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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, November 19, 2006

Offense? SJSU's Tomey just as impressed with UH's defense

 •  Breakthrough win for Warrior football team?

By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer

UH defensive lineman Melila Purcell tallied 3.5 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries and 1 handful of San Jose State quarterback Adam Tafralis’ helmet during his stellar night on defense.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaiçi linebacker Blaze Soares made the most of his opportunities, recording a tackle for loss and forcing a fumble.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Dick Tomey knows defense. And he knows when he sees a good one.

Last night he saw a great one — on the opposite sideline.

The Warriors held San Jose State to just 17 points and 192 yards of total offense in a 54-17 victory over San Jose State at Aloha Stadium.

They pressured quarterback Adam Tafralis all night and he struggled, going just 7 of 15 for 110 yards. The Spartans came into the game averaging 380.9 yards per game of total offense.

"As usual," said UH defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville, "we didn't do anything (different), the difference was the players."

San Jose State punted on its first four possessions, gaining just 32 yards in the process.

"Everybody stepped up tonight," said inside linebacker Adam Leonard. "We needed to stop giving up those long drives and I think tonight we definitely cut down on our mental mistakes. Our defense is playing tremendous."

Tomey agreed.

"Frankly, I was impressed with their defense," he said in response to a question about the Warriors' offensive prowess. "They kicked our butt real good."

The former Hawai'i head coach has always been known for putting an emphasis on defense and special teams, and he couldn't help but marvel over the Warriors' defenders.

"Offensively, it's the same as last year, but the defense, it's a major, major difference," he said.

SJSU's first score came after a special teams mishap by UH.

Returner Myron Newberry muffed a Waylon Prather punt inside the 10-yard line that was recovered by the Spartans' John Broussard at the 5. James T. Callier scored three plays later on a 1-yard run.

Even with a 60-yard drive that resulted in a 37-yard field goal by Jared Strubeck, SJSU managed just 67 yards on 29 offensive plays in the first half.

San Jose State running back Yonus Davis was held to 15 yards on 12 attempts and the Spartans, who entered the contest 10th in the nation with nearly 200 yards per game, were held to 82 yards.

"We're always up for the challenge," said UH free safety Leonard Peters. "We knew they'd run the ball and they went to the pass after the run wasn't successful. Our coaches put us in situations to cover anything they ran."

Tafralis, who left the game in the fourth quarter, scrambled on second-and-6 from the SJSU 24, but was met by strong safety Jake Patek.

Patek, a junior college transfer from Blinn, Texas, forced a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Solomon Elimimian.

"If Jake Patek isn't All-WAC, everybody at this university should be fired," Glanville said.

The UH offense, however, returned the favor on the next play, with a Colt Brennan interception to Rakine Toomes.

"I threw the pick to get their stats up," said a joking Brennan of the UH defense.

"We play off each other. (The offense) puts us on top and our defense makes sure (opponents) stay out of it. It's a great team effort."

The defense came through again on the very next play. Tafralis rushed again and reserve linebacker Blaze Soares knocked the ball loose. It was recovered by defensive lineman Ikaika Alama-Francis. Brennan found Ryan Grice-Mullins for a 19-yard TD pass on the next play.

For good measure, Patek picked off backup quarterback Myles Eden on the following Spartans' drive.