Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, October 4, 1999

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

Rainbow Wrap

One scoop
Rice, please ...
and a bowl?

Hawaii head coach June Jones
tries to keep the resurgent Rainbows
focused on their next opponent

UH rising in defensive stats

By Paul Arnett


After June Jones woke up this morning the University of Hawaii head coach:

a) Planned to contact Lenny Klompus about that pending Aloha Bowl bid.

b) Worked on his acceptance speech for being named national coach of the year.

c) Was superstitious enough to convince defensive coordinator Greg McMackin to call in sick for several days.

d) none of the above.

If you guessed, d), you win a free one-month subscription to the Star-Bulletin. Of course, Jones isn't thinking about any of that stuff. All of his brain waves are focused on Rice University and trying to stop an option attack he never faced during NFL coaching days in Atlanta and San Diego.

While Jones conducted a telephone interview yesterday, he read a report on Rice's win over Tulsa that included 62 running plays. Jones forgot all about the question and said, "They approach the game a whole lot differently than us.''

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Afatia Thompson rolls into the end zone past Kaulana Noa (71)
for Hawaii's first touchdown against UTEP as Manly Kanoa
(76) and Adrian Klemm (63) celebrate.

Some would say that's the beauty of college football. Where else are you going to see more diametrically opposed offensive philosophies than the option of the Owls and the run-and-shoot of the Rainbows?

McMackin was already locked in his office yesterday after lunch watching on film the beauty of the option attack that won't dazzle you with 80-yard touchdown passes, just bore you with computerized-certainty of gaining 4 yards a play.

"I was watching some film of their game with Texas,'' Jones said. "And a little with the game against Michigan. They played Texas tough, so we have to continue to stay focused and prepare for Rice like we've prepared for everybody else.''

The Rainbows continue their swing with teams from the Lone Star State. Hawaii already has knocked off Texas foes SMU and UTEP. Jones will try to turn the 10-gallon hat trick this weekend at Aloha Stadium with the Rice Owls.

"It's always a challenge to play a pure option team because you don't see this style of offense that often in the course of a season,'' Jones said. "These guys got off to a slow start against three very good teams on the road. But they've played better lately.''

Hawaii has played even better, so much so, Rainbow athletic director Hugh Yoshida saw Bowl Games of Hawaii chief executive officer Lenny Klompus at the half of last Saturday night's game with UTEP and said, "We accept.''

Klompus replied, "But I haven't made an offer yet.''

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Hawaii's Dwight Carter skips across the end zone between
teammate Craig Stutzmann and Texas El Paso's Derrick Walker
after scoring on a 24-yard pass play. Carter is ranked No. 8
in the nation with 113 receiving yards a game and is
No. 18 in receptions a game, averaging 6.6.

Hawaii needs three more wins to receive a bid for either the Aloha or Oahu bowls. Klompus has said that if the Rainbows won seven games, he guaranteed they would be sent an invitation.

"Can you imagine what it would be like here on Christmas if Hawaii was playing?'' a bright-eyed Klompus said. "But let's not get ahead of ourselves.''

Jones would be the first to say, "Hold that thought.'' Despite being more than halfway home to a goal only the players believed possible, Jones isn't planning his float for the postseason parade just yet.

"We've gotten here by taking only one game and one weekend at a time,'' Jones said. "Rice is our next opponent, so that's the most important game on our schedule.''

Once again, Hawaii's defense will be asked to set the tone by stuffing the Owls at the line of scrimmage. Because the Rainbows are so assignment-oriented - free-lancing is discouraged - playing responsible defense against the option won't be a big stretch.

"I believe we can design a plan that will work against the option, but we have to execute it properly,'' McMackin said. "The option is still a viable offense in college football today.''

Hawaii's defense has played particularly well against more modern-day formations. For the second consecutive game and the 10th straight quarter, the Rainbows didn't allow a touchdown. It's the kind of statistic McMackin believes in.

"The most important defensive number is points given up,'' McMackin said. "And our guys haven't been giving up much. It's a pride thing. We had a pretty good idea what they were going to do and we were able to control them pretty much the entire game.''

UTEP scored 54 points in the win over New Mexico State the week before. This time around, the Miners managed only 173 yards and yielded a staggering 532.

""They lined up and whipped our tails,'' UTEP head coach Charlie Bailey said. ""We couldn't make anything happen. At times we were OK on defense, but we were totally whipped on the offensive side of the football.''



Rice poses running
threat to UH


By Paul Arnett


Rice University comes to town with a few more options than it had the month before.

After losing three consecutive road games to Houston, Michigan and Texas, the Owls turned a corner of sorts with back-to-back victories over the Naval Academy and Tulsa.

"They ran the ball 60-something times in the win over Tulsa," UH head coach June Jones said with awe. "That's hard to imagine."

