Hitting time for UH

The quarterbacks will get
their chances in a scrimmage today

No more taking Nevada lightly

Chang confident he'll be ready Aug. 31

By Dave Reardon

The script was still being prepared last night for this morning's Hawaii football scrimmage. Head coach and writer June Jones said expect the stars to make an early exit and the understudies to dominate center stage.

"They (the starters) probably won't play much. We'll probably look a lot at the other guys," Jones said after yesterday's afternoon practice. "We'll talk about it at the coaches' meeting tonight."

A hot topic at the brainstorming session surely was how many snaps to give quarterbacks Jason Whieldon and Shawn Withy-Allen. One of them, probably Whieldon, will be the leading man two weeks from tonight when Hawaii hosts Eastern Illinois in the season-opener if Tim Chang doesn't heal quickly.

Chang, the starter coming into camp, broke a bone in the pinkie of his right (throwing) hand Thursday morning. He hopes to be back in time for the opener, but Whieldon is the guy at least for now.

"I'm trying to be a little more intense," said Whieldon, when asked if he changed his approach now that he is No. 1 on the depth chart. "You try to raise your game up another notch. I felt like today's practice was OK. I felt like I could have done some things better. But I think I did all right."

Whieldon and Withy-Allen practiced well overall yesterday, according to Jones.

"They got better," Jones said. "They're getting more repetitions, so they're getting more confidence."

But Withy-Allen was intercepted in seven-on-seven drills by linebacker Matt Wright. Jones is not one to count isolated mistakes against players, but it doesn't help the fifth-year senior in his attempt to supplant Whieldon.

"Especially a linebacker, and a linebacker I know so well. There's nothing worse," Withy-Allen said with a chuckle. "You know, it's just one of those where the ball slipped out of my hand. There's not much you can do about it. It happens to everybody. You just have to suck it up and go on to the next play."

Withy-Allen isn't going to let one bad pass keep him down. And if he isn't the quarterback, he's still a valuable special teams player, at least for now.

"I'm still out there practicing with them, so I'm just being a little more careful, closing my hands when I hit people so I don't get my finger caught like Timmy did," Withy-Allen said. "Right now, as far as I know, I'm still out there plugging away (on special teams)."

He won't have to worry about the kicking game in today's scrimmage. Whieldon and Withy-Allen will be more concerned with connecting with their receivers in the closest thing to game conditions.

They aren't the only ones looking forward to it.

"I hope we get more than a few plays," starting right tackle Uriah Moenoa said. "We've got a game coming up in two weeks, so heaven knows we need it. It's been a long summer."

As he is wont to do, Jones shrugged off the significance of the Warriors whacking each other around — other than crossing his fingers that everyone comes out of it healthy.

Other goals for today?

"Nothing really, other than to have some live contact, which you need to have before your first game," Jones said.

UH Athletics

... In 1988, senior Heikoti Fakava rushed for 860 yards to lead the Rainbows for the second-consecutive year, running from the fullback position in offensive coordinator Paul Johnson's spread option.

In what became known as the September to Remember, UH won its first four games on its way to a 9-3 record. Freshman kicker Jason Elam's game-winning field goal gave the Rainbows a 27-24 upset of No. 2-ranked Iowa on opening night at Aloha Stadium.

Today, Fakava lives in San Francisco and works for the city and county.

E-mail to Sports Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --