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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, November 29, 2002

Chang appears ready for action against Alabama

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Quarterback Tim Chang yesterday practiced for the first time this week and appears to be ready to play in tomorrow's nationally televised game against Alabama.

UH quarterback Tim Chang may start against Alabama.

Bruce Asato • The Honolulu Advertiser

Chang suffered a slightly torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee and a bruised right thumb on his throwing hand in last week's 20-19 victory over Cincinnati.

But wearing green sweat pants that covered his injured left leg, Chang competed with the first team during yesterday's 90-minute practice.

"He threw the ball pretty well," UH coach June Jones said. "We'll see how it turns out."

Jones said Chang will be evaluated after today's closed practice.

"It's still a game-day decision," Jones said.

But all signs point to Chang being ready to open as the starter.

That's not the case with Shayne Kajioka, who started the first 11 games at left guard. Bothered by a sprained right knee, Kajioka has not practiced this week.

Although Kajioka should be available to play, center Lui Fuata will start at left guard and Derek Faavi will open at center. This will be Faavi's first career start.

• Men in black: For the second time this season, the Warriors will wear their black uniforms.

Alabama vs. Hawai'i

• WHAT: NCAA football, Alabama (9-3) at Hawai'i (9-2)

• KICKOFF: Tomorrow at 2:45 p.m., Aloha Stadium

• TV/RADIO: Live on ESPN/Live on 1420 AM

Jones said he picked the wardrobe because "it's a TV game."

The Warriors are 3-0 in games in which they wore black jerseys the past two seasons. They wore black jerseys against Fresno State and Brigham Young last year and against Nevada this year.

The black jerseys were added to the Warriors' wardrobe in 1999, Jones' first season as UH head coach. Since then, the Warriors are 4-2 when wearing black. They wear green jerseys for the other home games and white on the road.

• Change of plans: Because of reported problems with its charter flight, the Alabama football team arrived late in Honolulu yesterday.

Alabama canceled its scheduled practice yesterday. What's more, school officials sent out a notice the team probably will not practice today.

• Inside job: Mouse Davis said he has been approached about the possibility of becoming the Hawaiian Islanders' offensive coordinator.

"We're talking about it," said Davis, who is Jones' mentor. "We'll see how it turns out. There's always potential. Hawai'i is still Hawai'i."

Davis also is a close friend of Cal Lee, the Islanders' new head coach. The Islanders play in af2.

Davis attended yesterday's UH practice, and spoke fondly of Jones, whom he coached at Portland State. Later, they worked together in the U.S. Football League and National Football League.

Davis helped popularize the run-and-shoot passing offense.

"When he threw the ball 38 straight times the other day, I said, 'That kid is my son,' " Davis said of Jones. "We're close."

Davis said he keeps in contact with most of his former quarterbacks. He recently attended Jim Kelly's induction into the NFL Hall of Fame.

"But June has been a real special one for me," Davis said.