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South Has North Feel in Hula Bowl

January 23, 1999

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) _ Mike Price coaches a team in a state whose neighbor to the north is Canada. So does Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.

How Price was picked to coach the South team in Sunday’s Hula Bowl is anyone’s guess.

``Ha! I don’t know how they decided that one!″ Carr said.

The game features the likes of Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams of Texas, Kansas State quarterback and Heisman runnerup Michael Bishop and first-team All-America cornerback Chris McAlister of Arizona.

Unfortunately for Carr, all three will be with Price on the South.

``I told my team all week we’re underdogs in this game, nobody expects us to win,″ Carr said of his team, whose biggest name is Missouri quarterback Corby Jones. ``I think it motivates us a little bit.″

Beyond the obvious of trying to mold a disparate group of players into a unit in a week, the coaches are looking for ways to showcase players before the nearly 100 NFL scouts in attendance this week.

``We just want to give each kid a chance to show what they can do,″ said Price, the Washington State coach. ``You want to give each kid the opportunity to succeed.″

Carr is impressed with how the players are focusing on football when on the field, despite the many distractions of Maui, but realistic enough to know the game could be sloppy at times.

``It’s not going to be a thing of art, but one thing I think is that you’ll see two teams that play very hard,″ he said. ``That’s the sense I get from the way they’re practicing.″

Bishop will start at quarterback for the South, Jones for the North. Both have to prove to scouts they can be quarterbacks at the pro level, despite talk they likely will end up as running backs by whatever teams draft them.

``I think I can show them if given the opportunity,″ Jones said. ``Game time comes, maybe I can show them something, help myself out a little bit. If they already have their minds made up, maybe there’s nothing I can do.″

Williams wants to make more than a token appearance in the game, even though his agent doesn’t want him to play and risk injury. Price joked he wouldn’t play Williams ``more than 60 minutes.″

Williams said part of the reason he came back to Texas for his senior season was to play in the Hula Bowl.

``I really wanted to be a part of something like this my whole career,″ he said.

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