Tide hopes to end on a high
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
|||Hawai'i vs. Alabama
When: today, 2:45 p.m.
Where: Aloha Stadium
TV/Radio: Live on ESPN/1420 AM.
Tickets: $33 sideline, $27 south end zone, $22 adults north end zone, $17 senior citizens and students with valid ID north end zone.
Parking lots open: 11:15 a.m.
Stadium open: 11:45 a.m.
Shuttle services: Begins at 12:15 p.m.
The Warriors have an opportunity to take advantage of a brand-name opponent Alabama, a 12-time national champion from the high-end Southeastern Conference.
Alabama conjures images of the Bear (Paul Bryant), the Snake (Ken Stabler) and the party animal (Joe Namath).
But these are not ordinary times for Alabama (4-8), which would not qualify for its 52nd bowl appearance even if it were not on probation for violating NCAA rules.
Mike Shula is Alabama's fourth head coach in three years and third in the past 11 months. He succeeded Mike Price, whose tenure was abbreviated after six months because of his off-field behavior.
"It's been hard," linebacker Freddie Roach said. "We've been through a lot, but it's going to make us better people one day."
It has been suggested that this game, the Crimson Tide's season finale, would serve as their bowl game.
"No, no," quarterback Brodie Croyle said. "We're not thinking that way. We're trying to get another win and get some momentum for next year."
Roach said: "We're excited about playing in this game. We're really looking forward to it."
The Tide players were admittedly dejected after last week's 28-23 loss to arch-rival Auburn.
"It was a tough loss, but you have to be able to bounce back and go on and play the next game," Shula said.
Roach added: "You have to motivate yourself. It takes a certain person to motivate yourself. I think we have special people who can do that."
UH coach June Jones said he expects the Tide to be prepared.
"Their coaches will have them ready to play," Jones said. "It doesn't matter where you play, you have pride, and Alabama has a lot of pride. They'll play as good as they can play."
"I don't care about their record," said UH wide receiver Jeremiah Cockheran, a co-captain. "They're still Alabama. They should have won three of the games they lost Tennessee, Oklahoma, Auburn. They're still a tough team, and they're going to come in here and try and kick our butts. Last year we came close. This year we don't want to come close. We want to win."
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