POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 10, 2010
FRESNO, Calif. » The way University of Hawaii running back Alex Green looked at it, he had to have a big game last night.
No two ways about it.
"Yes I knew I needed one," he acknowledged after running for 96 yards and three touchdowns in the Warriors' 49-27 thumping of Fresno State. The touchdowns on runs of 38, 14 and 2 yards on 13 carries were a career high for the senior from Portland, Ore., and the yardage was his second-highest total in two seasons as a Warrior.
And he did not lack for inspiration. First, there were the two fumbles last week against Louisiana Tech.
And, then, there was the matter of some tickets he had promised a teammate, but had to pull back at the 11th hour.
"I didn't think my mom (Phyllis) was coming, but then she called me on Friday and said she was coming (from Oregon) with some friends. And she doesn't get to come down all the time. I told Chizzy (Dimude, a teammate), 'I'm sorry, but I got to keep a couple of those tickets," Green said. "I hated to do it, but ..."
So, Green conceded, " I had to have a good game this time."
"The main thing was I didn't play well last week and I knew I had to do a better job. I had to focus better on hanging onto the ball," Green said.
And, as a reminder coaches gave him some extra work hitting the bag to help cure the fumbilitis.
"He knew what he needed to do," said offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich. "He knew he could play better."
Green gave the Warriors the kind of change-of-pace running that they have, at times, lacked this season.
"When he's running like that it is harder for them (opponents) to key on our passing game and they had to respect (Green) and his running," said quarterback Bryant Moniz.
Hawaii athletic director Jim Donovan said Fresno State officials have told him they are interested in talking about continuing the relationship between the schools after the Bulldogs join the Mountain West Conference.
"They said they will get back to us on years and dates," Donovan said.
Last night was the 43rd meeting between the schools in football, the most of any UH opponent.
But both schools have said there could initially be some gaps because the Bulldogs are expected to play a nine-game conference schedule in the Mountain West and have extensive nonconference bookings for the next couple of seasons.
Donovan said he would like to see the relationship continue in several sports.
"There has been a long association across the board that we would like to continue," Donovan said.
Fresno State associate athletic director Paul Ladwig said in a radio interview that UH could possibly tie in a visit to Fresno as the front half or back half of a two-game trip to the mainland when the Warriors play Nevada-Las Vegas.
Moniz and center Bronson Tiwanak met with the Fresno City College football team Friday following the Warriors' arrival in Fresno.
Both started for the Rams' Silicon Valley Bowl team in 2007 before transferring to UH.
Rams head coach Tony Caviglia said both are "inspirations" to his players.
UH is believed to be looking at a couple of FCC prospects.
Victor Perez, who rescued an 8-year-old Fresno girl from a kidnapper Monday, gaining national attention, was honored at halftime of the UH-Fresno State game along with 10 members of his family.
An estimated 600-700 UH fans turned out for the annual Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California pregame Road Warrior tailgate party.
The event, featuring local food, Hawaiian music, guests and RainbowTique merchandise alternates in years between UH games at Fresno State and San Jose State and is hosted by the HCCNC, the UH Alumni Association and Na Koa.
A spokesman said UH fans, many of them from California and Western states, purchased upward of 1,000 tickets to the game.
Scouts from seven NFL teams, including two from the Carolina Panthers, were on hand for the game. Green, Laupepa Letuli, Kealoha Pilares and Greg Salas head the list of prospects scouts say they are looking at.