LAS CRUCES, N.M. » The understudy has become the lead.
Hawaii slotback Greg Salas yesterday set the school’s career record for receiver yards with 4,037.
In the 59-24 victory over New Mexico State, Salas caught 10 passes for 191 yards, surpassing Jason Rivers‘ 3,919 career receiver yards.
"This means a lot," Salas said. "It means I’ve been doing work here for my career. I’ve been efficient. I’ve been doing what I’m supposed to be doing. It lets me know I’ve been doing a good job."
In 2007, Salas was the primary backup to Rivers at left wideout. Salas was a second-year freshman, and Rivers was a senior.
"I tried to get my game like his was," said Salas, who admired Rivers’ physical play and mental toughness. "He’d always give me tips and help me out with routes, and let me know how to improve my route running. He was a really good teacher."
Salas succeeded Rivers at left wideout in 2008, then moved to slotback last season.
The Warriors have two more games after this — the regular-season finale against Nevada-Las Vegas this coming Saturday and the Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl against a Conference USA opponent — for Salas to add to his record.
"I’m honored," he said. "There have been so many great receivers to come through this program."
ENOS RUNS STREAK TO 92
Place-kicker Scott Enos also was edited into UH record book after converting all seven of his point-after kicks yesterday.
Enos has not missed a PAT during his 25-game UH career, a streak of 92. That’s one more than Jason Elam‘s 91 successful point-after kicks in a row. Elam’s career spanned 1988 to 1992.
"I’m really proud of Scott," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "That’s a big one. I mean, getting Jason Elam’s record? That’s big stuff."
Enos praised long-snapper Luke Ingram and holder Shane Austin, who overcame a botched field-goal attempt early in the game.
"Extra points have to be like a machine," Enos said. "I don’t think at all when I kick them. I just go up there and kick."
He also said he doesn’t get the jitters.
"I don’t get nervous at all," he said. "I know it’s going to be there."
Defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga interjected: "You don’t get nervous about anything?’
Enos said: "Nope."
Meatoga said: "Anything?"
Enos said: "OK, some things. But we don’t discuss that."
UMU GETS A PICK
One week, 290-pound defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu soars to knock down an opponent’s pass.
Yesterday, 270-pound defensive end Kamalu Umu makes an interception.
"I was shocked," Umu said. "I didn’t know what to do. We had a good play. I ran into the running back. I waited there (for the interception)."
Umu added: "D-linemen don’t practice catching, but I’ve got good hands. I have to work on my agility."
Tuipulotu said he was not surprised by Umu’s pick.
"He’s the world’s most interesting man," Tuipulotu mused. "He found the Fountain of Youth but didn’t drink from it because he wasn’t thirsty."
TIWANAK NAMED CAPTAIN
Center Bronson Tiwanak was named a game captain.
Tiwanak has started all 12 games this season. He earned the job after Matagisila Lefiti suffered a foot injury in spring practice.
Tiwanak is not on scholarship.
RUSHING RECORD? HARD TO SAY
It’s unclear where the Aggies defensive performance — or lack thereof — against Green stands in the program’s history. NMSU officials only could access the records back to 2001. Green had the most rushing yards against the Aggies since 2001. In 2004, Jamario Thomas of North Texas ran for 258 yards.
According to the NCAA stats, which have yet to be updated for the current week, Green’s total is the second-highest individual rushing performance of the season, behind only that of Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure, who hit Northwestern for 330 yards on 33 carries.
TAKE IT TO THE HOUSE
Davon House‘s 48-yard pick six in the third quarter was his third career touchdown from an interception return. He also had a 58-yarder last year against Hawaii, also in the third quarter.