Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, November 1, 1999

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

Football Wrap

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Hawaii linebacker Robert Kemfort brings down
TCU quarterback Patrick Batteaux.

opportunity awaits

They missed one by losing to TCU
but a win at San Jose State would
enhance their bid for a bowl
game and the WAC-title

Bullet Rainbow Notebook
Bullet Season Statistics
Bullet Fans showed little aloha
Bullet UH seeks third road win

By Paul Arnett


Opportunity knocked for Hawaii for the first time since Wyoming came to town in November of 1992.

Earlier that day seven years ago, Trent Dilfer led Fresno State to an exhilarating 45-41 victory over Marshall Faulk and San Diego State, clearing the way for the Rainbows to go to the Holiday Bowl if they could rope and brand the Cowboys.

That night, after Hawaii secured the 42-18 victory over Wyoming, former athletic director Stan Sheriff stood in the jubilant locker room with a look of pure joy etched on his face.

In contrast, UH athletic director Hugh Yoshida stood outside the Rainbows' locker room as the players exited the field last Saturday, a solemn expression spreading across his face.

If there ever was a chance for Hawaii to stay in the thick of the Western Athletic Conference race and move within one game of a postseason bid, defeating Texas Christian was it.

Unfortunately for Yoshida and the Rainbows, the Horned Frogs did the hopping and the bopping in the league game to secure a 34-14 victory.

Granted, Hawaii still trails front-running Rice and Fresno State by one game. The Owls travel to Fresno, Calif., this weekend to play the Bulldogs in arguably the most important matchup of the season for both teams.

But if Hawaii can handle its business in San Jose, Calif., this weekend and Fresno State takes care of Rice's traveling salvation show, the Rainbows will once again control their own destiny.

"That's why we have to put this game behind us and start concentrating on San Jose State," UH middle linebacker Jeff Ulbrich said. "This loss hurts because we had a chance to move into first place and all but lock up a bowl bid. We didn't do it. But we have to learn from it."

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Hawaii quarterback Dan Robinson is pushed out of
bounds by TCU middle linebacker Shannon Brazzell.

What UH fans learned last Saturday night is the defense played perhaps its best all-around game of the season. Granted, the Frogs connected on two huge scoring plays of 40 and 48 yards to wideout Mike Scarborough. And there was that 92-yard, 14-play drive in the fourth quarter.

But for the better part of three periods, Hawaii held TCU in check. Had the offense been any help, the outcome might have been different.

"Our guys came together and played their best all-around game of the season," UH defensive coordinator Greg McMackin said. "You can't overlook those two big passing plays, but I thought Jeff Ulbrich, Yaphet Warren, Matt Paul and Quincy LeJay had their best games of the season."

Ulbrich is within shouting distance of the single-season tackling record of 148 set in 1968 by linebacker Tim Buchanan. The transfer from San Jose State had 17 Saturday night to run his season total to 110.

LeJay managed his third interception of the season and defended the option well. Warren and Paul combined on 15 tackles, but it just wasn't quite enough.

"I thought our defense played well, but so did theirs," UH coach June Jones said. "We gave up a couple of big plays on defense and their defense did a good job matching up with our offense. It was very physical out there all night."

You won't get any argument from TCU running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Now second in the nation in rushing, Tomlinson suffered a high ankle sprain midway through the first quarter and wound up with only 51 yards on eight carries.

Tomlinson came back in several times during the second half, but just couldn't manage the pain of the sprain.

"I felt the team needed me," Tomlinson said of his return in the second half. "I had to show a little toughness and play with pain a little bit.

"I saw some of the big holes (backup Andrew Hayes-Stoker) had. And I was like, 'Man, if I was in there, I would have had a lot of yards.' The offensive line blocked well, the fullback blocked well and the receivers blocked well. I'm happy with that."

McMackin took exception to part of that message. He believed the hit Ulbrich put on Tomlinson early on convinced him the sidelines were a safer place to be.

"He kept coming back in during the second half and you could tell he didn't want any part of our guys," McMackin said. "I also saw a lot of high-low blocking out there, which you just don't do.

"I lost a lot of respect for Dennis Franchione. You don't engage in blocks like that because you're talking about a guy's career. We're lucky we didn't have any major knee injuries."

Jones didn't like the blocking schemes, either, but conceded, "They're legal." His concern right now is righting the ship in time for the road trip to San Jose.

"We're still right there," Jones said. "We just need to take care of business in California this weekend and take it from there."

Some fans showed
little aloha after game

By Paul Arnett


The frustration Hawaii felt at losing to Texas Christian on Saturday night turned ugly as the Rainbows exited the field. Above their locker room tunnel, a fan yelled out that the defense played well, but UH quarterback Dan Robinson, "Sucked."

Volatile special teams coach Dennis McKnight - the man they call Conan due to his undying love for the movie - took exception with the fan. In effect, McKnight called out the fan, leading to an exchange of obscenities caught on tape recorders and videotape.

Eventually, the police helped subdue the angry fan. He left the stadium on his own, but several players almost climbed into the stands after him before cooler heads prevailed.

Two former Fort Worth, Texas, police officers travel with head coach Dennis Franchione to make sure nothing happens during or after a game. They told reporters that the UH fans located behind the TCU bench were among the worst they had been around.

One officer said the main problem was selling beer at the games, a practice no longer tolerated at Amon Carter Stadium, the campus home for TCU.

"They arrested one guy behind us because of public intoxication and fighting," he said, asking not to be identified. "You sell beer for an entire game and you're going to have these kind of ugly incidents."

Several TCU players said they tried to ignore the insults hurled from the stands, some personal. Others said it felt like they were playing in a foreign country.

"It was like a jungle out there," backup running back Andrew Hayes-Stoker said. "The people were stomping and yelling. It was tough to hear, but we came through it all right."


UH looks for third win
on the road

Next game at San Jose State.
Nov. 6, 10:30 a.m. hst

By Paul Arnett


The last and only time Hawaii won at San Jose State, Rainbows head coach June Jones was all of 4 years old.

For some reason, the San Jose State Spartans pose problems for the Rainbows. Hawaii's last win at the Bay Area site was in 1958. Since then, Hawaii has lost four times at Spartan Stadium and played to a 35-35 tie in 1991.

San Jose State has won all three games with Hawaii since joining the Western Athletic Conference in 1996.

"But those aren't the same teams as this one," UH defensive coordinator Greg McMackin said. "We've got a two-game winning streak on the road and are looking to make it three."

The last season Hawaii had an unblemished road record was 1988.
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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