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Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, October 16, 2000

U H _ F O O T B A L L

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Hawaii's Pisa Tinoisamoa strips the ball from SMU
quarterback David Page. Hawaii recovered and
drove in for the game-clinching TD.

Warriors out-
wrangle Mustangs

Dark-outfitted UH boys give
Aloha Stadium fans a
colorful first victory

Bullet Next: Rice would be nice
Bullet Warrior Football Notebook
Bullet DL set up LB tee-off
Bullet Warrior Football Statistics

By Paul Arnett

Anyone who encountered June Jones before Saturday night's game with Southern Methodist, it was nothing personal.

The head football coach for the University of Hawaii was wound so tight, he even made Mike Cavan look like a surfer dude on the North Shore looking for some cool waves and tasty grinds. And unlike Cavan, his coaching counterpart for the Mustangs, Jones' job isn't the one in the tradewinds.

UH Football

Tinoisamoa WAC Defensive
Player of the Week

University of Hawaii sophomore linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa was named the Defensive Player of the Week today by the Western Athletic Conferece.

Tinoisamoa made 10 tackles - nine solo - in Hawaii's win over SMU Saturday. He also forced a fumble late in the fourth quarter that helped seal the Warriors' first win of the season.

Losing four straight to open what he predicted would be a promising season will make you question and feel grief about almost anything:

Change the Warriors back to the Rainbows. Do away with that H-thing and embrace, Let's go 'Bows. Don't bring the program into the 21st century so fast it makes our helmets spin. What's up with that inverted Arizona Diamondbacks emblem? Don't you know we're more comfortable somewhere over the rainbow?

Jones knew all this when he touched down here 22 months back, but he wanted to do as much as he could before the wheels of bureaucracy ground his vision to a halt.

He was well aware there would be those in the current administration not all that enamored with black jerseys, black pants and green numbers trimmed in white. But he did it anyway. If you're not going to speed on his highway, pull over and let him pass.

To make matters worse, the miracle run of a year ago ran dry. Instead of playing for first in Saturday's melodrama, the two teams were face-to-face with the cellar. And there were times in the ragged game when you realized why both of these teams were winless in the WAC -- penalties, fumbles, interceptions, dropped footballs, those types of things.

But as ugly as it was, the Hawaii football team felt a whole lot better than SMU after holding on for a hard-fought, if not aesthetically pleasing victory, entering this Saturday's game at Rice University.

"It wasn't beautiful," Jones said. "But being 1-4 sure beats the hell out of 0-5."

You got that right. Suddenly, the beat up Warriors don't have such a hitch in the giddy up. Lui Fuga's shoulder pops out. Pop it back in. Doug Sims sprains his knee. He, too, makes a return engagement. Craig Stutzmann's head goes numb after a tackle. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

This is the kind of mental toughness Jones has been searching for from a team that went a little soft in the head after reading more hype than a pay-per-view plug of an upcoming WWF tag-team match. The team believed so much in miracles, they lost sight of the big picture. It's still not in focus, but the fuzziness around the edges are more distinct.

The offensive line hasn't yielded a quarterback sack in two games. The defense gave up fewer than 300 yards and 20 points for the first time this season. And freshman Mat McBriar -- who place-kicker Eric Hannum had to show how to put the pads in his pants -- launched punts high into the Aloha Stadium night, averaging 42.6 yards on seven kicks.

None of this left Jones giddy with excitement. But the smile that spread across his face when he met the press after the 30-15 victory told the story. He even gave Cavan a hug after the gun, in a rare display of emotion. Both knew how the other felt.

"I'm glad for the kids," Jones said. "I was really apprehensive, more going into this game so far. They play a lot like we do, kind of beating themselves. That kind of team worries you because they might put it together against you.

"We're still making a ton of mistakes and dropping footballs. We've got to correct those things if we're going to beat a good football team. But we still won. That's the bottom line. It feels good."

That sentiment was echoed by nearly everyone in the locker room. The O-line sat and talked among themselves, long after most of their teammates had hit the showers. The defensive secondary went over the good, the bad and the ugly; happy to limit top SMU wideout Chris Cunningham to one catch for three yards.

And then there was quarterback Timmy Chang. Much like the TCU game, the true freshman started fast, took a break in the second and third quarters, and came back to finish strong as SMU cut into the early 17-0 deficit.

"Stutzmann did a great job," Chang said of his St. Louis School counterpart. He finished with four catches for 68 yards and two scores. "He had a fumble, but I told him just come back, concentrate and do the job out there. He broke two tackles, made a big run and kind of put them away on that last touchdown."

Chang hit 23 of 42 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored on a quarterback sneak with 2:07 left to seal the deal. It was the first victory of his collegiate career.

"Timmy continues to make plays," Jones said. "He made some freshman mistakes, but he continues to get better every game. He's growing, as is our team. This was a big win for us because it was our first one. Now, we've got to go to Rice ... and try to get a victory on the road. It's tough, but we will feel a lot better about ourselves than if we had lost this game."



Hawaii Vs. Rice, 10 A.M. Bullet Saturday Bullet At Houston

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
UH's Timmy Chang, right, leads the run-and-shoot offense
which has Rice University concerned.

A win at Rice would
be nice for UH

By Paul Arnett

While Rice University had a bye to prepare for Hawaii's run-and-shoot, the Warriors will need a crash course this week to prepare for the Owls' spread option.

Playing against Texas Christian's option nine days ago should give the Warriors some idea what to expect from Rice this Saturday in Houston, although the options are different.

"We already did some work against it in fall camp, so hopefully, our players will pick it up pretty quick this week," UH defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa said yesterday.

"The problem is the health of our team. We're hurting, so we may be forced to go with some guys who haven't had as many repetitions in practice."

UH head coach June Jones voiced a similar concern. Much like TCU, Rice uses the chop blocks Jones finds objectionable. He's worried his already walking wounded defensive front will be susceptible to further injury.

"It's always difficult to go against an option team," Jones said. "Their blocking schemes are a little different than TCU's, but they still dive for your knees. Our guys will have to be ready for that."

The Owls haven't played since losing to Fresno State in a Thursday night game two weeks ago. The time off gave Ken Hatfield's team time to heal. So much so, the Rice head coach's top two quarterbacks will be at full speed for the first time since the season opener.

"Getting Jeremy Hurd back was big for us," Hatfield said of his freshman quarterback, who broke his ring finger in the season-opening win over the University of Houston. The Owls haven't won since.

"Playing a team like Hawaii is always tough because of their offense," Hatfield said. "Having the extra week will help, but it's tough to copy it in practice."

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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