Friday, October 27, 2000
University of Hawaii head coach June Jones knows what inspiration can mean to a team.
After coaching with the Detroit Lions in 1989-90, Jones had the opportunity to get to know guard Michael Utley of Washington State, before Jones left to join the Atlanta Falcons' staff in 1991.
Upon hearing of Utley's spinal cord injury in a game in November of 1991, Jones felt the emotion his former players were experiencing for a fallen comrade.
As Utley left the field, he gave a thumbs up sign to his Detroit teammates, who went on to win their next six games in his honor.
Through this experience, Jones will try to prepare the Warriors for the emotional wave San Jose State rode over here with as the Spartans come ashore tonight for tomorrow's game with Hawaii. They are sure to be emotional for the Western Athletic Conference game after learning last weekend fallen teammate Neil Parry would have to have his right leg amputated just above the ankle.
The special teams player, whose brother, Josh, is the Spartans' leading tackler, broke his ankle in the third quarter of a game at Texas-El Paso on Oct. 14.
A compound fracture resulted that severed a major artery. Life-threatening bacteria set in several days later, forcing doctors to amputate a portion of his right leg.
"They will be very emotional and will probably play that way throughout the game," Jones said. "I'm sure they will play their best game for him. They'll play their asses off.
"We've made our players aware of it, so they understand what to expect. All you can do is talk to them. When Mike Utley went down, everyone who knew him felt emotional for him and his family. That's just how it is."
Injury updateJones confirmed that running back James Fenderson will not play tomorrow, due to sore ribs. He suffered the injury in the first quarter of last weekend's 38-13 loss at Rice University.
Senior back Afatia Thompson will be the starter. He is returning after missing two games with an ankle sprain. Junior Robert Grant will back him up.
Down linemen Doug Sims (knee), Lui Fuga (shoulder), Chris Brown (bruised leg) and Mike Iosua (shoulder) will play. So will linebacker Rinda Brooks (hamstring), offensive guard Vince Manuwai (hamstring), and safeties Dee Miller (hamstring), Nate Jackson (foot) and Jacob Espiau (shoulder).
Defensive end Joe Correia was expected to play some tomorrow, but he reinjured his broken foot in practice Wednesday night and is listed as questionable.
Chang moves onLike a shooting guard who has an off-night, UH quarterback Timmy Chang already has put the debacle at Rice University behind him.
Granted, his first school record is one he would soon forget. Throwing five interceptions in one game is something he never did in high school. But give Chang credit, he isn't dwelling on the negative.
"When you play quarterback at Hawaii, you're under a microscope," Chang said. "You have to take the bad with the good. It's part of being the quarterback. I understand that."
That's one reason Jones has decided to stick with him as Hawaii prepares for San Jose State. He believes Chang is the quarterback of the future and wants to give him every opportunity to grow the rest of the way.
"Some of the stuff is his fault," Jones said. "But he will learn. He and the receivers need to keep working together. Once they get on the same page, the offense will work well."
Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin