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Originally published November 27, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 27, 2007 at 5:04 PM

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Notebook | Huskies expecting raucous matchup in Hawaii

Wilson Afoa came to Washington to be part of a Huskies defense that Rick Neuheisel once referred to as "Hawaiian punch. " Afoa only hopes...

Seattle Times staff reporter

UW notebook |

Wilson Afoa came to Washington to be part of a Huskies defense that Rick Neuheisel once referred to as "Hawaiian punch."

Afoa only hopes Saturday that Hawaii doesn't hit back too hard.

A native of Waipahu, Afoa is one of four Huskies who will return to their home state Saturday when Washington takes on Hawaii at Aloha Stadium.

Hawaii (11-0) needs a win to secure its first BCS bowl berth. Afoa, who has attended many games there, knows the atmosphere will be raucous.

"Basically you are going against the state of Hawaii when you are in that stadium," said the senior defensive tackle.

The other Huskies making a homecoming are sophomore defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim of Waikoloa, walk-on safety Jay Angotti of Honolulu and true freshman Kalani Aldrich of Hilo.

It is the final college game for Afoa, who also finished his high-school career at Aloha Stadium. His Saint Louis High team played there to win a state title in 2002.

Afoa, Aldrich and Te'o-Nesheim had scholarship offers from Hawaii but elected to come to Seattle.

"I wanted to get outside the islands and experience something new," said Afoa.

Although UW never played in the postseason during his time here, Afoa said he has no regrets.

"We have a chance to spoil their BCS bowl," he said. "And that's a goal for us."

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NOTES

• Coach Tyrone Willingham said again Monday that WSU's final touchdown, a 35-yard pass from Alex Brink to a wide-open Brandon Gibson, was the result of a miscommunication.

"From coaches to players," he said. "So if you're looking to point a finger, coaches, that was us."

Some of the players apparently thought a blitz was called and weren't in position in the secondary when Gibson ran through. UW coaches and players had discussed the play during a timeout before the snap, but the proper call still didn't get through.

• LB Mason Foster suffered a broken nose during the game, Willingham said, but should be able to play this week. The status of CB Jordan Murchison (ankle) and LB Donald Butler (knee) is uncertain.

• Hawaii coach June Jones said UW QB Jake Locker and RB Louis Rankin "might be the two best athletes we have played this year." Of Locker, Jones said, "Everybody can talk about [Florida QB Tim] Tebow all they want, that quarterback at Washington is the real deal."

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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