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UH FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK


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Safety Smith returns to play against Boise

By Stephen Tsai

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:10 a.m. HST, Nov 02, 2010



Hawaii strong safety Spencer Smith has received medical clearance, and is expected to play in Saturday's football road game against second-ranked Boise State, according to UH head coach Greg McMackin.

Smith suffered a fractured right forearm in the Sept. 2 season opener against Southern California. He underwent surgery soon after, but has neither practiced nor played in a game since.

"The doctor released him," McMackin said at yesterday's news conference.

McMackin said Smith will be on the travel roster. The Warriors depart tomorrow afternoon.

"Spencer will play," McMackin said of Smith, who was the starting strong safety and a key member of several special-teams units.

McMackin said that right slotback Kealoha Pilares, who did not play in the second half of the Warriors' 45-10 victory over Idaho this past weekend, is expected to play against Boise State.

Pilares has a strained left hamstring. He will not practice today.

"We think he's going to be fine," McMackin said. "He's on the travel roster, and he's planning on playing."

McMackin said he expects middle linebacker George Daily-Lyles and right tackle Laupepa Letuli to be available to play. Each is recovering from a sprained ankle.

"It's all in the coaches' hands," Daily-Lyles said. "I want to play. It's basically a championship game."

The Warriors still are awaiting an update on the status of left guard Brett Leonard, who is recovering from a "tweaked" knee.

 

LaCount available

The good news is that offensive lineman Kainoa LaCount's heavily wrapped right hand essentially limits the possibility of holding penalties.

The not-so-good news is the day after defeating Idaho, LaCount said, "yeah, it hurt."

Despite a fractured right hand, LaCount started at right tackle, in place of Letuli, who was available on an emergency basis.

LaCount did not hesitate in deciding to play.

"I finally got my chance," said LaCount, who made his second consecutive start. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."

To prepare, his right hand was encased in a hard cast. A layer of foam was placed on the cast. The hand then was wrapped with tape.

After taking "about eight" aspirin during the game, LaCount was good to go.

UH offensive line coach Gordy Shaw said LaCount played well, fighting off Idaho rush end Aaron Lavarias. Shaw said LaCount earned a high grade.

"I have so much respect for him, playing with a broken hand," McMackin said. "He did an excellent job."

LaCount, a Kailua High graduate, did not play in 2008 while trying to accumulate enough credits after transferring from a junior college. By the time he met the NCAA requirements, his scholarship offer had lapsed. His mother paid for his tuition and school expenses the past two seasons.

He is on track to earn a bachelor's degree.

"I really respect what he did in the game, and what he did with his life," McMackin said. "He has a great mother."






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