Elimimian will likely sit out against UNLV
|UH football practice photo gallery|
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stephen Tsai
The University of Hawai'i football team is preparing as if injured inside linebacker Solomon Elimimian will not be available to play against UNLV Saturday at Aloha Stadium.
Elimimian, who makes most of the defensive calls as the buck linebacker, has not competed in six consecutive practices because of a Grade 1 ligament sprain in his right knee. The buck linebacker usually is aligned on the inside left in the Warriors' 3-4 defensive formation.
During yesterday's practice, Adam Leonard moved from middle to buck linebacker, where he made all of the defensive calls.
Brad Kalilimoku practiced at Leonard's usual inside-right position.
"I don't believe (Elimimian) will play," defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville said.
Head coach June Jones echoed that assessment, adding, "He's probably not going to play."
Although not ready to file sick-leave papers, Elimimian tentatively accepted a job as a spotter for Glanville. In that role, Elimimian would watch the game from the coaches' booth on the loge level.
"The job is too technical for a reporter to understand," Glanville said, smiling. "We'll have him working."
Elimimian, a 6-foot, 224-pound sophomore, said his right knee has improved since he suffered the injury in the Sept. 2 opener against Alabama.
"There's pain," Elimimian said. "I can play through pain. I played the whole game with this. But it's not about 'now.' It's about 'long term.' I don't want to jeopardize it anymore.
"If I can go out there and give 100 percent, I'll go out there," he added. "I want to play. Everybody knows how much I want to play, how competitive I am. It's not like I don't want to play. But I don't want to be foolish. I want to do what's best for the team. I'm sure the team doesn't want me out there if I can't go full speed."
Leonard, a sophomore who had a team-high 11 tackles against Alabama, said he welcomes the expanded leadership role.
"I don't mind at all," Leonard said. "Besides, everybody knows the calls. I'm just reinforcing them. In the course of a game, there comes a time when you get really exhausted. You've got to remember to take your time and communicate with everybody."
Kalilimoku said he has re-adjusted to inside linebacker, where he started 12 games last season. He was at strong safety in spring practice through the Alabama game. He moved to outside linebacker for two days before shifting to inside linebacker last week.
Although the assignments have been tweaked since last year, Kalilimoku said, "I went back to my instincts and played what I knew. It feels natural being there."
Glanville said: "It's a good thing we moved Brad there. That vision came to me in the night."
Blaze Soares, who is Kalilimoku's backup, suffered a sprained left ankle during a kickoff drill yesterday. His left ankle was covered with an ice pack.
"Nothing real serious," Soares said. "I'll be back."
NEWS AND UPDATES
Newberry, a junior cornerback, transferred this summer from Trinity Valley Community College in Texas. Bain, a sophomore from Saint Louis School, is the top backup to starting right slotback Ryan Grice-Mullins.
Mouse Davis, who coaches the punt-return team, said backup slotback Michael Washington also will be used a returner in the near future.
Starting cornerback C.J. Hawthorne was the punt returner against Alabama. Davis said he wants to ease Hawthorne's workload.
"I know I'm going to get playing time," said Purcell, who transferred from Penn State last year. "I really don't see it as that much of a big deal."
Because Purcell was not cleared to practice until the last week of training camp, he said, "I had to catch up really fast compared to everybody else who was here a year ago practicing. I came in late to camp. It was hard to take in everything at one time. But now I'm feeling better."
Purcell said he has overcome a sore left in-step that has been troubling for three weeks.
"I'm doing rehab," said Purcell, whose left shoe is fitted with extra padding. "I'm doing a lot better."
• • •
|WHAT: University of Hawai'i (0-1) vs. Nevada-Las Vegas (1-1)
WHEN: 6:05 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Aloha Stadium
TV: Live on Oceanic cable pay-per-view digital. Call 625-8100 on O'ahu or (808) 643-2337 statewide. Delayed on KFVE Sunday 10 a.m.
AUDIO WEBCAST: 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 4 p.m.
GATES OPEN: Parking lot 2:30 p.m.; Stadium gates 3 p.m.
ALTERNATIVE PARKING (no tailgating):
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 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 a half hour 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: http://www.thebus.org
Reach Stephen Tsai at email@example.com.