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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, December 1, 2002

UH's Cockheran starting to catch on

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

While Justin Colbert and Britton Komine have been the more frequent targets of quarterback Tim Chang, another Warrior established himself as a go-to receiver yesterday.

Jeremiah Cockheran is on his way to a 70-yard touchdown as Alabama's Charlie Peprah trails. Cockheran had nine catches for 207 yards.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

Junior college transfer Jeremiah Cockheran, who caught the game-winning touchdown in last week's 20-19 win against Cincinnati, had a season-high nine catches and 207 yards in Hawai'i's 21-16 loss to Alabama. His 70-yard TD reception pass from Chang with 10 minutes, 21 seconds to play helped UH close to 21-10.

"I'm happy with my performance," Cockheran said. "I came through at the time it was needed. If I get more chances, I could make more plays."

Warriors coach June Jones concurs.

"I knew he was a big-time player," Jones said. "The last two, three weeks, he's been coming into his own."

What made Cockheran's performance stand out was that the Crimson Tide secondary played exceptionally tight on its coverages. Sometimes so tight the defensive backs were grasping at the receivers' jerseys; Alabama was called once for defensive holding.

"At the beginning, they were holding us, grabbing our jersey, trying their best to defend us," Cockheran said. "Probably the only way they could stay with us is holding us, but otherwise, they played pretty good D."

While the jersey-clinging might have upset the receivers' timing, Cockheran said that was no excuse for not making plays.

"It doesn't matter what happened, no matter if they're grabbing our jersey," he said.

It seemed as if all of Cockheran's receptions were big. Besides the TD catch, five other catches were for first downs. While pleased with his performance, it could not take away the sting of losing.

"It's frustrating when you know you can beat a team," Cockheran said. "We're good. We're good, too. You come that close and then you run out of time. If we had more time, we'd have come out with a victory.