H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Friday, November 12, 1999

Rainbow Notebook

Jones defends wins, losses

If you want to see June Jones get hot under the collar, just suggest to him that Hawaii has won the games it should have won and not beat a caliber opponent in 1999.

"How many of those games were they supposed to win during that 18-game losing streak?" the first-year Rainbows head coach said after yesterday morning's practice. "There isn't one team on our schedule we were supposed to beat. You earn every victory."

Hawaii's schedule has been called into question by some in the community and on the mainland as being too easy. Not only have the Rainbows knocked off only one team with a winning record - Boise State at 7-3 - they also have nine games at home.

Of the 11 Division I schools on this schedule, the highest-ranked team at this point is Saturday night's opponent, Fresno State.

According to CBS Sportsline, which ranks the 114 Division I schools, Fresno State is No. 51. Hawaii is No. 80 in this poll. Southern California (62), Texas Christian (69), Rice (74), Boise State (76), the Naval Academy (84), Southern Methodist (86), Texas-El Paso (87), Washington State (88), San Jose State (90) and Tulsa University (108) round out the 11 Division I opponents the Rainbows play this season.

Those 11 schools' combined record is 42-58. The only other team that has a winning mark at this point is Fresno State at 7-3.

"Our kids winning six games and being in the position to get a bowl bid and a share of the WAC championship is based on belief," Jones said. "This is pretty much the same team that lost 12 games last year. No matter who's on the schedule, these guys have already gone out and accomplished more than anybody thought."

Bowl business

If Hawaii wins any of its three remaining games, the Rainbows will be invited to play in the Oahu Bowl, Bowl Games Hawaii chief executive officer Lenny Klompus confirmed.

He also said that if Fresno State wins tomorrow, the Las Vegas Bowl will invite the Bulldogs to play in that game next month.

"It's pretty much a done deal," Klompus said. "We think a game between Hawaii and Oregon State is intriguing locally and on the national scene. You've got two Cinderella programs who have turned things around."

It's still a little early to predict which teams will be in the Aloha Bowl, but the likely scenario would be Arizona against North Carolina State.

Jones continued his mantra of not looking that far down the road. He knows the Rainbows could win any and all of their remaining three games or lose any and all.

"I'm not even thinking about a bowl game right now," Jones said. "Fresno State is my only concern. If we keep winning, the rest of that stuff takes care of itself."

Honoring class of 1934

Five members of the 1934 undefeated UH football team will be honored in a pregame ceremony tomorrow night at Aloha Stadium.

They are Tommy Kaulukukui, Tony Morse, Buster Piltz, George Zane and Richard Furtado. Two other players - Lex Brodie and Russ Quaintance - will not be able to attend the 65th anniversary ceremony of that 6-0 team that beat McKinley Alumni, Town Team, Kamehameha Alumni, St. Louis Alumni, Denver and California (NYC).

Injury update

Defensive end Matt Elam will miss the Fresno State game and possibly the rest of the regular season with a stress fracture in his leg.

"We're going to miss him up front because we already have a lot of guys nicked up," Jones said. "We expect to have Lui Fuga (sprained foot) back in there, but he may not be at full speed."

UH defensive coordinator Greg McMackin moved defensive end Mike Iosua to back up one tackle spot. Tony Tuioti is still bothered by a bad back, but he will play. So will wide receiver Scott Sims (shoulder) and safety Daniel Ho-Ching (shoulder).

Offensive tackle Kynan Forney returned to practice this week after missing most of the year with shoulder problems. He will be redshirted this season, leaving him with one year of eligibility.

By Paul Arnett

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