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I'll still take the FAU win. Timmy Chang

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I'll still take the FAU win. Timmy Chang

Chang nears NCAA career passing mark

AP Sports Writer

HONOLULU (AP) – Hawaii's Timmy Chang started playing organized football in middle school as a cornerback. Now he's on the verge of becoming the most prolific passer in college history.

The fifth-year senior from Honolulu needs 559 yards passing against San Jose State on Saturday night to break the NCAA mark of 15,031 yards set by Brigham Young's Ty Detmer in 1988-91.

Considering that Chang threw for 534 yards against Louisiana Tech last year, 559 doesn't seem impossible. But the right-hander is nursing an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, making such a performance even more unlikely.

If he doesn't break the record against the Spartans, Chang will have to wait for next week's game at No. 19 Boise State.

Warriors coach June Jones has said he envisioned Chang would break the record the first time the quarterback stepped onto the field as a highly touted freshman. Jones said Chang possesses abilities similar to passers he coached in the NFL.

Chang has a "quick release similar to Jeff George and his arm ability reminds me of a Chris Miller type of guy," Jones said.

"He has unbelievable vision," Jones added. "I think he has the best understanding next to Wade Wilson to what we're doing. He's got a lot of things that are rare."

In five games this season, Chang has thrown for 1,659 yards and 13 touchdowns, with one interception. But the Warriors (2-3, 2-2 Western Athletic Conference) have struggled with dropped passes and have had trouble moving the ball on key series.

Chang leads the WAC with an average of 332 yards passing per game, and is third in the nation in total offense. He has thrown for 14,473 yards and 92 touchdowns in his career. Chang is No. 7 on the career TD list - Detmer is first with 121 TDs.

"It just isn't really publicized, but he's climbing up the career touchdown ladder, too," Hawaii quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison said. "He just passed up Peyton Manning.

"The yardage indicates he's been very successful for a long time consistently, but touchdowns is what wins football games," he said.

On the other hand, with 68 interceptions Chang is close to Purdue quarterback Mark Herrmann's record of 73.

Chang has had his tough moments as a star in his home state. Over the years, he has struggled with injuries and inconsistency.

Last year, Chang was booed at home and benched late in the season for ineffectiveness. 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.

Chang has been in the spotlight since he led St. Louis School in Honolulu to back-to-back state prep titles. At St. Louis, located less than a mile from the Hawaii campus, Chang succeeded Jason Gesser, who became a star at Washington State.

Hawaii fans have always demanded a lot from Chang.

"There's a certain spoiled element because the expectations are extremely high for him," Morrison said. "But it doesn't bother him and it doesn't bother us."

? 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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