Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, September 8, 1999

R A I N B O W _ F O O T B A L L

Eastern Illinois
should be more
’Bows’ speed

The Division I-AA Panthers are
many steps below the UH-thrashing
Trojans, and may be just
what Hawaii needs


By Paul Arnett


You half-expect to see Hawaii coaches Greg McMackin and June Jones reaching for the remote control to make sure the video is moving at the right speed. After playing No. 18-ranked Southern California, Division I-AA Eastern Illinois can't help but look a half-step slow.

There's top tailback Chad Morton scooting through a USC hole untouched. There's Eastern Illinois counterpart J.R. Taylor not quite squeezing through with his shoulders squared. Watch out, it's Trojan quarterback Carson Palmer throwing deep. Panther signal caller Anthony Buich tosses ducks by comparison.

"Well, the first thing you notice is they aren't as good as USC,'' said Jones, who will once again call the plays from the sidelines. "But that doesn't mean it's going to be easy. We still have to do a better job of executing our game plan.'' McMackin echoed those sentiments. The UH defensive coordinator isn't ready to forgive and forget Saturday's 62-7 loss to USC just yet.

"First, we have to get better as a unit before we can start worrying about what our opponents are going to do,'' McMackin said. "Getting more fundamentally sound is a goal we can reach if we concentrate together as a team."


Jones didn't throw out the playbook just because the offense failed to score last week. And the top players weren't banished to the end of the bench just because their productivity was way down.

Instead, his No. 1 unit will spend the week studying the film of a defense that gives you multiple looks. Much like USC, the Panthers line up in a 4-3 base package.

"Last year they did a lot of different things out of that base defense,'' Jones said. "They mixed all their passing coverages and were pretty aggressive with their blitzing, doing a lot of different things.

"This past week they did a little blitzing against Central Michigan, but not as much as last year. I don't know why they did that, because everybody does things differently. They had a lot of new people, maybe that's why they approached it differently.''

Sophomore free safety John Williams is one guy Jones wants to keep an eye on. Last week, he finished second on the team in tackles with 13. He also returned an interception 23 yards and caught a 23-yard pass off a fake punt.

Senior down linemen Ryan Pace and Steve Marcinkowski should challenge the right side of Hawaii's line. Cornerbacks Kourtney Young and Obinno Coley are young, but aggressive.

"They look like they run pretty good as a unit,'' Jones said. "Sometimes they'll mix in a 3-4 and even run the 46 defense some. So, they're going to give us some multiple looks and it's up to our quarterback and receivers to make the right reads.''

Senior quarterback Dan Robinson struggled somewhat last week, hitting only 16 of 39 passes for 149 yards and no touchdowns. Sophomore receiver Craig Stutzmann caught five of those passes for 55 yards. Senior Dwight Carter added two for 37.

"We've got to come out and do a better job of executing,'' Robinson said. "We just didn't get it done like we would have liked to last weekend.''


McMackin wants middle linebacker Jeff Ulbrich to be the center of attention every weekend. He certainly did his part in Hawaii's loss to USC, finishing with a team-high 17 tackles.

But Ulbrich is not enough to stop a team by himself. Not only does he need help from his fellow linebackers, but from the big boys up front as well. Hawaii didn't get a lot of pressure on the Trojan quarterbacks, and that's something that needs to change this weekend.

"From what I can tell, Eastern Illinois likes to run, they like to play smash-mouth football,'' McMackin said. "They use a lot of two-tight end stuff. They've got a quarterback who is pretty active and a big offensive line.''

Central Michigan did a pretty good job of limiting Eastern Illinois' running attack. The Panthers gained only 80 yards on the ground and 181 through the air in their 33-17 defeat. Buich completed 11 of 26 passes for 122 yards. He also was sacked seven times.

"They obviously don't have as much speed as USC, but scheme-wise they do a lot of the same things as USC,'' McMackin said. "And that's good because it helps in our preparation. They pretty much line up in a traditional pro set.''

What McMackin wants to work on is simple. He believes the perimeter play was poor last week. Not only did the Rainbows fail to contain the running backs on the perimeter, they didn't harass the quarterback enough coming off the edge.

"We ran to the football well against USC, but we've got to turn it inside better,'' McMackin said. "Actually, the reverse of 20 yards and the pass play of 32 yards for a touchdown were the biggest plays we gave up last week. If we can do it again this weekend, I think we have a good opportunity to be competitive.''



NCAA to consider
Tinoisamoa’s appeal

Hawaii freshman linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa got some good news this morning. The NCAA is seriously considering his appeal.

"We talked to his mom, who is going to send us some more documentation on the matter," head coach June Jones confirmed today. "Right now, we don't know what's going to happen, but the fact they are willing to review it further is a good sign."

The problem with Tinoisamoa is his core subjects in math. He already has a high enough SAT score and a good enough overall GPA in the classroom.

But the NCAA clearinghouse turned him down two weeks ago because of questions concerning his math credits, leaving the talented San Diego resident in limbo.

If his appeal to the NCAA is denied, Tinoisamoa not only can't play this season, but he loses his scholarship and one year of eligibility. Jones said he would stay in school this year, but his parents would have to pay for it.

"He wouldn't be allowed to practice with us, which is a shame because Pisa is going to be an outstanding football player," Jones said. "We want to keep him on the field and help his development as a football player and a person. Right now, we're hoping for the best."

Tinoisamoa took part in this morning's workout. Jones said he wasn't sure how long the appeal would take, but that Tinoisamoa would remain with the team until a decision is reached.

Injury update

Hawaii defensive end Joe Correia had his hand in a cast today that didn't allow him to move his broken fingers.

"It's uncomfortable," Correia said. "I can't use my hand like this."

The club-like cast Correia had on today won't be the same kind used in a game. There will be a soft cast put on it before Saturday's matchup with Eastern Illinois. Jones said he will be able to move his fingers better in that type of cast and should be in the lineup.

If he can't go, Steve Dietschy will see a majority of the snaps. The converted linebacker, who is coming back from season-ending knee surgery last year, had three tackles in Saturday's 62-7 defeat to Southern California.

"I'm preparing myself to play," Dietschy said. "Hopefully, Joe will be OK. But if not, I'm ready to step in."

Safety Nate Jackson continues to make sound progress. The SMU game is still the target date, but he is healing so rapidly, he could be back in the lineup as early as next week, in time for Boise State.

Catching on quickly

Sophomore wideout Craig Stutzmann is catching on to what Jones is trying to do offensively.

The former St. Louis School standout is tied for second in the Western Athletic Conference in receptions with five for 55 yards.

"It's just like what we ran at St. Louis, only the terminology is different," Stutzmann said. "I love this offense. We're going to get better. We just have to work on some things, so everybody is on the same page."

Top middle linebacker Jeff Ulbrich is the leading tackler in the WAC with 17. Unfortunately for the Rainbows, they are ranked last in the WAC in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense, rushing offense and third-down conversions.

Mortimer to head WAC

Last week, the WAC presidents voted UH president Ken Mortimer as the chairman of the board of directors. He takes over for TCU president Michael Ferrari, who resigned after his school began negotiations with Conference USA.

By Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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