Sports Notebook


A fake and a trick play
don’t work out for Jones, UH

June Jones was in a gambling mood last night, but two second-quarter rolls of the dice fell flat in Hawaii's 21-16 loss to Alabama.

Jones shrugged off a failed fake punt and a trick tackle-eligible that fell incomplete in the end zone on fourth-and-seven as things you have to try sometimes in order to win.

Both plays looked like they might have worked. Chad Kapanui caught the Alabama punt return unit by surprise, taking a short snap from the upback position for 10 yards around right end. But perhaps Alabama was so unprepared because an illegal formation penalty on the play before had backed up UH into a fourth-and-15 situation.

Kapanui was stopped short, by the margin of the penalty, and the Warriors turned the ball over on their own 22-yard line. Alabama took advantage with a 1-yard Shaud Williams leap to take a 7-0 lead.

"We didn't convert, and that's one play," Jones said of the decision.

Later, Hawaii marched to the Alabama 11 on a drive fueled in part by a 47-yard pass from Tim Chang to Jeremiah Cockheran. But when things stalled, UH called timeout and put together a trick play called "Trips right, Alabama," in which UH overloaded to the right side and defensive lineman Abu Ma'afala lined up as the tackle -- officially the tight end -- on the left side. Jones designed this play especially for Alabama, he said, to take advantage of the Crimson Tide's man-to-man tendencies. Ma'afala would pretend to block, then sneak, unaccounted for, into the corner of the end zone.

Jones said he didn't hesitate to call the play, especially under the circumstances.

"Well, we had fourth down and we lost our (field goal) snapper in Lui (Fuata)," he said. "So, once we made that, I just said, 'Well, let's run it now. They're going to play us man-to-man anyway, it'll be open for a touchdown.' Especially after a timeout, perfect timing, because I could call everybody up, we could talk about it and run out. Not even huddle up, and they wouldn't see the, you know, wouldn't see him (Ma'afala) coming in the game."

It worked almost perfectly. Ma'afala was open, and Chang lofted a nice pass over his shoulder. But the ball went through Ma'afala's hands, and UH turned the ball over on downs.

"In (Ma'afala's) defense, too, he doesn't do those kind of things," Jones said. "I mean, he worked out, practiced, he caught balls. But, you know -- that's the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes you make it, sometimes you don't."

Firing blanks: Hawaii trailed 14-0 after the first 30 minutes, marking the first time since the second half of the 1999 season opener against USC that the Warriors were shut out in a half. The last time UH went into halftime without a point came in a 28-0 loss to SMU on Oct. 3, 1998.

The last time Hawaii went consecutive quarters without scoring a point was last season when the Warriors posted zeroes in the fourth quarter of a 27-24 loss to Rice and the first quarter of a 38-31 win over SMU. The first quarter of yesterday's game also marked just the third time this season UH and its opponent both failed to score in a period.

The previous occurrences were the first quarter of the UTEP game on Sept. 21 and the fourth quarter of the Nevada game on Oct. 12.

Sweet home Alabama: Alabama will be back to play Hawaii at Aloha Stadium again next season, and the schools' athletic directors are talking with each other about a game at Alabama in the future. Both teams' schedules are locked up for the next few seasons, but UH's Herman Frazier said UA's Mal Moore approached him about paying the Crimson Tide a visit.

"I've got to get some dates from Herman to make it fit for them and us, but we'd like to have Hawaii in Alabama," Moore said. "We're proud that we won here, but even before it was a super trip."

Moore said UA's schedule is set for the next three years. Hawaii's is also set through 2005.

"We would love to look into it some more," Frazier said.

Records fall: Six Hawaii offensive records fell and another was tied in yesterday's game.

Chang completed 26 passes for 372 yards, surpassing Dan Robinson's 1999 season records for completions (288), passing yards (3,853) and total offense (3,762 yards). He also tied Garrett Gabriel's record for touchdown passes in a career by throwing for two scores, giving him 47.

With one game remaining, Chang has 302 completions for 3,913 yards and has 3,911 yards in total offense this season.

Receiver Justin Colbert caught four passes to break Ashley Lelie's record for career receptions with 195. As a team, Hawaii set school records for passing yards (4,606) and total offense (5,900) in a season.

Injuries and subs: Hawaii lost two key players to knee injuries last night. Senior offensive lineman Fuata left the game with 9:08 left in the first quarter on the play in which Chang threw his first interception of the game. Later, junior safety Hyrum Peters was forced from the game with 8:39 remaining in the second quarter.

Both are "very questionable" for next week, according to Dr. Jay Marumoto.

Fuata was replaced in the lineup by junior Shayne Kajioka, who was injured himself last week, and was unable to start.

"He sucked it up and went in, and that's what it's all about," Jones said.

Guard Vince Manuwai took Fuata's place as the long snapper on field-goal and extra-point attempts.

Peters' replacement, Leonard Peters (no relation), caused and recovered a third-quarter fumble.

Busy backfield: UH used five running backs last night in its one-back set, shuffling in Thero Mitchell, Mike Bass, Josh Galeai, John West and Pesefea Fiaseu.

The surprise of the day was the first career start given to the little-used Fiaseu, a former all-state player from St. Louis School.

"I wanted Pesefea to block early," Jones explained. "We had some things schemed and we wanted to be physical with the guy (pass rushing) and I didn't want Thero to take those kind of licks."

Galeai scored a touchdown against Tulsa this season, but usually sees most of his action on special teams. Jones turned to him with a specific play in mind.

"When Thero's shoe came off I wanted to run a screen and Michael and John are a little lighter," Jones said. "They're (Alabama) bringing big bodies."

Galeai caught an 11-yard pass.

UH Athletics

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