One good thing working in Hawaii's favor is Greg McMackin's familiarity with option football. By yesterday afternoon, the UH defensive coordinator was already breaking down film.

"To beat the option, you have to play responsible football," McMackin said. "If we follow our assignments, we should be fine."

This is the first time Hawaii has played Rice. The Owls are currently 2-3 for the season and 1-0 in WAC action.



Option this

For just an instant, Joe Correia was back under center for the St. Louis School Crusaders - at least in his own mind.

Hawaii defensive end Matt Paul had just batted a Jay Stuckey pass into the waiting arms of Correia.

"I was trying to run the option," Correia said. "I wanted to pitch it to Matt and try to score, but he told me not to."

Correia was brought down on the play, but Paul said the decision was for the best.

"I knew he was wanted to pitch it to me," Paul said. "But I was in front of him, so it would have been illegal and I might have fumbled it anyway. It was too good of a play to mess up."

That's the kind of thinking UH defensive coordinator Greg McMackin enjoys hearing about. Even though the defense spends every Friday practice working on lateraling the ball across the field in order to try to score, McMackin prefers the defender hold onto the football.

"I told him it would have been a $5,000 fine had he pitched that football," McMackin said, then smiled. "It's hard enough to force a turnover. We don't want to put it back on the ground."

It was one of three interceptions for the Rainbows. The other two were by cornerback Shawndel Tucker and linebacker Jeff Ulbrich. Last year, Hawaii managed only three picks all season, while yielding 25 touchdown passes. This year, the secondary has given up only five touchdowns in five games and has forced seven picks.

Two goals reached

A couple of areas UH head coach June Jones wanted to improve on offense were series ending in three-and-out, and to establish a running game. Both goals were met easily.

Hawaii didn't have a series of only three plays and punt. In fact, the Rainbows punted only once in the 33-3 win over UTEP.

As for a running game, Hawaii was last in the WAC, averaging only 65.5 yards a game. But all that changed in the big win over UTEP. Led by junior back Avion Weaver, the Rainbows gained 160 yards on the ground. Weaver had a career-high 88 yards and Thompson scored his first collegiate touchdown as the Rainbows ran away with the win.

"This is a blue-collar position in this offense because the most important thing you do is help pass block," Weaver said. "But if you're patient, your opportunities will come."

Fake works this time

A fake punt by Bronson Liana early in the second quarter kept alive a 16-play scoring drive that ended in a 27-yard field by Eric Hannum. The fake was called as long as UTEP was in a certain formation. When the former quarterback saw it, he took the snap and ran 5 yards to just get the first down at the UH 39.

"It was close, but the play was there," said Liana, who was subbing for an injured Daniel Ho-Ching.

Injury update

Defensive lineman Matt Elam likely broke his ribs late in the fourth quarter of the UTEP game and could be out several weeks. The only other major injury was to Jacob Espiau. He could be lost for several weeks with a nasty hamstring pull.

By Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin

UH on rise in national
defensive stats

By Paul Arnett


It took a while, but the University of Hawaii defense is in the statistical building.

Granted, defensive coordinator Greg McMackin's crew isn't filling the charts as the Rainbows are on the offensive side of the football, but just to have the team in the top 50 of three major categories is quite an accomplishment.

"After that USC game, we were at or near the bottom of every category," McMackin said yesterday as he studied the film of Rice University. "We gave up 62 points to USC and over 1,000 yards in our first two games.

"So, it's great for the kids to put together three outstanding football games. I'm proud for them."

Hawaii is ranked No. 46 in passing efficiency defense with a rating of 125.7. By comparison, Minnesota is first at 63.77. The Rainbows are No. 49 in points per game, yielding 22.2, and 50th in total defense, giving up 346 yards a game.

"It's awesome what this defense has done as a group," middle linebacker Jeff Ulbrich said. "Not giving up a touchdown in 10 quarters is something we take pride in. It's not an individual thing, it's team."

The individual numbers are hard to ignore on the offensive side of the football. Wide receiver Dwight Carter is ranked No. 8 in yards a game with 113, and is No. 18 in receptions a game, averaging 6.6.

"It's great to be a receiver in this offense because you know you have a chance to make a big play on every down," a jubilant Carter said after Hawaii's 33-3 conference victory over Texas-El Paso last Saturday night.

Fellow receiver Craig Stutzmann has drifted down the charts in recent weeks, but he's still No. 31 in the country, averaging 5.8 catches a game.

The man throwing all those passes is among the nation's elite as well. Senior quarterback Dan Robinson is ranked 10th in the nation in total passing yards with 298.2. He is also No. 48 in passing efficiency with a rating of 125.7.

