Bill Kwon

Sports Watch

By Bill Kwon

Monday, November 1, 1999

Rainbows: Coulda,
but nevah happen

IT was five to win two. Now it's four to win two. That's how many games the Hawaii Rainbows have to win to be Oahu Bowl-bound.

Texas Christian's 34-14 spanking of the football 'Bows wasn't surprising.

Hey, nobody ever expected UH to be in this positive position in the first place.

But after having jumped off to a 5-2 start with five games to go, anything less than going 7-5 will be very disappointing to the football 'Bows and their diehard fans.

No wonder the UH locker room was somber Saturday night at Aloha Stadium. I've experienced more gaiety at a funeral home.

To a man, the Rainbows were upset that they had lost to TCU. The feelings afterward were similar following the loss to Rice.

It was coulda, shoulda, woulda. Instead, it was nevah happen.

Not that the Rainbows couldn't have stepped on the Horned Frogs and squashed any hopes of their winning the Western Athletic Conference championship for good.

Now they're still alive after their do-or-die game against the Rainbows.

Every athletic contest has a turning point. For Hawaii, it was the third quarter, when UH painstakingly moved from its own 20 to TCU's 15-yard line in a drive that consumed five minutes, 51 seconds.

But Dan Robinson was intercepted at the goal line, and seven seconds later - that's all it took - TCU scored on a 48-yard pass that put the game out of reach.

UNTIL then, the Rainbows were living on borrowed time, trailing only 14-6 at halftime despite going 3-and-out on four straight possessions.

Time ran out in the second half.

Another 40-yard TD pass, which again caught the UH secondary flatfooted as it played for the run, made it sayonara.

TCU applied the coup de grace with a 14-play, 92-yard scoring drive that ate up 7 minutes, 49 seconds in the fourth quarter against a dog-tired UH defense that deserved better than seeing 34 points run up against it.

"I was really proud of our defense. They played hard and put us in a position to put us in the game," said Coach June Jones.

The offense simply didn't do its job.

Robinson couldn't be faulted. He took a pounding under a severe TCU pass rush. Time and again, he had to be scraped off the stadium AstroTurf.

Like a good trooper, Robinson admitted that he could have done a better job of finding his receivers.

"We had our opportunities but didn't take advantage of them," he said.

ROBINSON completed only 25 of 55 passes for 237 yards - his lowest output since the opening loss against Southern California.

TCU's defense - No. 1 in the WAC - had a lot to do with it, of course.

Still, the Rainbows had their chances. And ultimately, that's what pained them the most.

"We just didn't make our plays," Jones said. "But they had a lot to do with it."

The TCU game's over and done with and there's no looking back. San Jose State is next and the 'Bows can make it a 3-0 sweep on the road with a victory Saturday in the Bay Area.

It would be the first time since 1988 that that's been accomplished.

Win at San Jose, and the magic number for a bowl bid would be one victory in the remaining three home games against Fresno State, Navy and Washington State.

But, hey, who's counting

Bill Kwon has been writing
about sports for the Star-Bulletin since 1959.

E-mail to Sports Editor

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