Football: Crimson Tide post-game

The Crimson Tide of Alabama didn't do anything different, but slowing the nation's top passing offense required a superlative performance.

 Tide rolls through Warriors

By Kalani Takase
Staff Writer
Saturday, Nov. 30, 2002

HALAWA–With a 21-16 win Saturday night, Alabama clinched its 10th win of the season to become just the 27th Crimson Tide team to have a double-digit win total.

Visiting Alabama earned 280 of their 314 total yards on the ground as they handed Hawaii their first defeat at home this season.

‘Bama head coach Dennis Franchione remained undefeated against the Warriors, previously beating Hawaii as the head coach of New Mexico and TCU.

However, the Warriors earned the respect of the Crimson Tide in the loss. "June's got a good football team here, but we just made one or two more plays today," said Franchione. "They played well, better than I thought they would have, them being a WAC team. They shouldn't hold their heads down, they played us better than most teams play us in our conference," said Santonio Beard. "Give Hawaii credit, they didn't back down," explained ‘Bama defensive line coach Stan Eggen. "We watched them on film and we knew that they were a good defense. They're strong, physical and fast," said Shaud Williams.

"They surprised me, we knew they were very talented, we knew they were a good group," Tyler Watts said of the Warrior defense. "They played unbelievable. They're fast, they're strong, they react well to the ball and they're smart. They played with great intensity. They play hard like the games supposed to be played."

Defensive coordinator Carl Torbush held the nation's leading passing offense to just 372 yards through the air Saturday night. "They've got a good looking football and they played their guts out, all of their kids competed," Torbush said. "They probably kept us off the quarterback as much as anyone we've played this year."

Hawaii ran the ball just eight times officially, half of those coming on quarterback sacks of Timmy Chang. "They're pretty much a one-dimensional team, but they have a great passing game. If they ran the ball more, they would be hell to stop," said Waine Bacon. "We played a lot of man coverage and we mixed in some zone coverage. We just tried to confuse them and keep them off balance."

Bacon had one of Chang's four picks. "Early in the game they tried to throw their rub routes, then they tried to throw their vertical routes. For the most part we responded well to those kind of things," said Franchione. "There were things they were going to do with the screen and the shovel pass. We anticipated them putting the ball up like this, we tried to rotate our guys and keep fresh," said Eggen.

"We really didn't change anything, we did the same thing we did all year long. Basically we stayed in our nickel and dime packages," said Hirchel Bolden, who also had an interception on the night.

Shaud Williams led all rushers with 162 yards on 23 carries. "We just wanted to send our seniors out on a good note," said Williams. "We knew we had to keep our defense off the field, because we knew their quarterback, Timmy Chang, and the rest of their offense they're potent and they can score at anytime.

"It's definitely a good way to go out," concluded Williams. "I'm looking real forward to coming back next year."

"We did what we needed to do," said Franchione. "We did a decent job on their kick returner (Chad Owens). He can do some things with the football in his hands."


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