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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: COLLEGE: Hawaii QB Chang knocking on history's door

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posted on Oct, 29 2004 @ 02:01 PM
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 can deflect attention for only so long. On Friday, Chang can become the most prolific passer in all divisions of college football when Hawaii plays at No. 18 Boise State.

The fifth-year senior from Honolulu needs 241 yards passing to break the NCAA mark of 15,031 yards set by BYU's Ty Detmer in 1988-91.

"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 that 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'll own it for a long time.

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

If Hawaii (3-3, 3-2 Western Athletic Conference) makes the postseason this year and Chang stays healthy, he could finish with 53 career games -- seven more than Detmer.

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

Chang is also one TD pass from tying Kingsbury and NC 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.

Chang insists the records aren't too important to him, and that "if it comes, it comes" against the Broncos (7-0, 4-0).

"I would rather have 239 yards and get the win. ... If we come home with a win from Boise, the state would be happy, the program would be happy and the coach would definitely be happier," he said.

Levi Chang, a high school principal, always emphasized team play to his son, who began playing football in seventh grade as a defensive back.

"At home, we never talk about records," he said. "I always tell him if you're good, it's going to come."

Levi Chang quickly realized his son had a gift for football.

"When we first saw him as a quarterback, he did things that was extraordinary for an eighth-grader," he said.

Chang has showed more patience in the pocket this season. In six games, he has thrown for 1,977 yards and 15 touchdowns, with three interceptions. He leads the WAC with an average of 324.8 yards passing and is third in the nation in total offense.

"Realizing it's my last year, there's not too much room for mistakes now," he said.

Through the years, Chang has dealt with injuries and inconsistency. He sustained a season-ending wrist injury three games into the 2001 season.

"Over the long haul, you can't throw for that much yardage and that many touchdowns and be inconsistent throughout the entire four years," Warriors quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison said.

Last year, Chang was booed at home and benched late in the season. Yet he came off the bench and threw for 475 yards and five touchdowns in a 54-48 triple-overtime victory over Houston in the Hawaii Bowl.

"Anytime you go through tough times and the fans are on you and the media is on you, you have to kind of grow up through it and handle it with some maturity and get better as a quarterback within," Morrison said.

Hawaii receiver Chad Owens said the record will be a testament to Chang, the team and the high-flying offense.

"It just proves he's the best quarterback in the country," he said. "It's real special, just to play a role in it. It's something that I'll always remember. It's something that will be with you until you die and be with your kids and your grandkids."


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