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Long shot bowl odds for Hawai’i no more after 42-9 loss at Wyoming
BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED NOV 18, 2023
The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (4-8, 2-5 MWC) turned into pumpkins in the 1st half, reverting to an awful October form on Saturday while allowing 35 first-half points to the Wyoming Cowboys (7-4, 4-3 MWC), falling in Laramie, 42-9. With the loss, Hawai’i’s slim bowl hopes were dashed for good.
In a series that had been known for parity and not having a repeat winner since joining the Mountain West, Wyoming was able to stun UH out of the gate and never allowed them to recover to become the first of the programs to hold onto the Paniolo Trophy for consecutive meetings as MWC members.
Below, you can find the quick hits of the action from the ‘Bows blowout loss in Laramie.
- Wyoming receives the opening kickoff after Hawai’i wins the toss and defers possession to the 2nd half. The Cowboys march down the field in one minute, going 75 yards in three plays to open a 7-0 lead.
- Hawai’i’s 1st offensive possession stalls after a delay-of-game penalty makes third-and-manageable into third-and-seven and Schager can’t connect with his receiver. Matthew Shipley pins Wyoming inside its own 15.
- The Cowboys strike quicker on the second drive than on the first, as John Michael Gyllenborg takes an Andrew Peasley pass 89 yards to the house. Wyoming extends the lead to 14-0 less than four minutes into the game.
- The ‘Bows offense finds some momentum and drives inside the Wyoming 5-yard line before being stopped in its tracks on 4th-and-goal from the WYO2. Cowboys take over with 14-point lead still intact
- Hawai’i’s defense able to secure its first stop of the day on 3rd down as Ezra Evaimalo got home to Peasley to force a Wyoming punt to open the 2nd quarter.
- The ‘Bows offense goes three-and-out, quickly putting the defense back on the field. Wyoming capitalizes on a fatigued UH defense, going 69 yards in six plays to make it 21-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the opening half of play.
- Hawai’i goes three-and-out once again, Wyoming strikes quickly once again. Four plays, 66 yards and a 40-yard TD reception by Wyatt Wieland puts the Cowboys up 28.
- After picking up a first down, Hawai’i takes a few deep shots down the field, the last of which is intercepted at the Wyoming 35 and returned inside the Hawai’i 40 to set up the Pokes with the best field position of the day.
- The Cowboys capitalized on the turnover three snaps later as Ayir Asante found paydirt on a 6-yard rush to push the lead to 35 with 2:35 left in the 2nd quarter.
- Hawai’i’s offense drives deep into Cowboys’ territory before Schager is intercepted for the 2nd time in as many drives, this time in the end zone on a miscommunication with Steven McBride. The ‘Bows come up empty on offense again and Wyoming runs out the remaining clock of the 1st half to take the 35-0 lead into the locker room.
Brayden Schager eclipsed the 6,000-yard career passing yard threshold in the 1st half, becoming the 7th QB in UH program history to achieve the feat. The junior also went over the 3,000-yard mark for passing yards this season in the opening half of play.
- The Rainbow Warriors receive the opening kickoff of the 2nd half but are only able to muster one first down before being forced to punt the ball away.
- UH’s Justin Sinclair rips the ball free from Wyoming’s Treyton Welch, recovers the fumble and returns it inside the Cowboys’ 25-yard line, trying to spark the sleepwalking ‘Bows.
- Hawai’i gets on the board with a 30-yard FG by Matthew Shipley, making it 35-3 with 8:37 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
- Hawai’i’s defense strings together consecutive stops for the first time all game, forcing Wyoming’s offense to go three-and-out and punt the ball back the UH.
- The Rainbow Warriors’ offense finds the end zone for the first time all day with Chuuky Hines’ first career TD catch, a 19-yard strike from Schager for the score. The 2-point conversion is no-good for Hawai’i, so Wyoming’s lead sits at 35-9 with 16 minutes left in regulation.
- Momentum continued to swing in the favor of the ‘Bows when Wyoming K John Hoyland’s 46-yard field goal try went wide-right with 12 minutes to play, keeping the deficit at 26 for Hawai’i.
- UH’s offense can’t pick up a first down and is forced to punt the ball away after being stymied in their own territory. The defense returns it to Hawai’i less than two minutes later.
- A DoVonne Harris sack of Brayden Schager kills the ensuing Hawai’i possession and UH is unable to convert on 4th-and-6 from their own 27.
- UH’s defense, which had held Wyoming scoreless since halftime, finally breaks on 4th–and-1 and watches Cowboys’ QB2 Evan Svoboda get around the left edge for an 18-yard score to ice it for the Pokes.
Hawai’i continued the rollercoaster ride that the 2023 season has been, showing both the good and bad that have led to head-scratching losses and hoarse-voiced wins for fans. Wyoming improved to a perfect 7-0 record at War Memorial Stadium this season and moved above .500 in conference play with the win.
Cowboys’ QB Andrew Peasley finished the day 14-for-17 passing the pigskin for 319 yards and three TDs, becoming the first opposing QB to throw for over 300 yards against the Rainbow Warriors this season. Wyoming totaled 472 total yards of offense, scoring six TDs – five in the opening half of play – continuing the home dominance of 2023 for the Pokes.
The win for Wyoming marks the first time since the Pokes and ‘Bows joined the Mountain West that one of the programs won consecutive games in the series against each other, keeping possession of the Paniolo Trophy for another season. The previous seven meetings between the teams had been alternating winners.
UH quarterback Brayden Schager finished 25-for-44 passing for 278 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. The junior moved into fifth all-time for Hawai’i quarterbacks in career passing yards after Saturday, leapfrogging Dan Robinson and Chevan Cordeiro to enter all-time ‘Bows QB company. His TD pass to Chuuky Hines in the 3rd quarter was his 40th career TD pass, tying him with Nick Rolovich for 7th-most all-time.
Hawai’i’s Justin Sinclair enjoyed a nice game, forcing and recovering his first fumble while co-leading the team with five total tackles. Despite losing the turnover battle to Wyoming, the ‘Bows have forced seven turnovers while having just three giveaways over the past three weeks.
With the loss, Hawai’i’s slight odds at being selected for a bowl game at year’s end closed. In a year of growing pains for the program, it’s another season before a return to postseason play for UH football.
Hawai’i returns home for Senior Night on Saturday, November 25 against Colorado State. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. HT.
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