"I couldn't do anything if the offensive line didn't block and the receivers didn't catch the passes," Robinson said. "All I do is drop back and throw it. We've made a lot of progress over the last month. And the scary thing is, we could be a lot better."

As a team, Hawaii is No. 9 in yards passing per game with a 320.2 average. The Rainbows are also tied for 37th in total offense, averaging 404.6 yards a game.

And don't forget special teams. Jamal Garland is No. 36 in punt returns (11 yards) and punter Chad Shrout moved up to No. 14 nationally, averaging 43.38 a kick. As a team, the Rainbows are tied for No. 13 in net punting (39.5-yard average) and are tied for No. 36 in punt returns (11 yards).

"This win was a total team effort," UH head coach June Jones said. "The numbers reflect all the hard work the kids have put on the practice field."


Hawaii		4	1	0	.800	2	0	0	1.000	53	3
San Jose St.	3	2	0	.600	1	0	0	1.000	34	10
Fresno State	3	2	0	.600	1	0	0	1.000	26	19
Rice		2	3	0	.400	1	0	0	1.000	20	10
UTEP		2	3	0	.400	0	1	0	.000	3	33
TCU		1	3	0	.250	0	1	0	.000	19	26 
SMU		0	4	0	.000	0	1	0	.000	0	20
Tulsa		1	4	0	.200	0	2	0	.000	20	54


Hawai 33, UTEP 3
Rice 20, Tulsa 10
Kansas 27, SMU 9
San Jose St. 44, Stanford 39
Fresno St. 26, TCU 19 (OT)


San Jose St. at TCU, 9:05 a.m.
SMU at UTEP, 3:05 p.m.
Colorado St. at Fresno St., 4 p.m.
Rice at Hawaii, 6:05 p.m.



			Hawaii		Opp


First downs		95		99
Rushing			26		43
Passing			64		45
Penalty			5		11


Rushing yardage		422		740
Yards gained rushing	548		919
Yards lost rushing	126		179
Rushing Attempts	118		238
Average Per Rush.	3.6		3.1
Average Per Game	84.4		148.0
TDs Rushing		4		8


Passing yardage		1601		990
Att-Comp-Int.		218-120-10	149-86-7
Average Per Pass	7.3		6.6
Average Per Catch	13.3 		11.5
Average Per Game	320.2		198.0
TDs Passing		10		5


Total Offense		2023		1730
Total Plays		336		387
Average Per Play	6.0		4.5
Average Per Game	404.6	 	346.0


No. -Yards		21-367		24-402


No. -Yards		15-165	1	5-93


No. -Yards		7-93		10-47


			11-7		10-4


			53-444		41-303


			24-43.4		30-40.0


			25:44		34:16


			3/7		3/11


			3/7 		3/11


		Att.	Yds.	TD	Long
Weaver		41	221	1	20
Thompson	32	174	1	38
Fenderson	2	22	0	11
Stutzmann	4	19	0	9
Grant		4	15	0	13
Liana		1	5	0	5
Skinner		1	1	0	1
Garland		1	1	0	1
Harrison	6	-17	1	14
Robinson	26	-19	1	12


		Att.	Com.	Int.	Yds.	TD
Robinson	202	112	9	1510	10
Harrison	15	8	1	91	0
Ho-Ching	1	0	0	0	0


		No.	Yds.	TD	Long
Carter		33	565	3	62
Stutzmann	29	269	3	26
Harris		17	319	2	48
Lelie		11	136	0	43
Thompson	9	69	0	19
Weaver		7	79	0	29
Brooks		5	116	2	80
Gray		3	31	0	18
Colbert		2	7	0	8
Sims		1	11	0	11
de Laura	1	7	0	7
Noa		1	-1	0	0
Robinson	1	-7	0	0


		No.	Yds.	Avg.	Long
Shrout		24	1041	43.4	60


Ulbrich		22	44	66
Le Jay		7	26	33
D. Miller	17	14	31
Y. Warren	10	21	31
A. Smith	7	21	28
Kemfort		9	16	25
Paul		7	16	23
Tuioti		6	15	21
Austin		10	11	21
Tucker		7	13	20
Correia		4	13	17
Espiau		5	11	16
Elam		3	11	14
Ho-Ching	4	10	14
Iosua		4	8	12
Harrison	9	3	12
Sims		2	6	8
Jackson		1	7	8
Garner		0	8	8
Garnier		3	4	7
Avila		2	5	7
C. Brown	3	3	6
Fuga		1	4	5
Campbell	1	3	4
Espinoza	1	3	4
Morgan		0	4	4
Dietschy	0	3	3
Fenderson	1	2	3
Lelie		1	1	2
Armstrong	0	1	1
Jackson	1	0	1
Liana		1	0	1
Owen		1	0	1
Robinson	0	1	1
Shrout		0	1	1
Williams	1	0	1
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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