Wednesday, September 15, 1999
Hawaii senior Matt Paul wants on the football field and the Rainbow coaches are trying to figure out where to put him.
TODAY'S RAINBOW FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
D needs a spark, so
Paul moves to end
During this morning's practice, UH defensive coordinator Greg McMackin gave Paul numerous repetitions at the right defensive end. Whether he starts in Saturday night's nonconference game with Boise State remains to be seen.
"We're just trying to get players on the field and he's a guy who wants to play," McMackin said of Paul, who as a linebacker last year, finished second on the team in tackles with 100.
"He's a guy with experience. He's a tough guy who we believe can help us with our pass rush on the perimeter. We can use a guy like him on the field."
Paul has had trouble getting on the field as the backup to top middle linebacker Jeff Ulbrich. In the spring, Paul had some problems adjusting to McMackin's schemes, resulting in him being the odd man out once fall camp began in August.
Head coach June Jones said the defense hasn't been playing as well as he would like, so some shake-ups were in order.
"We're going to look at Matt there and see how he does," Jones said. "He wants to get on the field and we're struggling a little bit in some areas, so we'll give him a chance and see how he does.
"He wants to play. He's tough. Our defensive ends are like outside backers anyway. We'll see. I think when you haven't been there for a while, it's not going to happen overnight. That's for sure."
With Paul at right end, the coaches moved Joe Correia to the left side in place of Mike Iousa, who experienced some stingers in his neck in last week's win over Eastern Illinois.
"Because of that broken left hand, we moved him to the other side," McMackin said. "He can use his right hand to grab coming out of his stance. It was difficult for him to do that from the other side."
Paul is just glad to get the opportunity to be on the field. A starter in 35 games for former head coach Fred vonAppen, Paul has played sparingly in Hawaii's two games this year. He has only seven tackles.
"I like the move," Paul said. "It's a good position for the pass rush. It's pretty simple. I just have to get in so I can learn the plays a little better.
"What I wanted most of all was to get an opportunity to play. It's not really that much different from linebacker, other than I'm coming out of a three-point stance. I don't drop back as much in pass plays. My job is to rush the passer and contain on the edge."
Injury updateSafety Daniel Ho-Ching didn't take part in today's drills, prefering to rest a shoulder he dislocated in the first quarter of last Saturday's victory over Eastern Illinois.
"It's the same one I hurt in the spring," Ho-Ching said. "It just keeps popping out. All I can do is tape it up and go back in there."
Jones said that the MRI on Robert Kemfort's knee was negative. He is wearing a brace, but continues to work with the No. 1 unit at left outside linebacker.
Safeties Dee Miller and Phil Austin are also back in the starting rotation. They have been bothered by slight concussions the past couple of weeks.
It appears slotback Davey deLaura will miss another game with a hamstring pull. Running back Robert Grant is back up after missing last week's game with an ankle sprain. Iosua and fellow defensive lineman Tony Tuioti (back) will play this weekend, but in a limited capacity.
"It looks like most everybody is going to try to play," Jones said. "But you don't know how that's all going to shake out until they're on the field. We've been nicked some in our first two games, but for the most part, we're fairly healthy."
Tinoisamoa still on holdFreshman linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa is still attending practices, but his status with the NCAA remains the same.
"I'm hoping we'll win this appeal for his sake because he's going to be a difference-maker for us," Jones said. "We haven't heard anything yet."
Tinoisamoa is appealing an NCAA clearinghouse statement that said he is not eligible because of a math core credit. If UH loses the appeal, Tinoisamoa can't rejoin the program until next fall and will not be on scholarship for the rest of this season.
By Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin
Yeah, it's early in the season. And granted, a lot of the numbers came against Division I-AA Eastern Illinois.
RAINBOW FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
E. Illinois win puts
offense atop WAC
But after the Western Athletic Conference statistics were released Monday, Hawaii found itself at the head of the class in several offensive categories.
That's right, offense. Not since the days of Paul Johnson's spread option have the Rainbows found themselves on the high end of the offensive charts.
"We do take some pride in those things," UH head coach June Jones said yesterday. "But our win-loss record is what we're interested in."
After two games, the Rainbows are ranked second in the league in total offense, averaging 381 yards a game. They are also first in passing offense (323 yards), thanks in part to the strong arm of Dan Robinson, the quick feet of Dwight Carter and the sure hands of Craig Stutzmann.
Robinson is first in the WAC in total offense, averaging 295 yards a game. Stutzmann is tied for the league lead in receptions with 12 for 117 yards and one touchdown. And Carter is first in the league in receiving yards per game with 128.5. He is also tied for second in the league in receptions with 11.
"And we're just going to keep building from there," Carter said yesterday. "We've just got to keep it up and stay on this pace.
"All of our receivers are going to be at or near the top by the end of this thing. Everybody is going to do some looking and say, 'Hey, Hawaii is doing some good things out there.' "
Carter set a school record for receiving yards Saturday night with 220. Had he not dropped a 49-yard touchdown pass, his numbers would be even better.
"I'm still dreaming about that one," Carter said, then smiled. "I can't get it out of my mind. I saw it on the film yesterday morning and it killed me. You can't forget those kinds of things -- ever."
Stutzmann doesn't want to forget the first touchdown catch of his collegiate career. With 7:10 left in the third quarter, he pulled in a Robinson pass and scampered 6 yards for the score to give Hawaii a 24-17 lead.
"It felt great to get around the corner and score," Stutzmann said. "All the students were standing up in the end zone cheering me. I won't forget it."
Stutzmann has helped his fellow receivers not forget their run-and-shoot plays. The former St. Louis Crusader has been involved with this offense throughout his career and knows how to run the routes as well as anyone.
"Craig is like having another coach out there," Jones said. "He understands the subtle reads and runs his routes very well."
Hawaii's numbers aren't as strong on defense. Despite linebacker Jeff Ulbrich leading the league with 26 tackles, the Rainbows are last against the run, yielding 246 yards a game and are seventh of eight teams in total defense (513 yards) and scoring defense, yielding 44.5 points a game.
Moving on upThe Rainbows moved up 16 spots to No. 145 in the Scripps-Howard computer poll that rates all 237 of the Division I and Division I-AA teams.
Hawaii has a power rating of 71.44. By comparison, Miami, Fla., is No. 1 with a rating of 115.12. That means on a neutral field, Hawaii would be about a 45-point underdog.
Boise State is ranked No. 117 in this poll with a power rating of 77.77. Throw in the four points Hawaii gets for being at home and Boise State should be a two-point choice. In Las Vegas, the Broncos are favored by six.
Warrior Club backJones said yesterday that the Warrior Club has been reinstated and that players who grade well in games will be given Rainbow Warrior stickers to put on their helmets.
"We're only going to award them after victories," Jones said.
Former UH head coach Bob Wagner used a similar system, but Fred vonAppen chose not to during his three years on the UH sidelines.
By Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin