RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Justin Colbert jumped on Neal Gossett's back after Gossett scored last night. Gossett had seven catches for 119 yards.
Gossetts turnNeal Gossett got tired of watching.
came back around
Stats / Notes
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By Jason Kaneshiro
Gossett started Hawaii's first five games at outside receiver, but struggled early and spent recent weeks on the bench and could only watch as others passed him on the depth chart.
In the meantime, he simply waited for another shot to contribute to the Hawaii offense.
"I wasn't producing like I should have been when the season started and we've got a lot of talent on this team, so when it was their time to shine I just sat in back and just watched and realized I had to step my play up," Gossett said.
"I just watched everyone playing with that emotion and that passion and just learned what they're doing and was thinking if I get in there maybe I can make something happen."
Gossett made up for lost time last night as he caught 7 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown in Hawaii's 40-31 win over San Jose State at Aloha Stadium.
On a night when the Hawaii offense didn't click with the same efficiency as in previous weeks, Gossett emerged as one of the Warriors' most reliable receivers and was instrumental on the touchdown drive that sealed the game.
After San Jose State closed to 33-30 on Juan Walden's 90-yard catch and run, Hawaii took over at its own 20 with the game in the balance.
The Warriors eschewed the long throws for shorter screen plays as Gossett caught three balls for 41 yards on the drive, two coming on key third-down situations. His final reception gave Hawaii first-and-goal at the Spartans 7 and Thero Mitchell scored on a 3-yard run two plays later to end the drama.
"They kept playing off, so we're just taking what they were giving us," Gossett said. "It seemed to me they just wanted to keep everything in front and not give up the big play."
Gossett's big play in the second quarter may have had something to do with the Spartan cornerbacks' conservative approach late in the game.
With Hawaii leading 21-17, Warrior quarterback Shawn Withy-Allen lofted a throw down the right side. Gossett got behind the secondary and reached out to make an over-the-shoulder catch for a 40-yard touchdown.
"There was some pressure and I had to get it out early, so I had put a little extra air under it," Withy-Allen said. "Neal is so fast and he does such a good job running his route that I knew he'd get there, it was just a matter of me putting it in the spot for him.
"He made an amazing catch. I just had my eyes on him the whole way, and I wasn't sure he was going to catch it and all of a sudden he just made a Willie Mays-style catch."
Withy-Allen, the backup to starting quarterback Tim Chang, said he can relate to Gossett's struggle for playing time on a team with a myriad of talented offensive weapons.
"When you only get in there a little bit you want to make the most of it, you want to let the coaches know when you get in you'll do your job," Withy-Allen said. "It was sweet hooking up with him. We've been here for four years, he's got talent and he came out and made some great plays tonight."
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[ KEY STATS ]
[ GAME STATS ]
SCORING SUMMARYFirst quarter
SJS -- Starling 20 pass from Rislov (Gilliam kick), 12:58
Haw -- Colbert 9 pass from Chang (Ayat kick), 10:38
Haw -- Colbert 27 pass from Chang (Ayat kick), 7:46
SJS -- FG Gilliam 38, 5:14.
Haw -- Komine 3 pass from Chang (Ayat kick), 13:03
SJS -- Starling 15 pass from Rislov (Gilliam kick), 8:04
Haw -- Gossett 40 pass from Withy-Allen (Ayat kick), 5:50.
Haw -- Team safety, 6:32.
SJS -- Pauley 40 pass from Pauley (Gilliam kick), 12:01
Haw -- FG Ayat 19, 7:19
SJS -- Walden 90 pass from Pauley (Gilliam kick), 6:52
Haw -- Mitchell 3 run (Ayat kick), 1:33.
INDIVIDUAL STATSRUSHING -- San Jose St.: Ferguson 8-84, Rislov 8-64, George 7-12, Staples 2-5, Ingram 1-3, Martin 1-2, Pauley 1-1. Hawaii: Mitchell 7-64, West 8-45, Withy-Allen 4-17, team 3-(-3), Chang 4-(-10).
PASSING -- San Jose St.: Rislov 15-30-3-287. Hawaii: Chang 31-54-2-365, Withy-Allen 3-4-0-75, Kapanui 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING -- San Jose St.: Pauley 4-120, Starling 4-57, Broussard 3-14, Walden 2-91, Staples 2-5. Hawaii: Colbert 11-156, Gossett 7-119, Komine 6-50, Herbert 3-57, West 3-27, Ilaoa 3-25, Mitchell 1-6.
A -- 36,784.
CONFERENCE OVERALL W L Pct W L Pct Str Boise State 5 0 1.000 8 1 .889 W7 Hawaii 6 1 .857 7 2 .778 W4 Nevada 3 2 .600 4 5 .444 W1 Rice 3 3 .500 4 5 .444 W2 Fresno State 2 2 .500 4 5 .444 L2 LaTech 2 2 .500 3 5 .375 W1 San Jose State 2 3 .400 4 6 .400 L4 UTEP 1 4 .200 2 7 .222 L2 Tulsa 1 4 .200 1 8 .111 L1 SMU 1 5 .167 1 9 .100 L2
Nevada 24, SMU 6
Rice 33, Tulsa 18
Boise St. 58, UTEP 3
Hawaii 40, San Jose St. 31
Hawaii let San Jose State back into the game last night in the fourth quarter, as the Spartans scored on two long touchdown passes and trailed 33-31 with 6 minutes, 52 seconds left.
[ TURNING POINT ]
Long Hawaii drive ends San Jose rally
But the Warriors put it together for an 11-play, 80-yard -- and most importantly -- 5:19 drive to eat the clock and score another TD and clinch the game.
Tim Chang completed all seven of his passes on the drive for 78 yards.
Thero Mitchell did the final honors with a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:33 left.
Until then, this one was in serious doubt for UH.
Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin
Hawaii gets next week off as the Warriors enjoy their second bye of the season before going to Dallas to meet Rice in the season's final road and conference game.
[ COMING UP ]
Warriors get 2 weeks to prepare for Owls
The extra time is good for UH, because it gives defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa and his charges more time to prepare for the Owls' option attack, which averaged a WAC-leading 239.9 rushing yards per game going into yesterday.
Veteran coach Ken Hatfield's team represents the only school in the league that Hawaii has never beaten. UH is 0-3 against Rice, with all the losses coming in the past three seasons.
The Owls' pass rush is led by Brandon Green. Entering yesterday's game, he was first in the WAC with six sacks.
The Owls beat the Warriors 27-24 last year at Aloha Stadium.
Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin
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