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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, September 26, 2000

U H _ F O O T B A L L

UH Football

Jones blocks out
UH quarterback

Warriors' coach defends
Rolovich's performance, but won't
say who'll start Saturday
against Tulsa

By Paul Arnett

If you read between the lines, University of Hawaii head coach June Jones may already have selected his starting quarterback without making an official announcement.

As of today, it appears Nick Rolovich is the leading contender to be the first man under center in Saturday night's Western Athletic Conference meeting with the University of Tulsa. Whether he is the last man there in only the second game to be played this season at Aloha Stadium depends on the situation.

Jones reiterated at yesterday's news conference that Rolovich didn't have that bad of a game -- but many of the players around him did. Blown blocking assignments, particularly at left tackle, put Rolovich in harm's way in the 39-7 loss at Texas-El Paso.

Several blindside hits left Rolovich a little woozy. He was in no shape to lead a possible comeback, forcing Jones to put in freshman Timmy Chang to start the second half. The former St. Louis School standout had some good moments of his own, including completing a 74-yard strike to Justin Colbert.

But he also had enough bad moments to keep Jones from forcing the issue just yet. Better let a few practices go by this week with live combat to see how the duo responds before announcing a choice.

"Nick played real well, to be quite honest," Jones said yesterday. "He got his ass knocked off. We catch the ball, you probably never would have seen Timmy in the game.

"We'll probably meet on it tonight, look at practice and then make a decision. I don't know who it will be, but if you keep asking me, I won't tell you until the game. I want to mess with you guys a little bit.''

Perhaps it's not the media Jones should be messing with, rather a team that seems to lack leadership at the grass roots. In both losses to Portland State and Texas-El Paso, Hawaii didn't respond positively to a momentum shift.

In the season-opening shocker against the Vikings, there were two costly turnovers that led to touchdowns which sent the Warriors' heads hanging.

In the defeat to the Miners last Saturday night, it was a holding call that rubbed out a Hawaii touchdown and led to another by UTEP on the next play.

Game. Set. Match.

"We had two momentum changes in both the first and second games,'' Jones said. "And we couldn't handle it. We were watching the Broncos go up 24-0 and in about eight minutes, Oakland tied them 24-24. And the crowd's going wild and they (Denver) just go in and kick their asses, and win 34-24.

"That's how you gotta be. You can't let the momentum affect you. And it has both games and we've got to grow up and deal with that. I think you have to win. That always makes you a lot better.''

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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