Chang Needs 14 Yards to Break NCAA Record
Three of the Bulldogs' four losses have come to ranked opponents in No. 4 Miami, No. 8 Tennessee, and No. 6 Auburn, all on the road. The fourth loss was to WAC surprise UTEP, 44-27, last week in Ruston, La. Bulldog head coach Jack Bicknell, who led the Bulldogs to the league title in Tech's first season in the WAC, is in his sixth season at Louisiana Tech and owns a 31-36 overall record. Warrior head coach June Jones is 43-29 and owns a 32-15 record in games played at Aloha Stadium. Hawai`i leads the series, 2-0, but the teams have met only once as WAC opponents. Last season, the teams combined for more than 1,200 yards of offense, with the Warriors outlasting the Bulldogs, 44-41, in Ruston, La. Since Bicknell's arrival, Louisiana Tech has been known to pass the football, but the 2004 season has been just the opposite. The reason...Ryan Moats. The junior from Dallas, Texas, leads the WAC and ranks sixth nationally averaging 151.6 rushing yards per game. Despite missing more than seven quarters this season, Moats has gained 1,213 yards and scored a league-high 13 touchdowns on 182 carries in eight games. In last season's loss to Hawai`i, the All-American gained 267 yards and scored two touchdowns on 34 carries. He is the reason, the Bulldogs rank fourth in the league, 25th nationally, in rushing, averaging 182.6 yards per game. Bulldog quarterback Matt Kubik has passed for 1,213 yards and four touchdowns (79-of-150, 8 interceptions) this season. The Louisiana Tech defense ranks seventh in the WAC, 83rd nationally, allowing 401.4 yards per game. Linebacker Byron Santiago leads the Bulldogs with 50 total tackles (20 solo) and ranks 11th in the league, averaging 7.1 tackles per game. The Warriors have struggled on both sides of the ball, but not in games played at Aloha Stadium. Hawai`i is averaging 41.5 points in home games, opposed to 17.3 in road games, and gaining 469.0 yards at home, opposed to 386.7 on the road. Last week, the Warrior offense did not score a touchdown for the first time since 1999. Quarterback Timmy Chang, who needs 14 yards to become the NCAA career passing leader, hopes to rebound from one of his worst outings of the season, throwing four interceptions at Boise State, after just three miscues in his first six games. Seniors Chad Owens and Britton Komine anchor the receiving corps, combining for over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. Owens is on four UH career lists, including all-purpose yards, punt return, kickoff return, and receiving yards. He needs 116 yards to become the school's career leader in all-purpose yards, surpassing former All-America running back Gary Allen (4,558 yards). On defense, Hawai`i is allowing 26.3 points per game, opposed to 53.7 on the road, and allowing 395.3 yards of total offense, opposed to 534.0. The Warrior defense is still recovering from a host of injuries. Five starters have missed games, including linebackers Ikaika Curnan (ankle) and Tanuvasa Moe (hamstring), cornerback Kenny Patton, safety Lono Manners (leg), and Kila Kamakawiwo`ole (surgery). Patton is the only one back in the line-up. Curnan and Moe are questionable, Kamakawiwo`ole had an appendectomy, while Manners is out for the season. That leaves cornerback Abraham Elimimian and safety Leonard Peters to lead the secondary. Elimimian ranks second in the nation averaging 0.71 interceptions per game. Peters compiled a career-high 16 tackles at Boise State and leads the WAC averaging 9.3 tackles per game. Defensive tackles Lui Fuga and Matt Faga have been the mainstays on the defensive front. The duo has combined for 42 total tackles, including 5.5 for-a-loss, and two sacks.
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