Hawaii quarterback Tim Chang was 9-for-27 for 85 yards and a touchdown and an interception yesterday against UTEP.

UH comes through
on the road

The Warriors win their first
WAC opener in 3 years and end
losing streak at El Paso

Withy-Allen gets chance to show skills
Key stats

By Dave Reardon

EL PASO, Texas >> On a night when its starting quarterback couldn't connect, Hawaii depended on a well-planned and timely defense, a tricky special teams play and a forgotten quarterback.

Most of it was far from artistic, but UH (2-1) came away with a 31-6 victory over Texas-El Paso (1-3) last night as a crowd of 35,170 watched the Miners fall to Hawaii here for the first time since 1992, four Sun Bowl meetings ago.

This was also the first time UH's defense didn't yield a touchdown since it blanked UTEP 20-0 in 1999.

"The defense saved us, basically," Warriors coach June Jones said.

The biggest savior -- as he was in UH's season-opening victory against Eastern Illinois -- was safety Hyrum Peters. He intercepted two first-half passes last night, both setting up touchdown drives. Peters also led the Warriors with 13 tackles as UH yielded 265 yards, the fewest since it beat UTEP 66-7 last year.

It was the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams, and the first time Hawaii has won its first league game of the year since 1999. Jones said the victory was especially rewarding because it was away from the Islands.

"The road win makes it best for us," said Jones, whose team fell 35-32 at Brigham Young two weeks ago. "We zero in on that."

The Warriors had trouble locking in on the end zone last night until the second quarter, when starting quarterback Tim Chang hit Clifton Herbert on a crossing pattern for a 25-yard touchdown 12 minutes, 16 seconds before halftime. It capped a six-play, 54-yard drive that started when Peters intercepted Jon Schaper -- the first of four times UH would pick a UTEP pass.

Although Hawaii's offense was anemic by its standards (369 yards), the Warriors turned the ball over only twice, and took advantage of the Miners' mistakes.

Another Peters interception at 11:10 of the second quarter set up Shawn Withy-Allen's first career completion. It went for a 25-yard TD to Nate Ilaoa with 10:43 left before halftime.

Withy-Allen found Ilaoa with a short pass, and Ilaoa eluded a pack of Miner defenders near the line of scrimmage and made it to the corner of the end zone.

"I was just thinking first down, and I saw him run backwards and thought, 'What's he doing?' All of a sudden he's in the end zone," Withy-Allen said. "My first pass, and my first touchdown."

Withy-Allen, a fifth-year senior seeing his first real playing time, completed 5 of 10 passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed six times for 67 yards and a TD.

Hawaii needed it, since Chang was off-target most of the game. He completed 9 of 27 passes for 85 yards with the one TD and one interception.

"A win is a win, but I played horrible. That's all I can say, no excuses," Chang said. "But the defense played awesome. They took the ball away from UTEP and gave us a chance."

The Warrior defense was also stingy, limiting the Miners to 114 yards rushing on 50 attempts.

"The defense put us in position to win," Jones said. "Hyrum Peters was everywhere. We featured him. (Defensive coordinator Kevin) Lempa did a great job scheming. I was holding my rear in practice about it, but it worked out great."

By stopping the run, the Warriors forced the Miners into passing -- something they have not done well this season. Schaper and backup Orlando Cruz combined on 12 of 37 for 151 yards. Pisa Tinoisamoa and Lono Manners also got picks for UH.

"We were going to stop the run, but we had to be cognizant of the pass," cornerback Abraham Elimimian said. "Our history was that we couldn't stop the option. But in this game we changed history."

Howard Jackson carried 12 times for 94 yards, but UH did a good job of containing the speedster, limiting him to a long run of 13 yards.

"It was frustrating in a lot of ways, but I saw a bunch of improvement," said Miners coach Gary Nord, whose team lost 68-0 at Oklahoma last week.

UTEP got two field goals by Keith Robinson, one for 25 yards and another for 32. The second one with 7:58 left in the third quarter, closed the score to 14-6.

