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Hawai’i wins 6th straight Senior Night Game to spoil Colorado State’s bowl hopes
BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED NOV 25, 2023
HONOLULU – The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (5-8, 3-5 MWC) played spoiler on Saturday night, denying Colorado State (5-7, 3-5 MWC) an automatic bowl selection and winning on Senior Night for the sixth consecutive year, using a career-long 51-yard Matthew Shipley field goal as time expired to stun the Rams.
Below, you can find all the quick hitters of the action from Hawai’i’s thrilling 27-24 win over Colorado State on Senior Night.
- Hawai’i wins the coin toss and defers possession to the 2nd half, opening kickoff goes through the end zone for a touchback. Colorado State converts a pair of third downs in Hawai’i territory on the way to the game’s first points, a 21-yard TD run by freshman RB Justin Marshall.
- UH’s offense works quickly to pick up a few 1st downs before stalling out near the CSU 40, punting the ball away and bouncing past a Hawai’i gunner into the end zone for a touchback with 7:48 left in the 1st quarter.
- Elijah Palmer snags his 2nd INT of the season on a deep bomb from Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi to keep the UH deficit at seven with 4:38 left in the opening quarter.
- Hawai’i’s Brayden Schager connects with a streaking Steven McBride to get the ‘Bows out near midfield and Landon Sims dashes inside the CSU 35 on the next play to set up UH’s offense. The ‘Bows overcome an illegal man downfield penalty to score with eight seconds left in the 1st quarter on a 12-yard TD reception by Steven McBride, his 9th TD of the season.
- Hawai’i forces a punt, but a UH personal foul penalty on the play moves the sticks for a fresh set of downs for CSU instead. The drive continues after pass interference is called on Elijah Palmer for a free 3rd down conversion to set the Rams up at Hawai’i’s 25. UH’s Cam Stone comes up with a phenomenal PBU on 3rd & Goal to force CSU to settle for a 22-yd FG for a 10-7 Rams’ lead with just over 9 minutes left in the first half.
- The ‘Bows respond with a 5-play scoring drive, accented by a 26-yard TD reception for Devon Tauaefa on a double-pass from Schager to Chuuky Hines and into the end zone for the freshman TE’s 1st career touchdown. The ensuing PAT is good and Hawai’i takes a 14-10 lead.
- Colorado State drives to the Hawai’i 38-yard line with 1:31 left in the opening half and the ‘Bows defense produces the stop on 4th & 8 to give the offense a chance to double up on points with two straight possessions.
- Hawai’i makes it into CSU territory before Matthew Shipley’s 43-yard FG misses wide-right to end the 1st half, leaving the UH lead at 14-10.
- Hawai’i receives the opening kickoff and calls for a fair catch, starting the drive at the HAW25. The ‘Bows offense goes three-and-out to begin the 3rd quarter, punting the ball away after just 90 seconds with possession.
- CSU’s first possession of the 2nd half comes from the Colorado State 35-yard line, responding with a three-and-out of their own without picking up a single yard during the possession for a single minute. Hawai’i takes over possession at the HAW15.
- UH overcomes a 2nd down holding penalty that backed them up deep with a laser from Schager to Pofele Ashlock to move the sticks. The two followed it up with a 41-yard catch-and-run to set the ‘Bows up at the CSU33 after a nice spin cycle by Ashlock left the Rams’ defender in the dust.
- Hawai’i finishes the drive with an 8-yard Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala touchdown run, the senior’s 1st career rushing TD, to extend the lead to 21-10 in favor of the ‘Bows with 8:24 left in the 3rd quarter.
- ‘Bows force a punt, drive inside the CSU5 before the 3rd quarter ends as Schager slices up the Rams’ defense with his arm and legs. When play resumes, an illegal blindside block penalty backs up the UH offense, forcing the ‘Bows to settle for a 35-yard field goal to make it 24-10 with 13:32 left in the game.
- Colorado State works quickly, stringing together 1st downs before Fowler-Nicolosi connects with Louis Brown IV on a 17-yard TD reception to cut it to 24-16 with 9:05 remaining in the 4th quarter. The 2-point conversion is NO GOOD, broken up by UH LB Noah Kema.
- Hawai’i goes three-and-out, punt the ball back to CSU’s 30-yard line. After being stopped on 3rd & 7 in Hawai’i territory, Colorado State attempted a 53-yard FG that came up way short and kept the UH lead at 24-16 with 4:25 left to play.
- After moving into CSU territory, Shipley’s 45-yard field goal try was blocked by the Rams with 2:30 remaining. Colorado State would capitalize by going to their best player, Tory Horton, for a 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 54 seconds left in regulation. Horton brought in the 2-point conversion to tie it at 24.
- Hawai’i goes 41 yards in 54 seconds, scrambling with eight seconds left and somehow getting off a 51-yard FG as time expired for the win, 27-24.
Hawai’i finishes year two of the Timmy Chang flying high, winning three of the team’s final four games after adopting the mantra of “push the sled” as the defense pulled itself up by the bootstraps to allow 24 points or less in three of the final four contests after holding opponents to 20 or less in two of the previous nine games.
The ‘Bows finish the season above .500 at home, going 4-3 inside the friendly confines of T.C. Ching Athletics Complex during the 2023 season. The win pushes Hawai’i to 7-7 at home under Timmy Chang over the past two years. The victory over Colorado State saw season-highs for total offense and rushing yards with 497 yards and 151 yards, respectively.
Brayden Schager finished 30-for-43 passing the ball for 320 yards and a TD, the 20th time in the last 21 games that the QB has tossed for a score and the sixth game over 300 yards passing this year. One of his favorite targets, Steven McBride, moved over 1,000 yards on the season in the middle of the third quarter with a 16-yard reception. McBride is the 24th UH WR all-time to reach the 1,000-yard plateau and first Rainbow Warrior since 2019 to topple over the mark.
Andrew Choi recorded Hawai’i’s lone sack in his final game as a Rainbow Warrior on Colorado State’s final drive of the night. Shipley’s game-winner was his second of the season, the previous coming against New Mexico State back on September 23.
In a year of ups-and-downs, ugly moments and rough road trips, the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors stuck together through the toughest times to win three of their final four games and catapult the program into the offseason flying high as one of the best recruiting classes in recent program memory entering Mānoa for Year Three of the #BRADDAHHOOD under Timmy Chang and company.
Don’t go anywhere, you’re not going to want to miss what’s coming next.
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