Houston, Boise State
have a lot in common
The way Hawaii defensive captain Hyrum Peters sees it, the Houston Cougars don't look much like the Boise State Broncos.
But that's where the dissimilarity ends.
After two days of looking at tape of the Warriors' opponents in the Dec. 25 Hawaii Bowl, the two-time all-league safety concludes the Cougars -- who average 33.3 points and 453.4 yards are dangerous.
"They look different than Boise, but they are like them," Peters said after yesterday's practice. "(Boise) outcoached us, outplayed us by being smarter than us. Houston looks like that kind of team. If they watch that (45-28 loss to Boise State) tape, they have a better chance to beat us. They do a lot of stuff from different formations. It comes down to we gotta know more than what they know."
And will even that be enough to beat a team with a quarterback many are calling the best freshman in the nation?
Kevin Kolb produced numbers eerily similar to those of Boise State quarterback and Hawaii nemesis Ryan Dinwiddie. He completed 201 of 326 passes for 2,799 yards with 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
Peters said he hasn't focused much on individuals yet, but noted that Houston running back Anthony Evans could also present problems.
"That running back rushed for 200-something in one game, like the Louisiana Tech guy (Ryan Moats)," Peters said.
Actually, Evans' game-high was 165 yards against UAB. But if the Warriors revert to the way they tackled early in the season when Moats got 267 against them, two bills isn't out of the question for Evans.
Peters said he won't let that happen.
"We still have it. We just got to gain our pride back after missing some tackles against Boise," he said. "The running, the practice. That's why we're working hard."
Missing in action: Senior defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga missed practice for a second-consecutive day with the flu.
"He came in to take a final, and it was pretty ugly. I don't want him around getting the other guys sick," coach June Jones said.
Senior defensive tackle Lui Fuga returned to practice a day after having wisdom teeth removed. Senior linebacker Chad Kalilimoku's left ankle sprain is getting better.
Senior defensive end Travis LaBoy sat out again with an undisclosed ailment. Jones was asked if LaBoy -- who left practice early yesterday to take care of some schoolwork -- will be eligible academically for the game.
"We won't know until the 23rd," Jones said.
Three receivers missed practice yesterday. Freshman Jason Rivers and junior Chad Owens were taking finals, and senior Michael Miyashiro was out with a broken shoulder from the Boise State game.
Junior running back West Keli'ikipi suffered a minor setback in his rehab from arthroscopic surgery.
"His knee swelled up (Monday), but they (the training staff) still think he'll be able to play," Jones said.
Understatement of the day: "Pass protection-wise, we've been pretty solid, going back to the Army game," Hawaii offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh said.
The Warriors didn't allow a sack in the last three regular-season games.
Is there an echo in here?: Cougars coach Art Briles sounded a lot like Jones at times during his press conference yesterday in Houston.
>> Christmas Day exposure: "We're going to be in every household in America, every hotel and restaurant that there is a television with our game on."
>> Not just happy to be here: "Our goal is to win the bowl game."
>> Two quarterbacks are better than one: "I'm pretty sure we'll see them both. ... They're both capable players and they feel pretty comfortable with either one of them."
>> Recruiting boost: "We can walk into a school and say UH and they know where we're going -- the recruits, the coaches, everybody is excited and happy for us."
>> The final score: "I don't care if we win on a safety and it's 2-0 or if we win 58-57."