[ UH WARRIOR FOOTBALL ]
A guy named Chance is getting his opportunity for the Nevada football team, and making the most of it.
Warriors very wary
By Dave Reardon
Wolf Pack freshman running back Chance Kretschmer is the Western Athletic Conference's leading rusher after carrying for 114 yards in last week's 35-18 loss to Colorado State and 94 yards in a previous loss to Brigham Young.
Kretschmer (6-2, 220) gets his first collegiate start Saturday at Reno's Mackay Stadium -- if Hawaii and Nevada are cleared to play after a conference meeting today addressing yesterday's terrorist attacks.
Just a few days ago, Kretschmer was nowhere near the top of the Nevada running back list, much less that of the WAC.
He entered the Colorado State game when starter Adrien Dugas hurt an ankle on the third play of the game. And Kretschmer was awarded a scholarship when running back Herman Ho-Ching, a transfer from Oregon and brother of former UH player Daniel Ho-Ching, didn't make it academically.
"Real good, real good running back," Hawaii coach June Jones said of Kretschmer. "And they've got a great quarterback (David Neill). He didn't play last week, but he's a good one."
Neill, who leads Nevada in career passing, total offense and passing attempts, was held out of last week's game for an unspecified reason. Jones expects him back this week.
"This is a big game for them. They need it badly. We'll have to play our best to beat them," Jones said.
"(On defense) they come after you and they play a little bit more man than most teams do. We just have to prepare for everything and see how they play us," Jones said.
Defense recovering: UH defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa said yesterday's practice was encouraging in that most of his banged-up players look like they'd be ready to play Saturday.
"There's a lot of bumps and bruises. (Starting safety) Jacob (Espiau) will play. The only one who is questionable is (starting tackle) Mike (Iosua). Linebacker Keani (Alapa) will come back. Things looked a lot better today," Lempa said.
Espiau is battling a shoulder injury, Iosua a shoulder and knee, and Alapa missed Saturday's game with a hamstring injury.
Lempa said outside linebacker Joe Correia's move back to defensive end is not permanent.
"We'll probably play him in both places," Lempa said.
RBs likely to redshirt: Running backs Pesefea Fiaseu and Brian Daniels will likely redshirt this season, given the emergence of fellow true freshman Mike Bass.
"With Mike stepping things up and Thero Mitchell and Tui Ala right there, we'll have the luxury of redshirting those guys," running backs coach Wes Suan said. "But they're very capable athletes."
Short yardage: UH quarterback Tim Chang ranks atop the NCAA total yardage list after one game with 428 yards. ... Receivers Ashley Lelie, Justin Colbert and Craig Stutzmann are all tied with Louisiana Tech's John Simon to lead the WAC with 8.0 catches per game. (Simon has played in two games and has 16 catches).
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