Sports Notebook

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Rolovich learning as he goes

By Dave Reardon

Having played 10 seasons as a college and pro quarterback, June Jones knows how Nick Rolovich feels right now.

The quarterback position is not all glory. Especially after a loss.

Rolovich and the Hawaii Warriors went into last Saturday's game against Boise State's Broncos with a five-game winning streak. They came out of it on the wrong end of a 28-21 score.

Rolovich was far less effective than in the five wins, when he passed for 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. On Saturday, he completed 23-of-45 passes for 258 yards, one TD and one interception -- numbers that might be good enough to beat some teams, but not Boise State.

"You play that position, you're going to have those kind of days," Jones said. "He'll play better. You've just got to keep working at it. Quarterbacks and corners are going to have days like that. You've got two options. You can quit and feel sorry for yourself or you can get better."

Rolovich has no choice but the latter as UH (6-3) gets ready to host Miami (Ohio) (7-3) on Saturday.

"I've already started to really look deeply into mistakes to correct them," he said yesterday. "A lot of my personal mistakes are probably fixable. Some of it is before the play starts I've got to look at the whole field."

Sounds familiar: Miami lost a tough game on Saturday, too, falling to Marshall 27-21, after the RedHawks had won seven games in a row.

"I'm proud of our guys. The game hinges on five, six or seven plays. They kept drives alive. They're a championship team," Miami coach Terry Hoeppner said. "But I think you saw in us a team that's on its way to being a championship team. We fought for sixty minutes but just couldn't get the stop at the end."

Hawaii is an 8-point favorite to beat the RedHawks and guarantee a winning season. But Jones foresees a tough game.

"This will be another challenge. The last four teams are the best teams we're playing," he said. "We're going to have to play good defense to win and make some plays on offense.

"On both sides of the ball they're pretty impressive."

This week's Jones-is-leaving rumor: We're all tired of it, but get used to it. As more coaching positions open up, Jones' name will often be among the list of possible replacements.

Yesterday, he appeared on a not-so-short list of those who might take over for Ted Tollner, who is out at San Diego State.

An exasperated Jones -- who strongly indicated last week he has no plans on leaving Hawaii -- declined to comment.

Tomey, too: Former UH and Arizona coach Dick Tomey, who now spends his Saturday evenings doing TV commentary for Hawaii games, has been named as a possible successor to Terry Allen at Kansas.

"From my experience with these things, I've learned that it's not appropriate to comment on anything," Tomey told the Kansas City Star. "I have not been contacted, but I'm going to have to decline to say anything else."

Fresno State coach Pat Hill is a more likely candidate for the Jayhawk job. He has a strong connection in KU athletic director Al Bohl. Bohl hired Hill at Fresno, and has contacted him about going to Kansas.

"I've talked to Al Bohl about it," Hill said. "I've got some questions that I sent to him, questions about things that are important to me in building a program. I'll hear back from him on that."

What's up with that?: Somebody's turning in -- their votes, and to bed -- before all the games are over. Hawaii received five votes in the ESPN/USA Today poll (compared to one the previous week), despite its late-night loss to Boise State. The Broncos? Nada.

In the Associated Press poll, UH lost the two points it got the previous week.

Short yardage: UH wide receiver Ashley Lelie can break his own single-season school touchdown reception record with one more scoring catch. He matched his 11 TDs of last season with a 22-yard pass thrown by Rolovich on Saturday. ... Jeff Sydner was drafted out of UH as a junior in 1992 in the sixth round by the Philadelphia Eagles. A recent story incorrectly said Lelie could be the first Hawaii player to be drafted before his senior season. ... Warrior running back Thero Mitchell has scored in six consecutive games.

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