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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, November 11, 2001

Butts can't block out UH loss

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

University of Hawai'i special-teams player Sean Butts found little consolation in blocking an extra-point try and a field goal in last night's 28-21 loss to Boise State.

"It's a big loss," Butts said. "I tried to contribute as best I can, but you can turn in all the stats and everything to get a win. But it didn't happen tonight. We just have to make more plays."

Butts blocked an extra-point try by Nick Calaycay after the Broncos scored the first touchdown of the game to take a 6-3 lead. Then in the fourth quarter, Butts leaped over the line to block Calaycay's 49-yard field-goal attempt to preserve UH's 21-20 lead.

"It's a great push by the D-line," said Butts, explaining his opportunities to block kicks. "They work on it all week, pushing the guard back to give me enough room to get close to the ball when I jump up."

As it turned out, special teams proved the difference.

Boise State's David Mikell's 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown broke a 6-6 tie seconds after UH's Justin Ayat kicked the first of his two 47-yard field goals.

Mikell's TD return was the first against UH since Southern Methodist's Jonas Rutledge did it Oct. 6.

Ayat's three field goals — his 29-yarder in the first quarter gave UH a 3-0 lead — tied a season-high he had against Fresno State. His five attempts — he missed from 47 and 52 yards — also matched a season-high when he went 1-for-5 against SMU.

• Highlights: UH senior defensive tackle Mike Iosua had his first career interception after snagging a deflected pass caused by defensive end La'anui Correa in the third quarter. But the Warriors failed to cash in when Ayat missed field-goal tries of 52 and 47 yards. Ayat got two chances because of a 5-yard penalty for running into the kicker.

The Warriors made up for that after cornerback Kevin Millhouse intercepted his fourth pass of the season. That led to UH's first touchdown.

A third consecutive turnover by the Broncos, a fumble recovery by Hyrum Peters, set up UH's second touchdown that gave it its second lead of the game at 21-20.

• Homecoming: The crowd of 40,600 was the largest of the season. ... Nearly 3,000 UH students took advantage of the free tickets given away during the week. ... The 45,012 tickets issued were the most since Sept. 4, 2000 against Portland State when 50,000 were issued, a sellout. ... Former and present UH women athletes from each sport were honored during halftime festivities, which included a performance by the UH band.

• Hurts: UH defensive back Chris Riccardi injured an ankle in the third quarter and did not return.