Hawaii's Uriah Moenoa, above, felt June Jones' ConAgra Foods Hawaii Bowl hat after beating San Jose State last night to clinch a spot in the bowl game. The Warriors earned the nation's first bowl berth with the nine-point win.

Warriors bowl
over Spartans

Hawaii accepts a Hawaii Bowl bid after
a sloppy showing against San Jose State

Scoring Drives
Nate Jackson to have heart surgery
Neal Gossett comes up big for Warriors
San Jose State's 'gifts' too much to overcome

By Dave Reardon

Late in the third quarter last night at Aloha Stadium, an announcement was made that ConAgra Foods Hawaii Bowl tickets are on sale.

It might not have been the best time for a sales pitch.

Hawaii accepted the invitation to the inaugural Christmas Day game last night in a ceremony after UH beat San Jose State 40-31 for the Warriors fourth consecutive win and eighth in a row at home.

But the Warriors didn't look like a bowl team for much of the penalty-plagued game, and had to stave off a furious fourth-quarter rally by the Spartans.

"We won, that's all I can say," said Hawaii coach June Jones, who is taking UH to a bowl game for the second time in his four-year tenure. "I don't know what happened. We just made it harder than it is. Usually you lose when you do those things."

"Those things" included two interceptions, numerous dropped balls, and 133 yards in penalties.

But the woefully inconsistent Warriors did come up with enough big plays on offense and defense to beat the even sloppier Spartans.

Was this the same team that upset Fresno State on the road last week? There were bright spots, especially in the first half, but UH seemed to play down to the level of 27-point underdog San Jose State, which fell to 4-6 and 2-3 in the Western Athletic Conference.

"I think guys were still a little big off last week's win," UH linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa said. "It wasn't the UH our fans are used to seeing."

With the victory, UH improved to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in the WAC and guaranteed a second-consecutive winning season, as well as at least a tie for second in the conference.

Those who do buy tickets might do so only on the condition that last night's officiating crew stay home for Christmas. The 25,000 or so in attendance had the delight of seeing 273 yards of penalties being marched off.

If anything can be said in defense of the crew, it's that they called it nearly equal: 14 for 140 against San Jose State and 14 for 133 against Hawaii.

Hawaii's John West, who rushed for 45 yards last night, was upended by San Jose State's Melvin Cook.

"I can't say that, but you can write it," Jones said when asked if he thought it was excessive.

San Jose State coach Fitz Hill blamed his players more than the officials.

"I'm very upset with our penalties. I've never been associated with anything like it before," Hill said. "We made a lot of bad decisions."

Most of the flag football came after UH built a 28-17 halftime lead as Tim Chang passed for three touchdowns, including two to Justin Colbert.

Colbert caught 11 passes for 156 yards, and Hawaii scored its first two touchdowns after San Jose State turnovers. It was Colbert's fourth-consecutive 100-plus receiving-yardage game.

Chris Brown intercepted a pass (his first career pick) tipped by Travis LaBoy 4 minutes, 3 seconds into the game. Four plays and 19 seconds later, Colbert scored on a screen pass from Chang that went for 10 yards. Justin Ayat's extra point tied it at 7.

Brown, who began his career as a defensive end as a freshman, moved to linebacker last year and had been playing some defensive line the past two weeks, made the play while positioned at tackle.

"I'd never think that could happen," Brown said. "That's just crazy. I'm speechless."

On the Spartans' next series, Hyrum Peters forced a fumble by Lamar Ferguson at the end of a 25-yard run, and Chad Kalilimoku recovered for UH at the San Jose State 44.

Chang hit Colbert again, this time for a 28-yard TD as Colbert got wide open in the corner. UH led 14-7 at 7:46 of the first.

San Jose State, which had taken the lead on its first possession with a 20-yard scoring pass from Scott Rislov to Kendrick Starling, closed to 14-10 on Nick Gilliam's 39-yard field goal with 2:32 left in the first quarter.

Hawaii added to its cushion at 13:03 before halftime when Chang completed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Britton Komine, capping an 11-play, 80-yard drive.

Hill erupted at the officials when it appeared Chang may have crossed the line of scrimmage on a 20-yard pass to Colbert that put the ball on the San Jose State 10.

The Spartans came back on their next possession to close it to 21-17 with Starling's second TD catch. His leaping grab of a Rislov pass for a 15-yard score was the culmination of a 9-play, 80-yard drive at 8:04 before the break.

UH responded again. Neal Gossett made an over-the-helmet catch of Shawn Withy-Allen's perfectly-placed pass for a 40-yard touchdown on the next series as Chang took what has become a customary one-series break.

Hawaii quarterback Tim Chang, who passed for 365 yards last night, couldn't escape San Jose State's Philip Perry.

The teams traded interceptions on the first three possessions of the second half as San Jose State's Melvin Cook and Gerald Jones and Hawaii's Kelvin Millhouse grabbed errant passes.

Jones' interception, his seventh of the season, was followed by a personal foul that put the ball on the Spartans 4. On the next play, Matt Wright and La'anui Correa tackled Trestin George behind the goal line for a safety, and Hawaii led 30-17 with 6:17 left in the third.

