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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Jones: State can embrace record, too

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Barring a catastrophic turn of events, University of Hawai'i quarterback Tim Chang will become the NCAA's career passing champion in Saturday's game against Louisiana Tech — a milestone, UH coach June Jones said, "that will become a valuable memory for a long, long time."


Chang, a fifth-year senior, needs 14 yards to break Ty Detmer's NCAA record of 15,031 career passing yards.

Jones said the record is significant to the school and state because of Chang's lifelong Hawai'i residency.

"Hopefully, a lot of people will come to the game to see it happen," Jones said, "because it's never going to happen again to anybody in this whole state — someone who was born and raised here, who played high school football here."

Jones said the impact of the record "will really hit me 10, 20 years from now. I'll appreciate how unique and special an honor it was for it to happen to a local boy from Hawai'i. Timmy is Hawai'i. He's basically what the whole state is about."

Louisiana Tech at Hawai'i

WHAT: Western Athletic Conference football

WHEN: 6:05 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Aloha Stadium

TV: Live on Oceanic Cable Pay-Per-View (Digital 255 or 256). Delayed at 10 p.m. on K5.


GATES: Stadium parking opens at 2:30 p.m. Stadium gates open at 3 p.m.

After accepting the UH job in December 1998, Jones figured the Warriors' four-wide passing attack would give a quarterback an opportunity to challenge Detmer's record. Jones said Chang's situation was unique because he started as a freshman in 2000 and received three bonus games for participating in an injury-abbreviated 2001 season that did not count against his four-season eligibility clock. What's more, of UH's seven current quarterbacks, Chang is the only one to have attended a Hawai'i high school.

"The chances of the next great one being a local boy and all of those other circumstances are not really high, obviously," Jones said. "With our system and how much you have to learn, it's tough enough to play as a true freshman. A lot would have to happen for a freshman to have that many opportunities."

Chang said the chance to play in Hawai'i — not the pursuit of Detmer's record — factored in his decision to spurn offers from Mainland schools.

"I love the state of Hawai'i," said Chang, a 2000 graduate of Saint Louis School. "Every day I go out I feel like I'm representing the people here, representing all of the little kids who look up to our team. It's a different feeling when you're from here and playing here. It's a game, but we take it much deeper and our fans take it much deeper. When we win, they're up. When we're down, they're down. I want to do well because when we lose, I feel I personally let a lot of people down."

Chang also acknowledged that he hurt his right (throwing) shoulder when he was sacked in the first quarter of the 69-3 loss to Boise State last week. "It's something you have to push through," he said. "Everybody plays hurt. Football is a rough game. It's one of those things. It's not going to bother me to play hurt."

Wounded Warriors vow to play Saturday

Offensive right guard Uriah Moenoa said a strained left hamstring won't keep him from starting against Louisiana Tech.

"I'm going to play, no matter what it takes," he said. "A lot of guys are sucking it up."

Middle linebacker Ikaika Curnan, who has a sprained right ankle, took three shots of painkillers to play against Boise State. Curnan said his ankle was sore yesterday. He vowed to play against Louisiana Tech.

Weakside linebacker Tanuvasa Moe, who missed last week's game because of a strained hamstring, competed with the first team during yesterday's defensive drills.

Jones said cornerback Abraham Elimimian has a sore right foot. Elimimian also suffers from a sprained right ankle and strained right hamstring. Jones said he expects Elimimian to start this week.

Early detection aided Kamakawiwo'ole

Defensive end Kila Kamakawiwo'ole said he is grateful to head athletic trainer Eric Okasaki's quick medical attention last week.

Kamakawiwo'ole believed he was suffering from the stomach flu when he had difficulty drinking water and Gatorade. "Nothing could stay in my stomach," he said.

Okasaki ordered Kamakawiwo'ole to go straight to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with an appendicitis. The appendix "did not burst," he said. "That's the main thing."

The 70-minute appendectomy involved cutting through his stomach lining. He said his muscles have not fully healed. He said he is allowed to resume his normal diet.

Kamakawiwo'ole was told he might be able to compete in another two weeks. "I'm going to try and push it," he said.

Boise State film makes most-watched list

Put up a "Wet Paint" sign, and people still touch the painted area. Tell UH players not to watch videotape of the 69-3 loss to Boise State, and the Warriors are treating the video room like the local Blockbuster.

"Of course, we watched it," defensive tackle Lui Fuga said. "We wanted to know what we did wrong."

Chang said: "You can always take something away — good or bad — from each game. You have to watch the film to learn from your mistakes. You can't just forget about the game. You have to watch it, learn from it and then put it behind you."

Moenoa pleaded innocent.

"Some guys watched it, but I didn't watch it," Moenoa said. "Coach says don't do something, I don't do it."

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8051.