryan Grice-Mullins is expected to miss at least one game with an ankle sprain.
His ankle had some heavy swelling that was alleviated by massage.
Defensive lineman Fale Laeli was also on crutches.
Hold everything: Third-string quarterback Inoke Funaki will replace punter Kurt Milne as holder for Hawaii field goals and point-after-touchdown attempts, Jones said. Bad connections between snapper Jake Ingram and Milne and Milne's fumble contributed to UH's 41-34 loss at Boise State.
"I told Jake I'm half or more than half to blame," Milne said Saturday after the game. "I probably could've handled all of them. It's definitely not his fault."
Ingram accepted some of the blame for low snaps.
It was the second year in a row that special-teams breakdowns led to UH losing to Boise State.
Two blocked Hawaii kicks contributed mightily to the Broncos' 44-41 victory last year at Aloha Stadium.
Jones said he has no plans to replace Ingram, and Milne remains the Warriors' punter.
Hawaii is 1-2 (0-1 WAC) and hosts Division I-AA Eastern Illinois (2-2, 1-0 Ohio Valley) at Aloha Stadium on Saturday.
Stat chat: The Warriors remain second in the nation and the WAC to New Mexico State in passing yardage.
Hawaii averages 369 yards per game, while NMSU is at 420.7.
Some more noteworthy national numbers:
» UH is fourth in total offense at 477.0 and 97th in total defense at 388.0.
» The Warriors are 29th in scoring at 31.0 and 88th in scoring against at 26.3.
» Colt Brennan is second with 344.67 passing yards.
» Davone Bess is ninth with 100.67 receiving yards per game.
» Nate Ilaoa is 31st in all-purpose yards with 125.3.
» UH remains last in turnover margin with two takeaways and 10 giveaways.
» Hawaii improved from last to 112th of 119 teams in penalties with 8.67 per game.
BACK TO TOP
Five big plays from Boise State's 41-34 win over Hawaii
1. Not again
Boise State 15, Hawaii 6; 13:41 remaining, second quarter; Hawaii extra-point try at Boise State 3.
After a 26-yard pass play to Jason Rivers from Colt Brennan gets Hawaii on the board, it lines up for the PAT. The snap from Jake Ingram to Kurt Milne is botched, and David Shields forces Milne to fumble. The ball bounces into the hands of Orlando Scandrick, who runs 88 yards for two points.
A play eerily similar to this one happened in Boise State's 44-41 win over Hawaii last year, with the same player, Scandrick, running the ball back. This year, two other Hawaii place-kick snaps are also messed up.
"Every year it's special teams. I really honestly don't think it's what they do. We do it to ourselves."
2. Patton's pick
Boise State 34, Hawaii 21; less than 3:00 remaining, third quarter; Boise State ball, third and goal at Hawaii 27.
With Boise State poised for a knockout punch, the Hawaii defense stiffens and pushes the ball back out of the red zone with tackles for loss by Mike Lafaele and Karl Noa. Then Jared Zabransky throws a high pass toward the right side of the end zone that Kenny Patton grabs. He runs nearly the length of the end zone before cutting up for a 19-yard return.
The Warriors cash in with an 11-play, 81-yard drive capped by Colt Brennan's 14-yard TD pass to Davone Bess, making it 34-27 with 13:50 left in the game.
"I felt fortunate to make a play that I thought would turn it around for us. We did score, but then things didn't go our way after that."
3. After further review
Boise State 34, Hawaii 27; less than 11:00 remaining, fourth quarter; Hawaii ball, first and 10 at Boise State 48.
Hawaii has momentum and field position following a pass-interference call, but Brennan is flushed from the pocket and brought down by Colt Brooks for a 2-yard loss. While Brennan is going down, the ball comes out of his hands and Boise State's Gerald Alexander falls on it. The replay judge confirms it is a fumble and not an incomplete pass.
Hawaii had gained control of the game, and Brennan seemed poised to lead a game-tying drive. Boise State rallied around this play to regain momentum.
Hawaii safety Leonard Peters:
"You never leave it up to the referees. You got to win the game on your own. We should've got a couple calls, but it should never come down to that."
4. Decisive TD
Boise State 34, Hawaii 27; less than 7:00 remaining, fourth quarter; Boise State ball, second and 7 at Hawaii 18.
After eight consecutive carries by Ian Johnson, Boise State slips tight end Derek Schouman out on a post route, and he is wide open. Zabransky completes his second TD of the night to Schouman, this one for 18 yards.
Boise State leads 41-27 with 5:55 left. The Warriors strike back with Brennan's third TD pass to Rivers, but then Boise State's Jerard Rabb recovers Hawaii's onside kick with less than 3 minutes left. Zabransky finishes with 273 yards and three touchdowns passing.
"I felt like I was seeing things really well and our guys were creating space."
5. First Down
Boise State 41, Hawaii 34; 1:05 remaining, fourth quarter; Boise State ball, fourth and 1 at Hawaii 44.
Johnson, who was stopped short of a first down with a 1-yard gain on third down, blasts through right tackle and into the Hawaii secondary for 16 yards before Peters and Noa can throw him down.
The first down with less than a minute left allows Boise State to run the clock out by taking a knee and maintain its perfect records against Hawaii in WAC play (5-0) and at home (3-0). Johnson finishes with 178 yards rushing -- more than Alabama and UNLV combined against Hawaii.
"This is what we practice so much for, being able to sustain a drive, run it and keep getting those first downs."
Chosen and described by the Star-Bulletin's Dave Reardon