Star-Bulletin Sports

Sunday, October 21, 2001


Tulsa quarterback James Kilian scores the final touchdown
of the game over Hawaii's Keith Bhonapha in the fourth quarter.

has big day
-- within system

He led the Warrior defense
against Tulsa

Rolo has UH rollin'

By Dave Reardon

TULSA, Okla. >> Pisa Tinoisamoa can do so much when he doesn't try to do too much.

That was the case yesterday as Hawaii's junior outside linebacker led the Warrior defense with 14 tackles and a forced fumble, helping UH to a 36-15 victory over Tulsa.

Tinoisamoa came into the game as the WAC's second-leading tackler behind Tulsa's Michael Dulaney. After it was over, Tinoisamoa had passed Dulaney, averaging 10.5 stops per game to 10.4 for Dulaney.

Unfortunately for the Golden Hurricane, the game wasn't nearly as close. And Tinoisamoa was a big reason why.

"He made a bunch of plays in the first half," UH coach June Jones said. "He was all over the place. That was really good to see."

Tinoisamoa has been all over the place in the past. Until a couple games ago, though, it wasn't always the right place. But he's freelancing less and fitting into Hawaii's defense.

"My consistency is just because I'm doing my job. I used to feel like I had to do everybody else's job. All I can do is do my own job," Tinoisamoa said. "I've been doing that and everything has been successful."

He started the season with a three-sack game against Montana. Tinoisamoa said it doesn't bother him that he's added only one more to his total.

"A lot of what we do is to free up other guys to make big plays," he said. "We have a lot of guys who can get sacks, if we all do our jobs.

"(Tulsa) had some early success with the run. We had to stop it in order to win the game. That was our first worry."

Defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa's forehead wrinkled after Tulsa scored on an 11-play, 65-yard drive on its first possession to take a short-lived 7-3 lead -- especially since Hurricane tailback Eric Richardson accounted for 31 of those yards on eight carries.

There were no huge breakaways, but the Tulsa offensive line was creating enough space for Lempa and the defense to worry.

"Hey, they took that first drive and drove right down the field. I was thinking, 'Oh, no,' " Lempa said. "They might have been nervous, we missed a couple tackles. We got on the sideline and said, listen, we just got to play what we always play, and we'll be fine."

The Warriors' defense set the tone for the rest of the game on Tulsa's next series. Richardson was stuffed twice for no gain and Josh Blankenship's pass for Donald Shoals fell to the turf on third down.

Abe Elimimian, Travis Laboy and Laanui Correa were the ones who got their names announced. And that was fine with Tinoisamoa.

"The main thing is we play responsible football," he said. "And then the plays come for everyone, the line, the linebackers and the secondary."

Said Lempa: "We knew today that this team was going to come out and try to run on us. (Tinoisamoa) did a nice job reading the run, filling his gap. Got some guys from behind.

"Our players believe in what's going on, in what we're doing. They believe in each other, they believe in the scheme, they believe they're going to win. When you have all that together, no matter what happens, they're going to hang tough."

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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