Hawaii brings passing game to Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. -- Hawaii players never really adjust to playing in a time zone five hours ahead of their own. Coach June Jones won't let them.
Jones said he tries to keep his team on Hawaiian time on long road trips -- this time staying in Houston for nighttime practices before traveling to meet Tulsa on Saturday.
He has no doubt his method works.
"Since I've been here we've probably won more road games than they have in 30 years," Jones said.
The Warriors (2-2, 1-0 Western Athletic Conference) are 2-2 in WAC road openers under Jones. They face a Tulsa team that's had a week to recoup from nothing short of its best start since 2000 at 2-2.
Jones expects a much-improved team over the one Hawaii has beaten in the last two matchups.
"Offensively they have done a great job with their scheme," he said. "They seem to be able to move the ball against anybody. Defensively, they have a new scheme also that gives their players an opportunity to have success."
Still, Hawaii brings quarterback Timmy Chang, who ranks 22nd nationally in total offense and is Hawaii's all-time passing leader with 9,681 yards.
Chang is predicted to become the all-time leading passer in college football, and his accuracy on the run amazes Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe.
"The guy is a heck of a player. The more I watch him the more I like him," he said. "He can do it all."
Chang threw for a WAC record 70 times and completed a school record 42 passes with no interceptions last week against Rice.
But the one statistic that Kragthorpe considers most indicative of a team's win-loss record is the one in which the Golden Hurricane has the upper hand -- turnover margin.
"We've won two games because of it," Kragthorpe said.
Tulsa ranks 20th nationally in turnover margin compared with Hawaii at 102nd. In the last two games, Golden Hurricane defenders have combined for seven turnovers, including six interceptions. Tulsa has committed just three turnovers this season.
The Warriors have allowed just one offensive touchdown in the last six quarters, but turnovers proved costly in defeats to Southern California and Nevada. Hawaii had nine turnovers in those game, losing despite 762 passing yards.
"I think you can win a game without creating turnovers," Kragthorpe said. "But, by the same token, it obviously helps you because it puts you in a situation now where it takes the ball out of their hands, No. 1, and puts it in yours."
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index