Sports Notebook

Friday, November 16, 2001

Miami coach’s hero:
Hawaii’s June Jones

By Dave Reardon

Terry Hoeppner hasn't met June Jones, but they're part of the same extended family: the run-and-shoot clan.

"I've never met the man. But I may ask him for an autograph before the game," Hoeppner said. "He's one of the special people in college football."

The Miami (Ohio) coach, with freshman slinger Ben Roethlisberger at the controls, has the RedHawks throwing the ball out of the spread formation. But he's also a run-and-shoot guy from way back.

His first exposure to the four-receiver, no tight end set was in 1966, when Hoeppner was a sophomore defensive back at Franklin College. Franklin ran the offense then.

"(Jones) has put a lot of new touches on it. The 2001 version of the run-and-shoot is much different," he said. "There's a lot more gun than the old run-and-shoot with Mouse Davis."

"We've dubbed our offense the Midwest coast offense and June Jones is one of my heroes," Hoeppner said. "We probably don't have as many receivers and they're not as fast as the Warriors have, but we're going to try and slow them down a little bit. And maybe these little slow guys from the Midwest can catch a few."

RedHawks vs. Warriors

Who: Miami (Ohio) (7-3) vs. Hawaii (6-3)
Where: Aloha Stadium
When: 6:05 p.m. tomorrow
TV: KFVE (tape), 10 p.m.
Radio: KCCN-1420 live.
Of note: This is the first time the schools meet in football.

Roethlisberger's favorite target is Jason Branch, who has 39 catches for 501 yards and three touchdowns.

No consolation: Hawaii slotback Channon Harris had his best game of the season Saturday against Boise State, with 10 catches for 112 yards. But he wasn't happy.

"I really don't have any individual goals. This is my last year and I want to win," he said. "I'd be happy to get my 53 yards and win the game, instead of get over 100 and lose. It seems like when I do have big games, we lose, not always, but it's been like that a little bit."

Biletnikoff finalists chosen: Jabar Gaffney (Florida), Josh Reed (Louisiana State) and Lee Evans (Wisconsin) are the finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes annually to the top receiver in Division I-A.

The winner will be announced Dec. 6.

Hawaii junior Ashley Lelie had made the semifinalist list of 11.

Injury report: Miami is much healthier than Hawaii. Only reserve linebacker/special team player Marshall Upshaw is out for the RedHawks.

Jones again said he doesn't expect defensive end Travis Laboy (left ankle sprain) and linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (right leg stress fracture) to play tomorrow. But cornerback Abraham Elimimian (sprained right ankle) practiced yesterday after missing a day earlier in the week and should be able to compete tomorrow.

Short yardage: The RedHawks visited the Arizona Memorial yesterday. ... Miami freshman wide receiver Michael Larkin is a second cousin of Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin. Freshman kicker Jared Parseghian is the great nephew of coaching legend and Miami alumnus Ara Parseghian. ... Jones was among the subjects of an ESPN poll of best coach-player fights. His brief tussle with Jeff George when both were with the Atlanta Falcons did not garner many votes, especially compared to P.J. Carlesimo-Latrell Sprewell, which took an early lead and maintained a stranglehold on first place. ... Hoeppner has played in Hawaii twice, in the old World Football League. "I remember playing against Calvin Hill," he said.

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