Chang endures
rough treatment
from UH crowd

The junior quarterback was booed
before giving way to Whieldon
for the second time Saturday

Tim Chang joined some good company Saturday during Hawaii's 37-29 victory over Alabama at Aloha Stadium.

Former Hawaii quarterbacks Garrett Gabriel, Michael Carter and Nick Rolovich also underwent barrages of booing from the home crowd during their careers. All three are now considered icons of past Rainbow and Warrior glory.

The question now is if Chang, a junior who is UH's career passing leader, can get himself out of a prolonged slump and be effective in the future.

He was relieved twice by senior backup Jason Whieldon on Saturday, and Whieldon spurred UH (8-4) to one of the program's most significant wins with four TD passes and one rushing. Coach June Jones said Whieldon will start Saturday's regular-season finale against Boise State.

Jones said yesterday he hasn't given up on Chang, and it's likely he will play some against the Broncos.

Quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison said the booing was "unfortunate."

"It does kind of come with the territory with all the really good quarterbacks," Morrison said. "Timmy has a five-year-long history, and you're going to have your ups and downs. You're not going to go through all that time without some flux."

Chang completed seven of 23 passes for 38 yards on Saturday, and has thrown inaccurately the past four games. Morrison said nothing is wrong with him physically.

"He just kind of lost some of his confidence, he's not as certain. He'll regain that confidence," Morrison said. "I think back to some of the throws he's made in the past. He'll recapture it."

For now, though, it's Whieldon's show. Morrison said the JC transfer's readiness to step in and spark the team -- the entire team, not just the offense -- is reminiscent of Rolovich in 2001 and Shawn Withy-Allen last year; both were effective in spelling Chang when the starter needed a break because of injury or ineffectiveness.

"We're all very happy for Jason. It's his turn to go, good for him, it's a dream come true for a deserving player," Morrison said. "Just as we were very happy for Shawn, finally getting a chance after five years in the program.

"It's nice that Jason, like Shawn and Nick, will be able to walk away with something to latch on to," Morrison said. "Someday a long time from now it will be in Jason's obituary that he was the spark to beat Alabama."

Chang was consoled by several teammates, including Whieldon, in the locker room after Saturday's game. He spoke briefly with a reporter. Although he was visibly upset, he said he was happy for the team victory and for Whieldon.

"Only the guys down there on the field know how difficult it is," Morrison said. "Even the John Elways, they all get (booed) at some point. You can't expect to go through a long career without it. It's very unfortunate when it takes place at the college level. The players and coaches know how hard he works. He'll get through it and be stronger because of it."

Forget the record: How big can a win against a 4-9 team be?

Pretty big.

When the UH coaches hit the recruiting trails after next week's game, they can say the Warriors beat Alabama. Sure, the Tide's record will matter -- the record over the past 112 years, the one that includes 12 national championships.

The win was also good timing, since several potential recruits watched the game on the Hawaii sideline.

UH defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator George Lumpkin said Saturday's win over the Crimson Tide is among the biggest in school history.

"Yeah, yeah, it's up there for that. I was there for Washington (a 10-7 UH win on the road in 1973), and that was a big win because people didn't think we could do it," Lumpkin said. "People talk about Alabama being down, but you think about the games they've played."

Cornerback Kelvin Millhouse and defensive tackle Lance Samuseva, both seniors, said the win is the biggest in the four and five years they've been at UH.

"It's up there to beat a team like Alabama with so much tradition and so much history. We came so close last year (a 21-16 loss)," Millhouse said. "We knew we had a chance to win that game and we didn't. We wanted to show that our program is improving and we can compete with the big-time programs."

Samuseva, who contributed a safety among two sacks, said the win compares favorably with the 72-45 victory over Brigham Young in 2001.

"As a complete team, this was probably the best game we ever played," he said. "Every big game we've won is good, because people told us we weren't supposed to win. I just think as a team, offense and defense, this was probably the best we played."

On the defense: During a timeout Saturday in the first half, Jones addressed the defense.

"We had talked all week about playing good bump-and-run, playing tight. We weren't doing it, and I just wanted to remind them," Jones said.

The head coach said he is pleased with the way the defense has improved throughout the second half of the season.

"The whole defensive staff has done a great job. They work well together, they're not stuck in their ways and they're a good mesh. Cal's (first-year college coach Lee) made some good contributions. There's good chemistry and it trickles down to the players."

Up for honors: UH nominated Whieldon, linebacker Ikaika Curnan and punter Kurt Milne for WAC player of the week honors.

Beating brand names

A list of Hawaii's most famous football victories shows many came against big-name programs suffering through off seasons.

Team (season record)
Score Date
at Nebraska (5-5)
6-0 Sept. 17, 1955
at Washington (2-9)
10-7 Sept. 15, 1973
Arizona State (6-6)
29-17 Dec. 1, 1979
West Virginia (6-6)
16-13 Oct. 11, 1980
South Carolina (6-6)
33-10 Dec. 5, 1981
Wisconsin (3-9)
20-17 Sept. 6, 1986
Iowa (6-4-3)
27-24 Sept. 3, 1988
Brigham Young (10-3)
56-14 Oct. 28, 1989
Brigham Young (10-3)
59-28 Dec. 1, 1990
Illinois (6-5-1)
27-17 Dec. 30, 1992*
Fresno State (8-5)
31-24 Nov. 13, 1999
Brigham Young (12-2)
72-45 Dec. 8, 2001
at Fresno State (9-5)
31-21 Oct. 25, 2002
Alabama (4-9)
37-29 Nov. 29, 2003

*Holiday Bowl at San Diego


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