Quick Hits: Hawai’i’s comeback effort falls short against SDSU, 41-34
BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED OCT 14, 2023
HONOLULU — The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors started slowly once again, spotting the San Diego State Aztecs 17 points to open the game before working their way back to tie it and eventually take the lead. A 21-point 4th quarter by SDSU gave the Aztecs the advantage back and the program’s first win in over a month while keeping the ‘Bows searching for a conference victory.
Below, you can find quick hitters of the action from the ‘Bows home loss to the Aztecs – the 10th time in 12 meetings since joining the Mountain West that Hawai’i has fallen to SDSU.
- The ‘Bows offense goes 3-and-out to open the game and San Diego State blocks the punt and takes over at the HAW18.
- Hawai’i’s defense holds strong inside their own 20, keeping the Aztecs to a field goal for game’s 1st points.
- UH’s offense goes 3-and-out again, the ensuing punt puts SDSU at own 25 to begin second drive.
- Hawai’i defense holds their end of bargain to force a quick possession and punt from Aztecs, only for offense to be unable to muster a first down once again.
- The Aztecs strike quickly after picking up game’s first 1st down and score three plays later to make it 10-0 with 4:16 left in the opening quarter.
- ‘Bows pick up their first 1st down of the game on the next possession but sputter quickly after, calling a timeout on 4th-and-2 and punting afterwards.
- San Diego State begins to drive the field as the first quarter ends and Hawai’i’s defense provides a jolt with a Peter Manuma INT. It was his first of the season and Hawai’i’s second pick forced this year.
- The Aztecs’ defense answers with an INT of their own, a 70-yard pick-six to open a 17-0 SDSU lead with 12:25 left in the opening half.
- The Rainbow Warriors’ offense finally wakes up, goes 91 yards on 10 plays, capped by a 17-yard Pofele Ashlock TD catch, to get on the board and cut it to 17-7 with 7:49 left in the first half.
- Hawai’i defense forces a punt but UH muffs it, recovered by SDSU inside ‘Bows territory with 6:06 left in half.
- San Diego State unable to capitalize, as Hawai’i’s defense holds tough and Jack Browning misses from 51 yards out to keep the score at 17-7.
- The ‘Bows go 67 yards in three plays, accented by a 62-yard “Schager Bomb” to WR Steven McBride and capped by an 8-yard TD catch by Alex Perry with 90 seconds left in the first half.
- Hawai’i’s defense forced a punt on the opening SDSU drive of the 2nd half.
- ‘Bows drive into Aztecs’ territory, tie the game at 17 with a 46-yard field goal by Matthew Shipley.
- San Diego State’s next drive goes 68 yards across 13 plays to re-take the lead with a 24-yard Browning field goal with less than a minute left in the 3rd quarter.
- The ‘Bows travel 75 yards in 56 seconds to take their first lead of the night as Schager delivers a beautiful ball in stride to Nick Cenacle, who runs by two SDSU defenders on the way to paydirt on the 52-yard TD catch-and-run to close the 3rd quarter.
- The Aztecs answer on the next drive with an explosive offensive play of their own as Mayden connects with a wide-open Mekhi Shaw for a 69-yard touchdown to take the lead, 27-24, with 13:33 left in regulation.
- The ‘Bows fumble on the ensuing drive inside their own 30-yard line, recovered by the Aztecs and punched in three plays later for the second TD in 66 seconds for SDSU.
- Hawai’i quickly struck back with a 3-play, 75-yard TD drive highlighted with a 65-yard “Schager Bomb” to McBride to set the ‘Bows up inside SDSU’s 10-yard line.
- A ‘Bows defensive stop went to waste after the ensuing Hawai’i offensive possession ended with a lost fumble after just two plays with 5:07 left in the game.
- San Diego State found the needed breathing room and more with a touchdown by Jaylon Armstead with 2:11 left in regulation giving the Aztecs a 10-point lead.
- Hawai’i quickly moved down the field and elected to kick a 47-yard field goal with 59 seconds left to make it a one-possession game with all three timeouts in hand.
- SDSU recovered the onside kick attempt by UH and picked up a first down two plays later to ice the 41-34 road win for the Aztecs.
Hawai’i falls to 2-5 and 0-2 in Mountain West play as they hit the road to take on a New Mexico program that dropped a home contest this weekend against San Jose State, 52-24. The ‘Bows turned in a strong performance for three quarters, needing 15 minutes and change at the start to get their legs under them, though.
Add that 15-minute cushion along with game-changing plays like a blocked punt, pick-six and multiple fumbles inside Hawai’i territory and it was a tall order to come back and win. As is the case in many ‘Bows losses, it was the self-inflicted errors that cost the contest for UH.
All that said, it’s an excellent time to remind you that this is an exceptionally young Hawai’i team going through growing pains on the fly. It just hurts more when forced to learn from a loss’s tape rather than a victory’s film.
You can follow @12brecht on X (formerly Twitter) for updates on Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors athletics.
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