Brigham Young will be ready for Owens' return
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
|UH's Chad Owens, who returned this kickoff 100 yards against BYU last year, is expected to return kicks as well as play slotback Friday.
Advertiser library Dec. 8, 2001
Owens, who was used primarily as a slotback in Saturday's 61-36 victory over Eastern Illinois, said he expects to be used on kickoff or punt returns in Friday's nationally televised game at Brigham Young. UH coach June Jones has not announced a decision.
"It's a big game," said Owens, who scored on kickoff and punt returns against BYU last season. "I'm pretty sure I'll be back there."
That would not surprise BYU coach Gary Crowton, who said during yesterday's teleconference that the Cougars were preparing for Owens. Crowton said several BYU starters will be used on kick-coverage teams.
Last year, Owens finished second nationally in kickoff returns with an average of 33.6 yards. But Jones said he wanted Owens to focus exclusively on his new role as a starting slotback this year. Last week, Mike Bass and Clifton Herbert were used on punt returns, and John West and Michael Brewster returned kickoffs. Owens did run a kickoff back late in the game for 25 yards.
Brewster, who was a walk-on at Tennessee two years ago, transferred to UH last year. He was named the team's top scout on offense, and in May received a football scholarship.
Although Brewster had hoped to play running back he is listed as fourth on the depth chart he does not regret transferring to UH.
"There will be competition everywhere," he said. "You can go to Division III or IV or VIII, if they had that, and there are athletes everywhere."
Brewster said UH's return schemes are designed with the end zone in mind.
"That's my mantra: To go to the house," he said. "As long as I'm going forward, I'm doing my job."
Holding Patton: Although freshman cornerback Kenny Patton is included on the 60-player travel roster, he only will be used in emergency situations.
Reserve cornerback Josiah Cravalho's sprained right ankle "moves (Patton) up to the trip," Jones said, "but I don't know if Kenny is going to play. It's going to take somebody (else) getting hurt before he plays."
Rich Miano, who coaches the UH defensive backs, said: "We'd like to redshirt him because he has a bright future in front of him. But it's June's policy to play the best guys."
Patton is on the second-team defense in practice, and Miano said, "it's hard to keep him out of the lineup. He's smart and he understands what he's supposed to do. I think he has the poise and the maturity to do the job as a true freshman."
Jones said freshman offensive lineman Samson Satele also is on the travel roster. "We hope we don't have to play him, either," Jones said.
Family reunion: The BYU game marks somewhat of a homecoming for UH strong safety Hyrum Peters, whose parents moved to Utah several years ago. Peters, a Kahuku High graduate, decided to remain in Hawai'i.
"My parents really wanted me to go to BYU because I'm Mormon," said Peters, noting that the Mormon church administers BYU. "It's a school that's closer to them. But this is my home. I wanted to stay here."
Peters said he had to scramble to reserve 30 tickets.
"Pretty much all of my family will be watching the game," he said.