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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 18, 2006

Warriors wary, but ready for 'Tomey ball'

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

What value should be placed on the University of Hawai'i football team's recent success and popularity?

Is it in money? After yesterday's afternoon practice, members of the Ka'u High School football team asked UH quarterback Colt Brennan to autograph dollar bills.

"That's something you don't see every day," said his father, Terry Brennan.

Is it in silver? When the Warriors host San Jose State tonight, it will be the first time this season they will wear silver helmets for a home game.

"It's nice to have a different look," Brennan told the Ka'u players. The Warriors wore the silver helmets during the 90-minute, walk-through practice.

"No, no, no," offensive line coach Dennis McKnight said. "I don't care what we wear or play in as long as we show up to play. The only way to tell how good we are is if our minds are right, our arms look good and we're ready to play."

Asked if the Warriors had met his value system, McKnight said, "They're ready to play, baby. They're ready to go."

The back story is Dick Tomey returns to the Aloha Stadium visitor sidelines for the second time since resigning as UH head coach in 1986. Tomey, who was hired as SJSU coach last year, brought his Arizona team in 1998.

The main focus is on the significance of this meeting, UH's last Western Athletic Conference game of the year.

The Warriors, who are 8-2 overall and 6-1 in the WAC, need to win to keep alive their hopes of a share of the conference title. Boise State has a 6-0 WAC record. If the Warriors win their final three regular-season games and the Hawai'i Bowl, they will better the school-record 11-2 season of 1992.

The Spartans, who are 6-3 and 3-2 in the WAC, need a victory to clinch a winning regular season and become bowl eligible.

Although San Jose State narrowly lost to Boise State last week, UH coach June Jones predicted, "Tomey is going to have them ready to play. And we're going to have to be ready for everything onside kicks, muddle huddles. We've been practicing against that stuff all week."

Jones and Tomey are close friends. Tomey gave Jones his first coaching job, as UH's quarterback coach in 1983. Jones has been Tomey's guest for holiday dinners.

"I have a lot of respect for the things he has done," Jones said.

Jones also knows of Tomey's reputation as a player's and a coach's coach; a strategist who places a high emphasis on defense and special teams, and believes in the phrase, "Let's give ourselves a chance to win it in the fourth quarter."

"They like to play what we call 'Tomey ball,' " UH defensive line coach Jeff Reinebold said.

SJSU defensive coordinator Tom Williams, who was a UH assistant for three years, said Tomey has resurrected a spiraling program.

"Coach Tomey is fantastic to work for," Williams said. "He allows us coaches to coach and do our thing. He's not a micro-manager. He cares about all of the right things."

Williams said Tomey has instilled two of the goals he implemented at UH: build the walk-on program and recruit locally.

"In terms of recruiting, we want to put a fence around the Bay Area," Williams said. "We feel there's a lot of undiscovered talent in the Bay Area. We're canvassing the area to give the local players the best chance to stay home. We feel if we can get a handle on that, we could spread out a little more in California."

In building the walk-on program in pricey San Jose, Williams said, "I think the word is spreading out that, 'Hey, even if I don't have a scholarship, I can walk on to San Jose State and have a chance to get one.' There are three great Bay Area teams in Stanford, Cal and San Jose. Not everybody can get into Stanford and Cal. If you want to go to a school locally, this is a great option."

Williams said Tomey also changed the "culture" of the Spartans.

"Coach Tomey always is talking to our players about pride, belief, playing together and finishing," Williams said. "Those are the words we built our program on. We wanted to get the guys to really believe in those things.

"When you come into a program, there's going to be some resistance," Williams added. "We had our share of that last year, especially from some of the older guys. Now things have changed."

• • •

UH FOOTBALL

WHAT: University of Hawai'i (8-2, 6-1 in Western Athletic Conference) vs. San Jose State (6-3, 3-2 in WAC)

WHEN: 6:05 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Aloha Stadium

TV: Live on Oceanic cable pay-per-view digital; rebroadcast on PPV at 10:30 p.m. Call 625-8100 on O'ahu or (808) 643-2337 statewide. Delayed on KFVE Sunday 10 a.m.

