Saturday, September 25, 1999

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

’Bows best SMU;
snap road streak

Hawaii beats Southern Methodist 20-0
and wins on the road for the first
time since Sept. 1995

By Paul Arnett


DALLAS - Finally.

After losing 15 consecutive away-games and 24 straight road matchups in Western Athletic Conference play, Hawaii ended these exercises in futility with a 20-0 victory over Southern Methodist today in the Cotton Bowl.

It was the first road win since defeating Nevada-Las Vegas in September of 1995 and the first WAC road victory since knocking off Texas-El Paso in October of 1992.

The victory was the third in a row for the Rainbows who haven't turned that trick since the end of 1992. It is also the first time Hawaii is 1-0 in conference play since defeating Air Force, 6-3, in September of 1992.

Hawaii was the benefactor of two crucial penalties against SMU in the second half to key the end of these streaks. The first, was a holding penalty on wide receiver Damond Blueitt that nullified a 70-yard touchdown run by Rodnick Phillips on the first play of the third quarter.

After SMU punted, Hawaii's Dan Robinson threw an interception on the fourth play of the second half. Cornerback Tracy Hart returned it 28 yards for an apparent touchdown. But it was called back after SMU was penalized for being offsides.

The Rainbows' offense didn't exactly light up the scoreboard, managing two Eric Hannum field goals and two Robinson touchdown passes, but it didn't matter thanks to a sterling performance by the defense. Led by middle linebacker Jeff Ulbrich, the Rainbows kept the Mustangs out of the end zone for the second time in three games.

It is the first shutout by Hawaii since blanking Southeast Missouri, 34-0, in 1994. The Rainbows haven't given up any points for six consecutive quarters.

Hawaii scored 10 points in the first half and 10 in the second. Robinson's 13-yard touchdown pass to Craig Stutzmann in the fourth quarter sealed the deal for the Rainbows, who dominated throughout the ballgame.

The Rainbows scored first on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Robinson to Channon Harris. He culminated a two-play, 81-yard drive that gave Hawaii a 7-0 advantage with 9:15 left in the first quarter. On the drive, Robinson also completed a 43-yard pass to Ashley Lelie.

The touchdown catch was a shot at redemption for Harris. On the fourth play of the game, Harris broke behind the SMU secondary. Robinson hit him in full stride for what would have been a 64-yard touchdown pass, only to have him drop it.

Hawaii's defense forced a pair of turnovers, including one on the ensuing series. SMU quarterback Josh McCown was sacked on a third-down play by Lui Funga, who recovered the football at the SMU 19.

Unfortunately for the Rainbows, Robinson threw an interception on the first play of the series. He was trying to find Dwight Carter on a post route. SMU strong safety Raymon Brown picked it off and returned it 18 yards to the SMU 19.

The Mustangs did put together a good drive in the second quarter, only to see the 13-play effort come to an end on the Hawaii 1-yard line. Tailback Kris Briggs appeared to be going in for a score, but was hit hard by Quincy LeJay at the 1.

UH free safety Nate Jackson scooped up the loose ball in the end zone and returned it to the Rainbows 20 with 38 seconds left in the half. Robinson quickly drove Hawaii down the field on three completions to Carter for 62 yards.

It set up a 36-yard field goal by Hannum. He knocked it through, but a face-mask penalty nullified the kick with no time left on the clock. The officials penalized the Rainbows 15 yards, but it didn't bother Hannum. With a strong wind at his back, he made a career-long 50-yarder to give Hawaii a 10-0 halftime advantage.
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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