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College football

Hawaii QB credits team for record career

By wire services
Published October 29, 2004

HONOLULU - Ask Hawaii's Timmy Chang about the 94 touchdowns he has thrown, and he talks about his great receivers and blockers. Ask about his 14,791 yards passing, and he credits his coaches for believing in him.

He only can deflect attention for so long. Today, Chang can become the most prolific passer in college football when the Warriors play at No.18 Boise State.

The fifth-year senior needs 241 yards to break the NCAA mark of 15,031 set by BYU's Ty Detmer from 1988 to 1991.

"I think this is the biggest team game, and without the other 10 guys out there I wouldn't be able to do anything and none of this would be possible," Chang said. "All the guys that played in the past, all the guys now, everybody's a part of it, even the defense."

Timothy Kealii'okaaina Awa Chang - who is of Hawaiian, Chinese, Puerto Rican, English, Irish and Spanish descent - grew up playing basketball and baseball. He never thought about records, even when he started 10 games as a freshman in 2000.

But Hawaii coach June Jones anticipated Detmer's record would be broken by one of his players even before he landed the 6-foot-2, 194-pound quarterback.

"I knew what we could accomplish in the passing game with the scheme that we have," Jones said. "I knew, whoever that person was, was going to line up and have a chance to do a lot of things with the records."

He said when Chang does break the record, he will own it for a long time.

"I don't think it'll ever be broken," Jones said. "It would be very hard."

If the Warriors make the postseason and Chang stays healthy, he could finish with 53 career games - seven more than Detmer.

Chang is 35 completions shy of tying the NCAA career mark of 1,231, held by Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury. Chang already has the record for career pass attempts (2,116).

Chang is also one touchdown pass from tying Kingsbury and N.C. State's Philip Rivers (95) for No.5 on the career list - Detmer is first with 121. With 70 interceptions, Chang is close to Purdue quarterback Mark Herrmann's record of 73.

NORTH TEXAS: Freshman Jamario Thomas is the nation's leading rusher thanks to speed, strength and vision.

He also has an extra coach on the sideline: Patrick Cobbs, last year's leading rusher.

"He helps me a lot," said Thomas, who has three 200-yard games and is on pace to become the fourth freshman to rush for 1,000 yards in seven games. "I go straight to him when I get off the field and ask him what I did wrong and how I can do better."

The nation's leading rusher in 2003 with 1,680 yards, Cobbs sustained a season-ending knee injury Sept.11 and has made it his task to help guide the talented but raw freshman.

Thomas has 997 yards and eight touchdowns on 151 carries. His 166.2-yard average is ahead of Texas' Cedric Benson (165.1) and Oklahoma State's Vernand Morency (164.7).

With Thomas and Cobbs, North Texas is the first school to have players lead the nation in rushing in consecutive years since the NCAA starting charting yards per game in 1970.

BILETNIKOFF SEMIFINALISTS: Oklahoma's Mark Clayton, a finalist from last season, and three Big Ten players topped the list for the award that recognizes the nation's best receiver.

The Big Ten players are Michigan's Braylon Edwards, Ohio State's Santonio Holmes and Purdue's Taylor Stubblefield. The other candidates for the honor, named after Oakland Raider and Florida State great Fred Biletnikoff, include David Anderson, Colorado State; Derek Hagan, Arizona State; Chris Henry, West Virginia; Earvin Johnson, UNLV; Chad Owens, Hawaii; Dante Ridgeway, Ball State and South Carolina's Troy Williamson.

[Last modified October 28, 2004, 23:50:16]


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