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Hawai’i runs over Nevada 27-14, picks up 1st road win under Chang
BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED NOV 4, 2023
The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (3-7, 1-4 MWC) snapped a four-game losing streak on Saturday, taking down the Nevada Wolfpack (2-7, 2-3), 27-14, for the program’s first conference win of the season and the first road victory in head coach Timmy Chang’s year-plus in charge of the program.
Below, you can find quick hitter from all the action of Hawai’i’s 27-14 road victory over Nevada.
- Hawai’i receives the opening kickoff, picks up two 1st downs on the game’s first drive before being forced to punt.
- Nevada’s offense is forced to punt as the UH defense gets a three-and-out on the Wolfpack’s first possession.
- The ‘Bows pick up two more 1st downs but can’t do much more after a Nevada targeting penalty is picked up and a block in the back on Hawai’i kills offensive momentum.
- Hawai’i’s Isaiah Tufaga forces another fumble, his second in as many weeks, and it’s recovered by UH’s Elijah Palmer near midfield.
- UH gets on the board quickly after the takeaway, as K Matthew Shipley knocked home a career-best 50-yard FG for a 3-0 lead with 12:55 left in the first half.
- Nevada is able to work into Hawai’i territory, getting inside the 40-yard line before the offense stopped advancing and was forced to punt.
- The initial Wolfpack punt is perfect, resting at Hawai’i’s 1 without being touched. Unfortunately for Nevada, the punt is erased due to a false start. The second try goes into the end zone for a touchback.
- The teams trade punts before the game’s 1st TD drive, an 8-play, 57-yard drive for Hawai’i capped with 1-yard TD run from QB Dalen Morris to give the ‘Bows a 10-0 lead with 3:54 remaining in the 2nd quarter.
- The UH defense forces another three-and-out & the fifth punt in the 1st half from Nevada to get one more offensive chance before the halftime break.
- HAW QB Brayden Schager uses his arm AND legs to lead the ‘Bows down the field on another scoring drive, going 65 yards in 2:22 and connecting with WR Pofele Ashlock for a 26-yard TD pass and a 17-0 lead at half.
- For the first time since October of 2022, Hawai’i held an opponent scoreless in the opening half of play.
- Nevada opens the 3rd quarter with another three-and-out, Hawai’i answers back with a punt of their own.
- Former St. Louis QB and current Nevada QB AJ Bianco shows off his elusiveness, evading defenders to extend the drive and help the Wolfpack get on the board on the drive. RB Sean Dollars ran it in from two yards out for the Nevada score, making it 17-7.
- Hawai’i’s offense continues to struggle, giving the ball back to Nevada before the ‘Bows defense stepped up for their counterparts once again. Peter Manuma intercepts Bianco and returns it inside the Nevada 10 to set up the UH offense.
- The ‘Bows score for the second time off of a takeaway in the game as Schager finds Ashlock for the touchdown, again, to extend the lead back to 17 with 7:13 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
- Once again, the ‘Bows defense would do the job and force another punt from Nevada. WR Steven McBride fumbled the punt, and it was recovered inside the Hawai’i 30 by the Wolfpack.
- Nevada capitalized on multiple UH errors, including an ejection of CB Virdel Edwards II after two unsportsmanlike flags, as Dollars found the end zone for the second time to make it a 10-point game with 2:52 left in the 3rd.
- Hawai’i adds on three more after Shipley connects on his 2nd 50-yard FG of the afternoon, capping a drive spilling from the end of the 3rd and into the start of the 4th quarter to give the ‘Bows a 27-14 lead.
- Nevada drives deep into the red zone, even getting to the Hawai’i 1-yard line before getting turned away and turning the ball over on downs to keep the score at 27-14.
- Hawai’i’s offense is turned down, giving the ball back to the Wolfpack with under five minutes left in regulation.
- Two more times, the Hawai’i defense forces a turnover-on-downs by the Nevada offense after the Wolfpack to close out the road win with 6.0 sacks.
Hawai’i posted a season-high six sacks and won the turnover battle for the first time all year as the ‘Bows defense, much maligned in recent weeks for lackluster performances, flexed their might and muscle against a Nevada team that had won two straight weeks before the matchup. UH also recorded 10 TFLs on Saturday.
Continuing in the “uncharacteristic Hawai’i” category, the ‘Bows led for the first time at halftime all year and out-rushed an opponent, 136-to-124, while Schager completed 21-of-38 passes for 203 yards and two TDs and no interceptions and added another 49 yards with his legs.
Redshirt freshman Pofele Ashlock continued his strong first season of college play with another standout performance, leading the ‘Bows with nine catches for 87 yards and two scores. WR Steven McBride finished the afternoon hauling in four passes for 52 yards.
LB Isaiah Tufaga and S Peter Manuma each helped create takeaways by the ‘Bows defense, something that has been a struggle (along with getting pressure) all season. While it might be too late for Hawai’i to make a run at a bowl game, there were massive signs of life on Hawai’i sideline in Reno.
The Rainbow Warriors return home next week to host #25 Air Force, who fell on the road to formerly 2-6 Army on Saturday, 23-3. Can the ‘Bows help spoil AFA’s Mountain West title hopes?
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