Warrior Report

UH's Jason Whieldon was 15-for-25 for 237 yards last night. He threw four TD passes and scored once on the ground.

Whieldon wins
over Warriors

Hawaii's backup quarterback
pushes Tim Chang right out
of his starting job

Jason Whieldon, plain and simple, carried Hawaii last night. Tim Chang, on the other hand, was sub-par and didn't get the job done.

Providing the spark that Chang couldn't, Whieldon's leadership resulted in a 37-29 victory over Alabama, a school with a large dot on the college football map. It also resulted in a change of starting quarterbacks. Coach June Jones said Whieldon, a senior, will start next week in the regular-season finale at home against Boise State.

"Timmy was a little off from the get-go," Jones said. "He was fighting himself a little bit.

"Jason certainly deserves to start and play next week. Timmy will get his shot to get back in and he'll carry us to victory when he gets his shot again."

But Hawaii fans -- especially those who incessantly booed Chang yesterday --might want to remember that the junior from Waipahu is the 25th player in NCAA history to pass the 10,000-yard mark and that he's also had his share of memorable days. This, unfortunately, wasn't one of them (seven of 23 for 38 yards).

Chang started the game and stayed in for the first three series before giving way to Whieldon, who took the Warriors on TD drives of 71 and 66 yards to tie the game at 14.

Whieldon struggled on his next two series, so Chang returned in the second half, but he couldn't get the offense rolling on three tries. On Chang's final series, three Alabama penalties pushed the Warriors deep into Crimson Tide territory, but he overthrew a wide-open Jeremiah Cockheran on a slant in the end zone.

"It was Jason's day and not Tim's," Cockheran said. "They're both great quarterbacks and I like them the same in there. But Jason really brought a lot of leadership tonight. He was pushing us and challenging us as a team and keeping us going on offense."

Hawaii took a brief 16-14 lead, but went down 21-16 late in the third quarter. With Whieldon at the helm, the Warriors stormed back and pulled away. He threw TD passes to Cockheran for 47 yards and to Clifton Herbert for 20 yards, and then he bolted into the end zone from 18 yards out.

"It's tough when you don't play a lot," said Whieldon, who finished 15-for-25 for 237 yards and four TDs with one interception. "I wasn't sure how much time I was going to play, even after I was taken out. So when I did go back in, I knew I had to play smart and play hard. This was a great win and I'm so glad my parents were here in town to watch me. They've been to our games before, but never when I played."

Whieldon nearly had five TD passes. With UH up 30-21, he fired a pass from the Tide 1, but Alabama's Derrick Pope picked it off.

He made up for the mistake on the next possession with his TD run.

"It was a misdirection play and I saw a lot of open field and got some good blocking near the end zone," Whieldon said. "I felt great that it kind of put them away, even though they gave us a scare at the end of the game."

Chang left the stadium soon after the game. In the second half, he was booed every time he came on and off the field.

"I really dislike the booing," UH receiver Chad Owens said. "That doesn't help a kid at all."

Whieldon believes Chang will rally from the off game.

"It was really unfortunate that he got those boos," Whieldon said. "I told him he was going to bounce back from this. He's got a lot of games ahead of him."


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