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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, November 5, 2006

UH suffers more losses on the D-line

 •  UH football team is home for the holidays

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

University of Hawai'i defensive lineman Rocky Savaiigaea, left, makes a hit on Utah State's Antraun McDaniel, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Lawrence Wilson. The second-quarter play set up UH's fourth touchdown, giving the Warriors a 28-3 halftime lead.

MEEGAN M. REID | Special to The Advertiser

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The Warriors perform the 'haka' following their 63-10 victory over Utah State in Logan, Utah.

FERD LEWIS | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Jason Rivers latches on to this pass from Tyler Graunke for a fourth-quarter touchdown

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LOGAN, Utah The only damper on the University of Hawai'i's 63-10 victory over Utah State yesterday was concern that the already-thinning defensive line may have taken additional hits with injuries to Rocky Savaiigaea and Laupepa Letuli.

Savaiigaea was said to have suffered an ankle injury and Letuli an injured knee. The extent of the injuries wasn't immediately known as the team prepared for its charter flight back to Honolulu.The UH athletic department has a policy of not announcing injuries or playing status.

Both were expected to be examined today.

The Warriors were already without Keala Watson (right knee), Renolds Fruen (sprained right ankle) and Amani Purcell (sprained and hyperextended right knee) who were injured in the Idaho game and just got Ikaika Alama-Francis back after missing the Idaho game with back spasms.

"That's the only (negative) thing," head coach June Jones said. "We've lost a bunch of D-linemen. We're down to ... I don't know what we're going to do, probably move some more guys around."

"We'll just have to see who is healthy this week," said defensive line coach Jeff Reinebold said. "Maybe we'll have to borrow some more players from the O-line."

Letuli, a redshirt freshman, was converted from offensive guard to help shore up the line and had a tackle yesterday.

Savaiigaea, a redshirt freshman, got extensive time and had a tackle and forced a fumble.

"He got some good minutes and looked good," Reinebold said.

"I'll tell you what, nobody is gonna want to play for me pretty quick," Reinebold said. "They're gonna think I'm 'Typhoid Mary.' "

ALAMA-FRANCIS MAKES AN IMPACT ON HIS RETURN

Right defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis made up for lost time in a hurry yesterday.

After having sat out last week's victory over Idaho due to back spasms, Alama-Francis sacked Utah State quarterback Riley Nelson early in the second quarter.

Alama-Francis had two tackles for losses and five tackles overall.

"I felt really good, 100 percent," Alama-Francis said. "I needed that week off to get my back back and all that."

Defensive line coach Jeff Reinebold said, "I was proud of him. He really didn't practice much but played well. Maybe Allen Iverson was right, maybe practice is over-rated. But he (Alama-Francis) is a tough guy and wanted to play. I'm happy for him."

KAFENTZIS CLAN ON HAND TO WATCH TYSON PLAY

Three members of the Kafentzis family who played for UH, Mark (1980-'81), Kent (1981-'85) and Kyle (1983-'86) were on the sidelines yesterday to watch a second generation, outside linebacker Tyson.

Mark is Tyson's father and the other two are uncles.

Eight players with the name Kafentzis have played for UH.

PETERS WOULD LIKE TO SEE UCLA IN BOWL

UH coach June Jones and several players said they had no strong feelings about who they would like to play in the Dec. 24 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.

"Nah, I have no preference," Jones said. "I'm not even thinking about that right now. I'm worried about next week."

UH plays Louisiana Tech on Saturday at Aloha Stadium.

But safety Leonard Peters is hoping for UCLA.

"I've always wanted to play against them," Peters said. "The main thing is if we play a Pac-10 team."

The Hawai'i Bowl is contracted to match a Western Athletic Conference representative against the No. 6 Pac-10 pick.

KEKAULA COMES UP SHORT ON LONG PANTS

KKEA sportscaster Robert Kekaula made an emergency trip to a Salt Lake City clothes store upon arriving in Utah on Friday to buy his only pair of long pants.

Kekaula, who traditionally wears shorts even at UH road games, hasn't worn long pants on the road since last year's November game at Nevada.

He reportedly was left without a pair of long pants when his previous pair was damaged recently.

Temperatures were in the 40s at yesterday's game with a 46 at the 1:07 p.m. (Mountain Time) kickoff.

NOTES

Bryan Shields' 46-yard field goal in the first quarter was Utah State's first field goal of the season. The Aggies were the last team among 119 in Division I-A to get a field goal this season.

The 53-point loss was Utah State's biggest since losing to Southern California by 56 (66-10) in 1989.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com.