Warriors too good for Tomey’s tricks
DO you know what Dick Tomey did when Hawaii ran onto the field to pounding music, through billowing smoke, before the game, in a scene designed to be intimidating to the other team? Tomey gathered his San Jose State guys all around him, waved all of them in, tighter and tighter, closer and closer, until the entire Spartans team was a mob surrounding its coach. Then Tomey got down low into a Woody Hayes stance, pursed his whistle to his lips and conducted a one-on-one hitting drill as the rest of the Spartans jumped and whooped and hollered and carried on, the other team's pregame intro be damned.
This is who Hawaii was playing this week. This is who UH beat last night.
This one meant more, this 54-17 win.
You knew this game would be tougher than most. You knew this would be no runaway, no matter the final numbers. You knew both schools would feel it in the morning. (They do.) You just knew. The way you just know things. The way you knew Tomey would call for an onside kick to open the second half.
(He did. Of course he did.)
You also knew Hawaii was the better team, and it's not even close. (It was. And in the end this wasn't -- that is, not even close.)
The old UH coach's credo was to keep it close going into the fourth quarter. (Tomey didn't. Couldn't do it this time. No, not quite.)
It's tough to hang with a team about to get into the Top 25.
Because then the final frame came and Jacob Patek popped that guy, and two plays later Blaze Soares did the same and then it exploded, it was over, tough game or not.
Then even a wide receiver -- UH slotback Davone Bess -- was knocking guys out.
"It shook us up," Bess would say of San Jose State staying with Hawaii for much of the game.
It woke them up.
"We got our butts kicked," Tomey would say in classic Tomey-ese.
That they did.
It's important that Hawaii did this to somebody decent, a team with a winning record, after bashing through the rest of the WAC. And the Spartans are definitely tough, definitely decent -- if, well ... well, you look at the list of teams the Spartans have beaten. It looks like the list of teams Hawaii has beaten. (Though UH usually did it with triple the score.)
But this one would be tougher, and everybody knew it. These guys came here to play, and everybody knew that, too. And yet, UH ... well ... UH still exploded, still tore it up. (Still did ... this.)
You have to say that UH is pretty darn good.
"It's a matter of us going out and having fun after all," Bess would say. "Of us living in the moment."
"We feed off each other," linebacker Solomon Elimimian said.
Said defensive coach Jerry Glanville of this group: "They've grown past -- they're better than I ever thought they would be. Each player is better than he should be."
The way Dick Tomey's UH teams used to be.