The action picked up in the fourth quarter.

Rislov threw TD pass to Charles Pauley for 40 yards and Juan Walden for 90 yards that sandwiched Ayat's 19-yard field goal.

Walden's score closed it to 33-31, but Thero Mitchell put it away for Hawaii with a 4-yard touchdown run with 1:33 left.

It capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive that took away 5:19 of game clock and the Spartans' hopes of an upset.

Chang, who completed 31 of 54 passes for 365 yards and was picked twice, completed all seven of his passes on the final drive.

"It's one thing to play from behind as a quarterback and try to win the game," Jones said. "But it's a different ball game when you're trying to keep the lead. (Chang) made the throws he had to make to keep the chains moving."

If there was any doubt left, Tinoisamoa ended it with his interception of Rislov's pass with 1:20 remaining.

Tinoisamoa led Hawaii with seven tackles.

"San Jose State was tough," he said. "They kept fighting back, pushing back. They were relentless. They're kind of how we were two years ago when we were 3-9, building for the future."

While every Hawaii player interviewed admitted they were fortunate to win, they also said it didn't take away from being the first team in America to win a bowl bid this year.

"It means a lot," senior guard Vince Manuwai said. "This makes all the hard work in the spring, summer and fall for all those years worth it. Not every game is going to be a great game. This happened to be our night for the flags."

Said Chang: "We shot ourselves in the foot a lot, but we made the plays when we had to. (The bowl's) a reward. It's happiness. There's no better way to spend Christmas Day."




1-10-S-39: Jamall Broussard 11 pass from Scott Rislov.
1-10-50: Scott Rislov 7 run.
2-3-H-43: Incomplete pass.
3-3-H-43: Damarcus Ingram 3 run.
1-10-H-40: Lamar Ferguson 35 run.
1-G-H-5: Ezekiel Staples 0 run. Penalty--deadball personal foul, SJSU.
2-G-H-20: Kendrick Starling 20 pass from Scott Rislov--TOUCHDOWN.
PAT: Nick Gilliam kick--GOOD.
7 plays, 61 yards, 2:02
San Jose State 7, Hawaii 0
12:58 left in the first quarter.

Notes: Rislov's 13th touchdown pass and Starling's third TD catch this season. ... Third time this season Hawaii's opponent scored first. UH won the previous two times.

1-10-S-32: Neal Gossett 13 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-S-19: Justin Colbert 10 pass from Tim Chang.
1-G-S-9: Incomplete pass.
2-G-2-9: Justin Colbert 9 pass from Tim Chang--TOUCHDOWN.
PAT: Justin Ayat kick--GOOD.
4 plays, 32 yards, 19 seconds.
Hawaii 7, San Jose State 7
10:38 left in the first quarter.

Notes: Drive set up by Chris Brown's interception of a Scott Rislov pass at the SJSU 32. ... Shayne Kajioka cleared the way for Colbert with a crushing block on the wide receiver screen. ... Chang's 15th TD pass and Colbert's fifth scoring reception this season. ... Colbert's first catch extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 21.

1-10-S--44: Incomplete pass.
2-10-S-44: John West 17 run.
1-10-S-27: John West (-1) run.
2-11-S-28: Incomplete pass.
3-11-S-28: Justin Colbert 28 pass from Tim Chang--TOUCHDOWN.
PAT: Justin Ayat kick--GOOD.
5 plays, 44 yards, 1:23
Hawaii 14, San Jose State 7
7:46 left in the first quarter.

Note: Hawaii gained possession after Hyrum Peters forced a fumble by SJSU running back Lamar Ferguson and Chad Kalilimoku recovered at the SJSU 44.

1-10-S-20: Charles Pauley 40 pass from Scott Rislov.
1-10-H-40: Scott Rislov 8 run.
2-2-H-32: Scott Rislov 9 run.
1-10-H-23: Incomplete pass.
2-10-H-23: Juan Walden 1 pass from Scott Rislov.
3-9-H-22: Incomplete pass.
4-9-H-22: Nick Gilliam 38 Field Goal--GOOD.
7 plays, 58 yards, 2:32
Hawaii 14, San Jose State 10
5:14 left in the first quarter.

Note: Gilliam now 9-for-13 in FGs this season. ... Ninth field goal surrendered by UH.


1-10-H-20: Nate Ilaoa 6 pass from Tim Chang.
2-4-H-26: Justin Colbert 10 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-H-36: Thero Mitchell 6 pass from Tim Chang.
2-4-H-42: Nate Ilaoa 10 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-S-48: Britton Komine 18 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-S-30: Incomplete pass.
2-10-S-30: John West 0 pass from Tim Chang. Timeout, SJSU (first).
3-10-S-30: Justin Colbert 20 pass from Tim Chang.
1-G-S-10: Incomplete pass.
2-G-S-10: John West 7 run. Timeout, SJSU (second).
3-G-S-3: Britton Komine 3 pass from Tim Chang--TOUCHDOWN.
PAT: Justin Ayat kick--GOOD.
11 plays, 80 yards, 4:19.
Hawaii 21, San Jose State 10
13:03 left in the second quarter.