Two series later, the Warriors shocked the Miners with a 70-yard fake punt play, as Chad Kapanui completed a pass to Kilinahe Noa. Noa was finally dragged down on the UTEP 3. On the next play, Withy-Allen rushed in to give UH a 21-6 lead with 2:51 left in the third period.

"The fake punt really deflated us," Nord said. "Before that we were even with them stat-wise and physically."

Withy-Allen directed two fourth-quarter scoring drives for Hawaii that culminated in a 29-yard field goal by Justin Ayat and Withy-Allen's 17-yard TD pass to Britton Komine.

"This was very important to us because it was our first WAC game and a road game," Peters said. "Last year we lost to Nevada, but we left everything on the field this time. We felt we had to keep playing hard and not let them score."





Second quarter
HAW - Herbert 25 pass from Chang (Ayat pass), 12:16.
HAW - Ilaoa 25 pass from Withy-Allen (Ayat kick), 10:43.
UTEP - FG Robinson 25, 4:08.

Third quarter
UTEP - FG Robinson 32, 7:58.
HAW - Withy-Allen 3 run (Ayat kick), 2:51.

Fourth quarter
HAW - Ayat 29 FG, 11:51.
HAW - Komine 17 pass from Withy-Allen (Ayat kick), 3:23


RUSHING - HAW: Withy-Allen 6-67, West 2-26, Bass 7-19, Mitchell 5-14, Owens 1-3, Ilaoa 2-1, Chang 1-(minus 4), Team 1-(minus 1). UTEP: Jackson 31-94, Schaper 15-26, M. Austin 3-0, Cruz 1-(minus-6).

PASSING - HAW: Chang 9-27-1-85, Withy-Allen 5-10-0-89, Kapanui 1-1-0 70. UTEP: Schaper 10-33-3-129, Cruz 2-4-1-22.

RECEIVING - HAW: Herbert 4-59, Ilaoa 3-61, Colbert 3-19, Bass 2-15, Noa 1-70, Komine 1-17, Owens 1-3. UTEP: Dillard 2-33, Hunt 2-25, Minor 2-25, Jackson 2-15, Givens 1-20, W. Smith 1-19, Crafts 1-8, J. Smith 1-6.




La. Tech 1 0 53 9 2 2 122 127 L1

Hawaii 1 0 31 6 2 1 124 77 W1

Nevada 1 0 31 21 2 1 69 86 W2

Boise State 0 0 0 0 2 1 87 75 W1

San Jose St. 0 0 0 0 2 2 107 146 W1

Fresno St. 0 0 0 0 1 3 80 124 L2

SMU 0 0 0 0 0 4 43 131 L5

Rice 0 1 21 31 0 3 41 82 L4

Tulsa 0 1 9 53 0 4 44 95 L14

UTEP 0 1 6 31 1 3 65 188 L3


Hawaii 31, UTEP 6
San Jose State 38, Illinois 35
No. 15 Penn State 49, Louisiana Tech 17
Nevada 31, Rice 21
Oregon State 59, Fresno State 19
Oklahoma State 52, SMU 16
Baylor 37, Tulsa 25


Peters bails out UH
with pair of picks

Once again, Hyrum Peters came up big to lift Hawaii.

As he did in the season opener against Eastern Illinois, the junior safety made big defensive plays in UH's 24-6 victory at Texas-El Paso to keep the Warriors in it while the offense sputtered early.

The first of Peters' two interceptions last night came on the second play of the second quarter with the game still scoreless.

The Warriors, who had only two first downs to that point, took over at their own 46 and later scored.

Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin


Stumbling Mustangs
open WAC against UH

Southern Methodist will try to bounce back from yesterday's 52-16 pounding by Oklahoma State when the Mustangs visit Hawaii on Saturday.

SMU opens Western Athletic Conference play after an 0-4 start. The Mustangs have been outscored 131-43 in losses to Navy, Texas Tech, Texas Christian and OSU.

Last year, Hawaii's 38-31 overtime victory at SMU keyed UH's 9-3 season. The Warriors were 1-2 going in and came back from a 17-3 halftime deficit.

Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin


UH Athletics

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