Hawaii's Brad Kalilimoku, who moved to outside linebacker for yesterday's game, sacked Tom Brandstater in the first half.
Patton breaks collarbone
FRESNO, Calif. » Even with his arm in a sling and his senior season in doubt, Kenny Patton was in a celebratory mood yesterday.
An otherwise spectacular afternoon for the Hawaii football team still proved painful for the Warriors cornerback, who suffered a broken collarbone in the opening moments of yesterday's game against Fresno State.
The injury is expected to sideline him for at least six weeks.
Still, he was in good spirits after the Warriors' 68-37 victory.
"I'm just so happy we won," Patton said, standing outside a festive Warrior locker room. "It hurts, but it just feels so good to leave here with a win. I wish I could have had more of a part in it, but it was a great win."
Patton, who has battled through injuries throughout his Hawaii career, suffered the latest setback less than 3 minutes into the game on Fresno State's opening touchdown, a 75-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bear Pascoe.
"Geez, it's terrible," Hawaii defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville said softly when asked about Patton's plight.
Patton said he hopes to be back earlier than the initial prognosis.
"I'll just let the doctors work their magic," he said.
Patton was a starter last season, dabbled at receiver in the spring and earned back a starting job at right cornerback four weeks ago at Boise State. He entered yesterday's game fifth on the team with 18 total tackles. He also had an interception and broke up three passes this season.
With Patton out, junior A.J. Martinez played most of the game opposite starting left cornerback C.J. Hawthorne. Myron Newberry and Gerard Lewis also saw time at cornerback. Lewis finished with five tackles and broke up a pass.
Turning the tide:
The Warriors team that entered yesterday's game last in the WAC and 114th in the nation in turnover margin, turned the course of the game with three key first-half takeaways, all leading to UH touchdowns.
Linebacker Solomon Elimimian and defensive end Melila Purcell both forced fumbles by Fresno State running back Dwayne Wright in the first half and safety Leonard Peters had an interception return for a score.
The Hawaii offense, meanwhile, went without a turnover for the first time this season.
"The turnovers changed the attitude of the whole game," UH head coach June Jones said. "We were able to put it in the end zone when they turned it over. That seems to be their downfall, turning the ball over. We had been doing that quite a bit and seemed to put that on hold."
Hawaii went with a new starting combination at the outside linebacker spots, with Micah Lau
and Brad Kalilimoku
moving into the lineup.
While Kalilimoku started at inside linebacker for two games this season, Lau, a walk-on from Kamehameha, got the call for the first time in his career.
"I was going with the first string all week, but I was surprised I really got the start this week," he said.
Lau finished with three tackles, and dropped Wright for a 9-yard loss on a screen pass on Fresno State's second play of the game.
UH receiver Ian Sample
has caught two touchdown passes in each of the last three games. ... Hawaii has scored at least four touchdowns in the first half of the last three games. The Warriors had six yesterday. ... Fresno State's two 75-yard touchdown passes to Pascoe and Marlon Moore
were the longest plays given up by UH this season.