Warriors Need win for Hawaii Bowl

Saturday night's game will decide whether or not the Warriors live to play another day. A win will give Hawai'i (6-5) an invitation to play in the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl on Dec. 24, 2004. A loss will end the season and the storied careers of 26 seniors on the Warrior roster. REMINDER: "Pack the House" promotion ends Friday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. (no exceptions)...call 956-4482 for details.

Michigan State stands in the way of one last hurrah for the seniors. The Spartans are 5-6 and not headed to a bowl game for the first time since last year's loss to Nebraska (17-3) in the Alamo Bowl. Head coach John L. Smith owns a 13-10 record in his second season in East Lansing, Mich. Warrior head coach June Jones is 46-30 in his sixth season at UH. The Spartans have not played a game since Nov. 20 and have lost three of their last four contests. Four of their six losses have come to ranked teams in Notre Dame, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State. But the Spartans have posted upsets of Minnesota (51-17) and Wisconsin (49-14). The Spartans have a stable of running backs led by 5-foot-9, 193-pound, junior, Jason Teague, who takes the bulk of the carries with 137 for 654 yards and five touchdowns. DeAndrea Cobb, a 5-foot-10, 197-pound, senior, and Jehuu Caulcrick, a 6-foot, 235-pound, redshirt freshman, combine for 187 carries for 1,187 yards and eight touchdowns, in the Spartan spread offense that averages 235.8 rushing yards per game. Drew Stanton leads the Spartans offense. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound, sophomore, has completed 63 percent of his passes (119-of-188) for 1,271 yards and seven touchdowns in nine games. Stanton is also the team's second-leading rusher with 84 carries for 611 yards and five touchdowns. Jerramy Scott, a 5-foot-10, 188-pound, sophomore, and Matt Trannon, a 6-foot-6, 217-pound, junior, are the only two Spartan receivers with more than 300 yards. Together they have 67 catches for 723 yards and five scores. Ronald Stanley and Eric Smith are Michigan State's leading tacklers. Stanley, 6-foot, 234-pound, senior, leads the Spartans with 118 tackles (70 solo), including eight for-a-loss (32), from his middle linebacker position. Smith, a 6-foot-, 193-pound, junior safety has 105 tackles and eight pass break ups. Hawai`i is coming off the biggest win of the season, a 49-41 upset of Northwestern last week. The Warriors have won five straight home games and have outscored opponents 273 to 155 in those wins. Senior slot receiver Chad Owens is coming off an all-world performance, tying the school record for most points (30) and touchdowns (five) against Northwestern last week. Owens compiled 276 all-purpose yards and strives to become the first player in Warrior football history to amass 5,000 all-purpose yards in his career. He currently has 4,956 yards. Quarterback Timmy Chang has also played well at home. Chang has passed for 781 yards and 10 touchdowns (54-of-87) in his last two outings. He became the only player in college football to pass for more than 16,000 yards in last week's game against Northwestern. The Warrior defense stepped up big time in last week's win, most notably, a goal line stand to retain a 49-33 lead in the fourth quarter. The defense, which allowed the Warriors to take the lead in the first half by keeping the Wildcats out of the end zone, also limited the Wildcat offense to 5-of-14 on 3rd-down conversions. Leonard Peters leads the Warriors and is tied for fifth in the Western Athletic Conference averaging 8.1 tackles per game. Peters is the only Warrior in triple digits with 100 tackles, including six for-a-loss (-27), and also has four interceptions on the season. Linebackers Watson Ho`ohuli and Tanuvasa Moe are third and fourth on the team respectively, and combine for 114 tackles, including 11 for-a-loss (-40). Defensive end Melila Purcell is second on the team with 64 tackles and leads the Warriors with 15.5 tackles-for-loss (-71) and six sacks (-49). Cornerback Abraham Elimimian, who was back in the starting line up last week (hamstring), leads the team with five interceptions and seven pass break ups, and has 47 tackles in 10 games. GAME INFORMATION Saturday, Dec. 4, 2004 6:35 p.m. Aloha Stadium - Honolulu (50,000) TELEVISION: Live nationwide on ESPN2 with Dave Barnett calling the action, Bill Curry and David Norrie providing color, and Alex Flanagan reporting from the sidelines. RADIO: Live on KKEA Sportsradio 1420 AM with Bobby Curran calling the action Robert Kekaula providing color and John Veneri reporting from the sidelines. Don Robbs will host the pregame show "Warrior Tailgate" beginning at 4:30 pm., and also the halftime show. Live to the Neighbor Islands on KAOI on Maui/Kona, KPUA Hilo, and KQNG Kauai. WEBCAST: Listen live on the internet at KKEA1420AM.com PARKING GATES: Parking lot gates at Aloha Stadium will open at 3 p.m. Parking is $5. Alternate parking is available at Leeward Community College (free with a $2 charge of shuttle service, and at Kam Drive-In for $5 and free shuttle service. All shuttle service operation runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (or approximately one hour after the game ends). Parking is also available at Radford High School for $3 with no available shuttle service. No tailgating is allowed at alternate parking sites. STADIUM GATES: Stadium gates will open at 3:30 p.m.

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