Wednesday, September 19, 2001
[ UH WARRIOR FOOTBALL ]
UH all businessHawaii football coach June Jones is a gambler. His offense is the high-risk, high-return run-and-shoot, and you never know when he'll try a fake punt or an onside kick.
Jones and Wolf Pack coach
Chris Tormey agree the two
teams have many similarities
By Dave Reardon
The defense of preference? Blitz.
So you'd figure Reno, Nev., would be his kind of place. But as the Warriors get ready for their Western Athletic Conference opener there, Jones is prepping his team for the rigors of the road.
And although UH is a 612-point favorite, he doesn't want to leave anything to the spin of the wheel or roll of the dice.
"Going to this town, there's a lot of distractions," he said yesterday. "You've got to stay focused. You've got all different kinds of things -- altitude, the time change. We've got to handle all those things as pros and just realize we're going up there on a business trip, and if we win this game, it's going to be good for us."
Jones insists the teams are closer than a touchdown, especially with the game at the Wolf Pack's Mackay Stadium.
"We're evenly matched," he said. "We're two of the same kind of teams and both looking to get some confidence, so it should be a good football game."
UH is 1-0 and Nevada 0-2, but both are coming off disappointing seasons -- the Warriors were 3-9 a year ago and the Wolf Pack 2-10 in their first season in the Western Athletic Conference.
"They are a lot like us. They went to a little more running game (in a 35-18 loss at Colorado State two weeks ago)," Jones said. "We'll have to get ready for both and see who plays and what their attitude is."
Nevada coach Chris Tormey also said the teams are alike.
"There are a lot of similarities. We both play one-back offenses and pressure defenses," Tormey said. "Philosophically, we're similar."
Hawaii played one of its best games of the season against Nevada last year, beating it 37-17 at Aloha Stadium. But the Wolf Pack passed for 357 yards, including 326 by David Neill, who is back at quarterback this year.
If not for two key interceptions by UH safety Nate Jackson, the outcome could have been different.
"We're better than we were a year ago," Tormey said. "How much better, we'll know at the end of the season."
Nate Burleson, who caught eight passes for 104 yards, is also back for the Wolf Pack, and running back Chance Kretschmer, mired on the scout team last year, has emerged as a threat at running back. He tops the WAC with 104 rushing yards per game.
Despite a slow start in the 30-12 season-opening victory against Montana, UH quarterback Tim Chang passed for 435 yards, and he leads the nation in total offense.
Ashley Lelie, who caught nine passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns against Nevada last year, is back as the Warriors' top receiver.
"Both teams have the ability to move the ball," Tormey said. "You have to score some points to win."
Ka Leo O Hawaii