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

Just like old times for Ilaoa

 •  UH football team is home for the holidays

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

LOGAN, Utah It was just like old home week for University of Hawai'i running back Nate Ilaoa yesterday.

In the stands were family members from the Mainland and Hawai'i, and former teammates from Virginia.

And, in the air were rain and cold.

"Just like the way it used to be back in Virginia," said Ilaoa, who graduated from high school in Stafford, Va. "It used to feel like this (temperatures in the 40s) in November, too."

But while he didn't score six touchdowns, which he did in a single game in Virginia, Ilaoa's one rushing touchdown and two scores on passes helped the Warriors to a 63-10 victory over Utah State.

Ilaoa rushed for 55 yards on six carries and caught six passes for 155 yards.

"With everybody I had here to see me and how important this game was to us, I had a lot of motivation to take me far," Ilaoa said.

As a sixth year senior including a redshirt year and a medical hardship year "this was my last road game and the final one for a lot of us seniors," Ilaoa said.

Then, there was peer pressure stoking his two pass scampers of 60 yards and a 33-yard run.

"If I let one of these (defenders) catch me from behind, I'm going to hear about it from my teammates," Ilaoa said. "In the huddle they'll ask me, 'can you go 50, 60 yards?' And, I'll tell them, 'I've got enough to get me there, I just need a little help from you holding your blocks' 'cause it is a team effort."

Running backs coach Wes Suan said, "back in (camp) he'd tell us, all he needed to run fast was to have someone chasing him."

Yesterday, Ilaoa did and few could keep up.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com.