Quick Hits: Hawai’i falls to New Mexico in Lobos’ Homecoming game, 42-21
BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED OCT 21, 2023
HONOLULU — The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors started steps behind the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday and became the first Mountain West opponent to lose in Albuquerque since 2017, allowing over 400 yards of total offense and six touchdowns as UNM celebrated their “Homecoming Game” against UH.
Below, you can find quick hitters of the action from Hawai’i’s road loss to New Mexico, 42-21.
- The ‘Bows go three-and-out to begin the game for the third consecutive week, punt it to the New Mexico 30.
- Lobos’ offense goes 70 yards in 7 plays, capping the drive with a 28-yard TD strike from Dylan Hopkins to WR Jeremiah Hixon for an early 7-0 lead.
- UH’s Schager is intercepted on a deep corner route, the first interception of the season for UNM and the first takeaway for the Lobos’ defense in five games.
- New Mexico parlays the turnover into points, scoring on a 3-yard TD pass to Ryan Davis on 2nd-&-Goal to complete the 11-play, 55-yard touchdown drive.
- Hawai’i’s offense finds life with a helping of Steven McBride targets and catches. The senior had a catch-and-run of 52 yards to set the ‘Bows up in red zone before hauling in a deflected pass originally intended for Pofele Ashlock in the back of the end zone for a tip-drill TD just before the end of the 1st quarter.
- The Lobos continued rolling, traveling 75 yards in 8 plays to take a 21-7 lead with 11:19 left in the 1st half. The 1-yd TD run was RB Jacory Croskey-Merritt’s 10th of the season.
- Hawai’i drives into New Mexico territory before turning the ball over on downs after giving up a sack on 4th-and-3 from the UNM 29.
- UNM scores for the fourth time in four drives after Andrew Henry sped past the Hawai’i defense on a 1st-&-25 for a 33-yard touchdown, his first rushing TD of the year.
- Hawai’i gets a much-needed answer on their last drive before half as Schager makes tough throws through brutal hits to extend the possession, eventually connecting with fellow-Texan Pofele Ashlock with 24 seconds left in the half to make it a two-score game heading into the locker rooms. It was Ashlock’s 5th TD reception of the season.
- New Mexico picks up where they left off with a TD drive spanning nearly seven minutes ending with Hixon’s 2nd touchdown reception of the day.
- Hawai’i’s offense starts to move through the air and with the assistance of a targeting penalty called against New Mexico.
- The Lobos’ defense stood strong, stonewalling the ‘Bows on 3rd and short and stopping Schager short of the line to gain on 4th-&-1 to force a turnover on downs.
- The Rainbow Warriors’ defense gets its first stop of the day, forcing a punt after Andrew Choi got home to register UH’s first sack in weeks to get the ball back down by 21 with 18 minutes left in the game.
- Hawai’i gets into the red zone once again after a 4th down conversion to Koali Nishigaya but cannot do anything with the new set of downs. Schager gets hit as he tries to throw and New Mexico recovers what was called a fumble.
- New Mexico’s offense unable to add on to the 21-point lead but a beautiful 60-yard punt pins Hawai’i inside of their own 10-yard line with under 14 minutes to play.
- A long drive for the Rainbow Warriors ends after a nice play by New Mexico CB Jer’Marius Lewis, who caught up with a streaking McBride to pick off an under thrown “Schager Bomb” for the 3rd takeaway of the day by the Lobos.
- Croskey-Merritt scampers 14 yards for his 2nd TD run of the day and 11th touchdown of the season, extending the Lobos’ lead to 42-14.
- Schager is intercepted for the third time in the game and second time by Lewis on a go-ball-gone-wrong with under five minutes remaining.
- The over hits as Hawai’i scores on their final drive, a 2-yard completion to McBride to make it 42-21. It was McBride’s 2nd TD catch of the day and 8th of the season.
Hawai’i falls to 2-6 and 0-3 in the Mountain West as the team returns home next week for their own “Homecoming” game, hosting Chevan Cordeiro and San Jose State. The Spartans took on Utah State for their Week 8 matchup.
Hawai’i struggled from the jump on defense and the offense could not keep up as the Lobos went for 429 yards of total offense and scored on their first five drives to grab a commanding lead early in the 2nd half. Forced to play uber-aggressively, the ‘Bows offense was unable to match TD for TD before the game got to the point where field goals were no longer an option for UH.
Hawai’i heads back to the drawing board with a long look in the mirror ahead.
You can follow @12brecht on X (formerly Twitter) for updates on Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors athletics.
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