Sports Notebook

Friday, September 14, 2001


UH Football

Warriors sharp in practice

By Dave Reardon

Despite uncertainty about when its next game is and whom it will play, the Hawaii football team practiced for an efficient hour yesterday.

The Warriors, who normally practice two hours each morning, appeared crisp from beginning to end.

"We'll probably have short practices the next three or four days," UH coach June Jones said. "Our focus now is to get healthy and stay sharp."

Jones said Wednesday he would much prefer UH play its game tomorrow at Nevada rather than Sept. 22 or Dec. 8 -- Hawaii will have at least two weeks between its first and second games because of the scheduling problems caused by Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

But Jones also admitted some time off could help his defense recuperate from injuries, including several sustained in last Saturday's 30-12 season-opening victory over Montana.

Starting safety Jacob Espiau continues to recover from a shoulder injury and starting defensive tackle Mike Iosua hopes to be back from a knee sprain in time for UH's next game.

The other injuries are minor and should not affect the Warriors, whether the next time they play is Sept. 22 in Reno or Sept. 29 at Aloha Stadium against Rice.

"We're just going to come out and work hard and control what we can control," Jones said.

Jones said it "doesn't surprise" him that the NFL elected to cancel this week's games. He said he had no opinion on college teams following suit.

Harris bounces back: Wide receiver Channon Harris was disappointed with his performance Saturday. He caught two passes for 17 yards, but dropped two balls when he was wide open. Harris was the odd man out, as his three fellow starting receivers caught eight balls apiece.

But Harris has practiced well this week. He got behind the defense yesterday and made a nice running grab that would have gone for a touchdown in a game.

"That was nice, but I'd rather drop them in practice and catch them in the game," Harris said. "(The drops) bothered me a little, especially since it was our first game. But you can't let things like that keep you down, when you think about what's going on for so many other people that's worse. The good thing is that we have lots of good receivers, so if I have a bad game and the other three have good ones, we're all right."

Receivers coach Ron Lee said he isn't worried about Harris' confidence.

"He's fine," Lee said. "He's back on schedule. He had a great summer, a great camp. He will rebound."

Short yardage: UH's Ashley Lelie leads the WAC in receiving yards per game at 163.0 and is second in the nation. ... The last time UH won its first two games was 1997, when it opened with victories over Minnesota and Cal State Northridge. The Rainbows finished 3-9 that season. ... Starting safety Nate Jackson returned to full duty yesterday after limited practice the day before due to a leg infection. ... Second-string quarterback Nick Rolovich, a senior, is eligible to redshirt this year if he doesn't play. Third-string quarterback Jared Flint, a senior with no eligibility after this year, finished out the game Saturday after UH built an insurmountable lead.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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