The Hawaii defense smothered Alabama running back Santonio Beard yesterday at Aloha Stadium. The Warrior defense played well, despite losing.

UH unfulfilled
despite solid effort

Stats and notes
Warrior notebook
UH's gallant comeback falls short
Chang ran out of tricks
Tide happy to win their 'bowl'
Life is sweet as Stabler calls Alabama home

By Jason Kaneshiro

Houston Ala sat alone in a back corner of the locker room tearing pieces of tape off his equipment and tossing them against the wall.

"Twenty-one to 16," the Hawaii defensive end muttered to nobody in particular. "Twenty-one to 16."

Career nights for Ala and linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa were little consolation for the Warrior defenders after their loss to No. 14 Alabama yesterday at Aloha Stadium. For all of the stellar plays they turned in, it was the ones that slipped away that stuck out in the end.

"It was just a couple of plays," Tinoisamoa said. "That's all it takes to lose a game."

Tinoisamoa set a career high with 19 tackles, of which 14 were solo stops. He also registered four of Hawaii's 12 tackles for losses and two sacks.

Ala also shined, recording five tackles behind the line of scrimmage for losses totaling 13 yards and two sacks of Alabama quarterback Tyler Watts.

Although his performance on national television against the Crimson Tide may have cast him in the spotlight, Tinoisamoa insisted that his statistics were the result of the work of Ala and the rest of the Hawaii defensive line.

"The D-line did an excellent job," Tinoisamoa said. "Everyone's saying, 'Pisa nice job, way to flow' and stuff like that. But it's easy to play ball when you have no linemen coming at you. The D-line did a great job keeping the blocks off me and allowing me to flow.

"Hopefully, it's a coming out for our D-line. (Alabama plays) SEC football, and they're playing guys who are 20 times bigger than our linemen. But I think our linemen showed it doesn't take all that size to do it. They did a great job with what they have."

Hawaii's David Gilmore, Leonard Peters and Laanui Correa swarmed Santonio Beard yesterday in the second quarter.

All three levels of the Hawaii defense were at their symbiotic best for much of yesterday's game. The defensive line occupied Alabama's offensive linemen, allowing the linebackers to hunt down ballcarriers. Tight coverage in the secondary resulted in most of the Warriors' six sacks.

"A lot of the sacks were because of coverage," UH defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa said.

A solid defensive effort helped keep the Warriors in the game despite working with a short field on several occasions early in the game.

A turnover on downs after a failed fake punt gave Alabama the ball at the UH 22 and the Crimson Tide capitalized with Shaud Williams' 1-yard touchdown run for the game's first score. An interception on Hawaii's next drive again gave the Tide good field position and they extended their lead with a 14-yard run by Ray Hudson.

The Hawaii defense clamped down in the second half to keep Alabama within hailing distance and making it possible for the Warriors to claw back into the game. They mounted a fourth-quarter rally only to fall short at the end.

The Crimson Tide's lone score of the second half came on a 26-yard completion from Watts to Sam Collins. Lempa sent cornerback Abraham Elimimian on a blitz and an Alabama blocker delayed Elimimian just enough to give Watts time to find Collins running alone in the secondary.

Despite the missed opportunities, Lempa had nothing but praise for his squad after the game.

"It was an awesome effort," Lempa said. "You're talking about guys laying it out on the line and playing hard on every snap that they're in there. And when they can't go, they get their buddy to come in for them. That's unselfishness and that's playing as a team."

Although the Warriors played well against one of the game's storied programs before a sellout crowd and a national audience, the final score left them unfulfilled.

"You play football for that, for those kinds of games, national television against a big-name school," Tinoisamoa said. "We had a lot riding on it and we were playing to win. Things happen and we missed our chances. Alabama's a good team, you can't miss chances against them or you're not going to pull it off."






Second quarter

Ala -- Williams 1 run (Robinson kick), 10:24

Ala -- Hudson 14 run (Robinson kick), 8:39.

Third quarter

Haw -- FG Ayat 30, 7:05.

Fourth quarter

Ala -- Collins 26 pass from Watts (Robinson kick), 11:30

Haw -- Cockheran 70 pass from Chang (Ayat kick), 10:21

Haw -- Owens 12 pass from Chang (run failed), 1:55


RUSHING -- Alabama: Williams 23-160, Beard 16-86, Watts 18-27, Hudson 3-12, Luke 1-(minus 1), Ward 1-(minus 4). Hawaii: Kapanui 1-10, West 2-5, Bass 1-3, Chang 4-(minus 30).

PASSING -- Alabama: Watts 8-15-0-81, Bearden 1-1-0-12, Croyle 0-1-0-0. Hawaii: Chang 26-53-4-372.

RECEIVING -- Alabama: Luke 4-34, Collins 3-42, Fulgham 1-12, Williams 1-5. Hawaii: Cockheran 9-207, Ilaoa 5-37, Colbert 4-60, Owens 4-25, Mitchell 3-32, Galeai 1-11.

A -- 46,580.

WAC standings


W L Pct W L Pct Str

Boise State 8 0 1.000 11 1 .917 W10

Hawaii 7 1 .875 9 3 .750 L1

Fresno State 5 2 .714 7 5 .583 W3

San Jose State 4 4 .500 6 7 .462 L1

Nevada 4 4 .500 5 7 .417 L2

LaTech 3 4 .429 4 7 .364 W1

Rice 3 5 .375 4 7 .364 L2

SMU 3 5 .375 3 9 .250 W2

UTEP 1 7 .125 2 10 .167 L5

Tulsa 1 7 .125 1 11 .083 L4

Note: Conference standings are final


Alabama 21, Hawaii 16


Fake punt at their own 12 costs Warriors

If it worked, June Jones would be labeled a genius -- or very lucky. But Hawaii's fake punt from its own 12-yard line in the second quarter came up short.

After three incompletes from the Warriors' own 17 and a 5-yard penalty for being in an illegal formation, UH's Chad Kapanui took the snap instead of punter Mat McBriar.

Kapanui rumbled 10 yards before he was tackled by UA's DeMeco Ryans. It was 5 yards short and Jones' huge gamble failed.

Alabama took over at Hawaii's 22 and scored seven plays later on a 1-yard dive by Shaud Williams to give the Crimson Tide the first points in its 21-16 victory last night.

Alabama would never trail.

Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin


San Diego State brings record-breaking duo

When Hawaii hosts San Diego State on Saturday, the Aztecs will have had two weeks off.

SDSU (4-8, 4-3 Mountain West) completed its conference schedule with a 38-34 victory over Air Force on Nov. 23.

Aztec receivers T.R. Tolver and Kassim Osgood set two NCAA records for receiver duos. They broke the mark for receptions and receiving yardage by teammates.

After Tolver caught 13 passes for 126 yards and Osgood 12 passes for 123 yards against Air Force, Tolver had 110 catches and Osgood 103 for the season.

They have combined for 213 receptions for 2,928 yards for the season (another NCAA mark).

San Diego State, a former Western Athletic Conference member, leads the series with Hawaii 15-7-2. UH has not knocked off San Diego State since 1989.

Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin

UH Athletics

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