H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Monday, September 13, 1999

Jackson returns

Free safety Nate Jackson returns to the field tomorrow morning and none too soon for Hawaii head coach June Jones.

Injuries that plagued the secondary throughout spring and fall didn't end with Jackson, who had surgery on his sprained knee a week before the season opener with Southern California.

Jones confirmed yesterday afternoon that safety Daniel Ho-Ching dislocated the same shoulder that has plagued him for two seasons.

"He went back in there and really gutted it out for us when we needed him to," Jones said.

Safeties Phil Austin and Dee Miller also were a little dinged up during the game. Both may have suffered concussions, but they were mild and should allow them to play this weekend against Boise State.

Such may not be the case for defensive end Joe Correia. He saw limited playing time with a broken hand that he suffered in the second quarter of the Southern California game.

He even hinted after Hawaii came back to defeat Eastern Illinois on Saturday night that he may seek a medical hardship if he doesn't heal over the next few weeks.

Running back Robert Grant missed the game with a bad ankle. Wide receiver Davey deLaura was also out with a tight hamstring.

Flicker of doubt

The Hawaii coaching staff knew it was not a matter of if Eastern Illinois would use the flea-flicker, but when. Unfortunately for the Rainbows, they never imagined it on the first play from scrimmage.

After recovering the fumble on the opening kickoff, Eastern Illinois quarterback Anthony Buich handed it off to Jabarey McDavid. He took two steps toward the line, then turned around and tossed it back to Buich, who hit a wide open Phil Taylor for a 38-yard touchdown only 19 seconds into the game.

"Our guys bit on that like the jaws of a shark," UH secondary coach Rich Miano said of starting safeties Ho-Ching and Miller. "And we told them to watch for it because they did it in the first game."

Too many miscues

Hawaii has had some problems holding onto the football in the opening two weeks. Not only did the Rainbows have five turnovers in the first game in the loss to USC, but four in the win over Eastern Illinois.

"The mistakes kept it closer than it needed to be," Jones said of Hawaii's narrow 31-27 win over Eastern Illinois. "Obviously, this is an area we need to work on. You can't keep turning it over like we are and expect to win."

Catching on quickly

Sophomore receiver Craig Stutzmann is quietly going about his business this season. After two weeks, the possession man with the meticulous routes has caught 12 passes for 117 yards and one touchdown. His offensive coordinator in high school, Ron Lee, is now his receivers coach in college. And he couldn't be happier.

"Having Coach Lee around is so great because he helps you understand what's going on in the game," Stutzmann said. "Our offense made some big improvements this week."

By Paul Arnett

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