AUDIO WEBCAST: www.espn1420am.com

VIDEO WEBCAST: Available through Hawaiian Telecom and KFVE. Tickets available for single game at $9.95, a full season for $39.95. Go to www.hawaiiantelmedia.com

RADIO: Live on ESPN 1420, with warmup show at 5 p.m. Neighbor Island simulcasts on KAOI on Maui/Kona, KPUA in Hilo and KQNG on Kaua'i

GATES OPEN: Parking lot 2:30 p.m.; Stadium gates 3 p.m.

TICKET PRICES: $38 sideline, $32 South end zone, $27 North end zone (adult), $22 North end zone senior citizen, $22 North end zone students 4-18, $5 UH students.

TICKET SALES: Available online at hawaiiathletics.com, by calling 944-2697 (BOWS) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or at Stan Sheriff Center, Aloha Stadium, UH Campus Center, RainBowtique at Ward Centre and Windward Community College's OCET Office during business hours. Convenience fees may apply.

PROMOTIONS: Senior citizens and armed services members will receive two tickets for the price of one. Discount ticket deals for armed services members has been extended to the rest of the regular-season. Members of the Armed Services, active and reserve, will receive two-for-one tickets prices (maximum of 12). A valid military identification card is required when purchasing tickets at the Aloha Stadium in advance or on game day. This discount also is available at the Stan Sheriff Center in advance (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Senior citizens (65 years and older) will receive the discount (maximum of 8). A driver's license or identification card is required when purchasing tickets at the Aloha Stadium Box Office in advance and on game day. It is only available at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office in advance (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). Other restrictions may apply.

The first 10,000 fans to enter Aloha Stadium will receive "Fanbannas" (retractable banners), compliments of game-sponsor Hawaiian Telcom. The two-sided banners have "Hawai`i" printed on one side and "Go Warriors" on the other.

PARKING: $5

ALTERNATIVE PARKING (no tailgating):

• Leeward Community College (free with $2 charge for shuttle service);

• Kamehameha Drive-In ($5 with free shuttle service);

• Radford High School ($3 with no shuttle service).

All shuttle service runs from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and approximately one hour after the game ends.

SECURITY: Only fanny packs, purses, backpacks and handbags will be allowed into stadium (subject to check).

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Sports Radio 1420 will provide traffic advisories and updates before each UH football home game.

BUS SHUTTLES:

For UH students: Chancellor office is providing free bus transportation to the home games at Aloha Stadium. Buses will pick up UH students on Dole Street in front of Gateway House two hours before game time.The buses will leave the stadium 30 minutes after the game and return to Gateway. Sign-up sheets are at the front desk at each UH residence hall.

Roberts Hawaii is offering round trip "air conditioned" shuttle bus services to Aloha Stadium for $6 from three O'ahu areas.

Bus No. 3 will pick up at the Hawai'i Kai Park n' Ride at 4 p.m., at Bank of Hawai'i at Kahala Mall at 4:15 and proceed to the stadium.

Bus No. 2 will pick up at the Kailua District Park, Kainalu Avenue at 4:15 p.m., at Windward Mall Shopping Center on Alaloa Street facing Sears at 4:30 and proceed to the stadium.

Bus No. 1 will pick up at the Mililani Mauka Park n' Ride at 4:30 p.m. and go directly to the stadium.

Reservations are required and service is first come, first serve. Call Roberts School Bus at 832-4886 for reservations and additional information.

City bus service

The FootballExpress offers 17 pickup locations throughout O'ahu.

The first trip from each location leaves approximately three hours before kickoff and the last trip leaves approximately 90 minutes before the game. Return trips leave as soon as the bus is full, with the final trip leaving 30 minutes after the game ends.

Honolulu pickup locations are at Ala Moana, downtown, Hawai'i Kai, Kahala Mall, Kaimuki, Palolo, Waikiki and the University of Hawai'i.

Leeward pickups are at 'Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Mililani Mauka and Village Park.

Windward pickups are at Kalaniana'ole Highway and Kailua Road, Kailua Road at Keolu Drive and Hele Street, Kailua Road at Hahani Street, Kane'ohe Bay drive at Mokapu Boulevard and Kane'ohe Bay Drive at Makalani Street.

Rates are $3 one way and $6 roundtrip. Passes and transfers are not accepted.

For information, go to: www.thebus.org

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.