GAME 8 | IDAHO
It was as if Grice-Mullins was never away
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Leila Wai
One basic rule for most football players is when you have control, to never let go.
But when University of Hawai'i slotback Ryan Grice-Mullins was deemed healthy enough to return to the game, replacement Ross Dickerson gave up his starting position.
"The starting position was up in the air," Grice-Mullins said. "But it was Ross' idea. He's a great team player and a great teammate. I told him, 'No, you start.' And he insisted. That just shows the kind of character that's on this team. I give it up to Ross. He wouldn't let me not go in. I was telling him no, he was playing good and he was on a roll. But he just insisted. He told me, 'Either you go or no one goes.' "
Returning to the field for the first time in more than a month, Grice-Mullins scored two touchdowns as Hawai'i defeated Idaho, 68-10, in a Western Athletic Conference game at Aloha Stadium last night.
Grice-Mullins scored touchdowns of 18 and 34 yards, catching five passes for 83 yards. His two scores doubled the amount of touchdowns he had previously this season.
"Words can't explain it right now. And getting the win on top of that? I can't explain it," he said. "Just being back with the boys, playing around, out there playing and running around and scoring and celebrating, I can't explain it."
Grice-Mullins led the team last season in yards (1,228) and average yards per game (102.3).
He started the first three games at slotback, but missed the past four because of a left ankle sprain he suffered against Boise State Sept. 23.
It was as if he never left.
"Just hearing the crowd, hearing (quarterback) Colt (Brennan) say, 'Hut, set, go!' It was like I've been doing it every week," he said.
Brennan said it was "fun" to see Grice-Mullins back on the field again.
"It was great for him to come back and have two great plays and touchdowns the way he did," Brennan said.
Before his injury, Grice-Mullins had 15 catches for 260 yards and two touchdowns.
Grice-Mullins said his ankle "felt pretty good. The adrenaline only helped it. I was happy about that.
"Sometimes, certain cuts I made, it was a little sore. But I was able to make the cuts. There was some pain, but nothing too big, nothing major that I couldn't deal with."
On both touchdowns, Grice-Mullins eluded defenders on the way to the end zone.
"The first one, I knew when the play was called, that I had the flat," Grice-Mullins said. "I saw it would be open and I figured I would be getting the ball. After I got the ball, I knew I had to make that one guy miss. I was just trying to stay in bounds and then skirt up the sideline."
Hawai'i coach June Jones has said in the past that a Warrior would not lose his starting position because of an injury.
"The team chemistry, and the way everything is working, it's good to see a guy who got hurt and who did so much for us last year and early on this season come back and kind of get right back into the system and swing of things," Brennan said.
"It was good to see him get back in there and get back to his old self."
Reach Leila Wai at email@example.com.