Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, October 5, 2001


UH Football

Hawaii tuning up
special teams


By Dave Reardon

DALLAS >> The Hawaii football team arrived yesterday afternoon for tomorrow's game against Southern Methodist, rested after its long flight and practiced under the lights and a harvest moon at nearby MacArthur High School.

The Warriors spent a good portion of the two-hour workout tuning up their special teams, which was a problem area in last Saturday's 27-24 loss against Rice.

Quarterback Nick Rolovich, starting for the injured Tim Chang, improved his timing with the receivers.

"He's doing a good job," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "He's better than he was last year when we asked him to play."

Fond memories:

Senior safety Jacob Espiau remembers well the last time UH played SMU here. It was in 1999, when the Warriors beat the Mustangs 20-0.

"The key was stopping their run, and that's what it will be this time," Espiau said. "Actually, that's what it always is."

Junior Kris Briggs is SMU's top rushing threat. He's carried 39 times for 177 yards this season.

Briggs played extensively against UH in 1999 and again last year as Hawaii won 30-15 at Aloha Stadium, but UH kept him out of the end zone in both wins.

"He's a big back (5 feet 11 inches, 224 pounds), a definite weapon," Espiau said. "If we keep him down, that will help us a lot."

Correia in:

Defensive end/linebacker Joe Correia will likely play a lot tomorrow despite a foot injury.

"He looks all right," defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa said. "I thought he was going to be out, but he had a good week of practice."

Defensive end Wayne Hunter is questionable with back spasms and the flu.

Lempa said no decision has been made on starting Kelvin Millhouse or Abraham Elimimian at cornerback or Matt Wright or Keani Alapa at strongside linebacker. He indicated that all four would play, though.

Short yardage:

Former UH quarterback Hunter Young visited practice. After transferring from Hawaii, he played at Hofstra and now lives in Dallas. ... The Oklahoma football team, here to play Texas tomorrow, will be staying at the same hotel as Hawaii. ... With the Oklahoma-Texas game on the same day at the Cotton Bowl, SMU is expecting a small crowd of around 12,000 for the Hawaii game. ... Jacob Crowley, who made three field goals against the Warriors last year, is 4 of 6 this season, including a 48-yarder. ... The Warriors were greeted by weather not much different than typical for Hawaii -- in the mid-80s with a light breeze. But cooler temperatures were expected for game time tomorrow: a high of 68 and low of 53 with partly sunny skies.

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