Notes: Komine's team-high seventh TD reception this season. ... 22nd TD pass surrendered by SJSU.

1-10-S-20: Lamar Ferguson 0 run.
2-10-S-20: Incomplete pass.
3-10-S-20: Kendrick Starling 20 pass from Scott Rislov.
1-10-S-40: Trestin George 11 run.
1-10-H-49: Trestin George 5 run.
2-5-H-44: Charles Pauley 33 pass from Scott Rislov.
1-10-H-11: Penalty--false start, SJSU.
1-15-H-16: Penalty--false start, SJSU.
1-20-H-21: Scott Rislov 6 run.
2-14-H-15: Jamall Broussard 0 pass from Scott Rislov.
3-14-H-15: Kendrick Starling 15 pass from Scott Rislov--TOUCHDOWN.
PAT: Nick Gilliam kick--GOOD.
9 plays, 80 yards, 4:53
Hawaii 21, San Jose State 17
8:04 left in the second quarter.

Note: Starling scored his second touchdown of the game with a leaping grab in the left corner of the end zone. ... UH was flagged for encroachment on the scoring play. The penalty was declined.

1-10-H-13: Justin Colbert 16 pass from Shawn Withy-Allen.
1-10-H-29: Shawn Withy-Allen 9 run.
2-1-H-38: Thero Mitchell 5 run. Penalty--holding, UH
2-6-H-33: Incomplete pass. Penalty--illegal formation, UH, declined.
3-6-H-33: Shawn Withy-Allen 17 run.
1-10-50: Shawn Withy-Allen sacked (-9). Penalty--illegal batting of the ball, UH.
2-34-H-26: John West 19 pass from Shawn Withy-Allen. Penalty--roughing the passer, SJSU.
1-10-S-40: Neal Gossett 40 pass from Shawn Withy-Allen--TOUCHDOWN.
PAT: Justin Ayat kick--GOOD.
8 plays, 87 yards, 2:14
Hawaii 28, San Jose State 17
5:50 left in the second quarter.

Note: Gossett's third TD reception and Withy-Allen's fifth scoring pass.


1-10-S-4: Trestin George tackled in the end zone by Matt Wright and Laanui Correa--SAFETY.
Hawaii 30, San Jose State 17
6:32 left in the third quarter

Note: UH's first safety of the season. The Warriors last recorded a safety on Oct. 20, 2001 against Tulsa. ... UH has scored at least 30 points in 12 consecutive games.


1-10-H-49: Kendrick Starling 2 pass from Scott Rislov.
2-8-H-47: Trestin George 1 run.
3-6-H-46: Charles Pauley 7 pass from Scott Rislov.
1-10-H-39: Scott Rislov (-1) run.
2-11-H-40: Charles Pauley 40 pass from Scott Rislov--TOUCHDOWN. Penalty--excessive celebration, SJSU.
PAT: Nick GIlliam kick--GOOD.
5 plays, 49 yards, 2:28
Hawaii 30, San Jose State 24.
12:01 left in the fourth quarter.

Note: Pauley's fourth TD catch of the season, Rislov's third TD pass of the game.

1-10-H-20: John West 11 run.
1-10-H-31: John West (-2) run.
2-12-H-29: Incomplete pass.
3-12-H-29: Neal Gossett 14 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-H-43: Clifton Herbert pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-S-16: Justin Colbert pass from Tim Chang. Timeout, SJSU (second).
1-G-S-5: Shawn Withy-Allen 0 run.
2-G-S-5: John West 1 run.
3-G-S-4: Tim Chang 2 run.
4-G-S-2: Justin Ayat 19 Field Goal--GOOD.
10 plays, 78 yards, 4:42
Hawaii 33, San Jose State 24
7:19 left in the fourth quarter.

Note: Ayat now 11-for-16 in field goals this season.

1-10-S-10: Juan Walden 90 pass from Scott Rislov--TOUCHDOWN
PAT: Nick Gilliam kick--GOOD.
1 play, 90 yards, 27 seconds.
Hawaii 33, San Jose State 31
6:52 left in the fourth quarter.

Note: Walden's first TD of the season was third-longest pass play in SJSU history.

1-10-H-20: Clifton Herbert 11 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-H-31: Britton Komine 7 pass from Tim Chang.
2-3-H-38: Tim Chang sacked by Luke La Herran (-6). Penalty--holding, UH, declined.
3-9-H-32: Neal Gossett 13 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-H-45: Neal Gossett 21 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-S-34: Justin Colbert 14 pass from Tim Chang.
1-10-S-20: Justin Colbert 5 pass from Tim Chang.
2-5-S-15: Thero Mitchell 1 run.
3-4-S-14: Neal Gossett 7 pass from Tim Chang.
1-G-S-7: Thero Mitchell 4 run.
2-G-S-3: Thero Mitchell 3 run--TOUCHDOWN.
PAT: Justin Ayat kick--GOOD.
11 plays, 80 yards, 5:19
Hawaii 40, San Jose State 31
1:33 left in the fourth quarter.

Note: Mitchell's fifth rushing TD, tying him with John West for the team lead.

UH Athletics

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