POSTED: 4:22 p.m. HST, Sep 17, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 8:21 p.m. HST, Sep 17, 2011
The extended two-game road trip for the Hawaii football team came to an end tonight in Nevada-Las Vegas with the Warriors getting blown out 40-20 in the nonconference game at Sam Boyd Stadium.
They opened this long journey with a loss at Washington and were looking for a little revenge at the Rebels' expense on their home turf, but four turnovers and numerous penalties proved to be their undoing.
Hawaii opened as an 18-point favorite, but it was UNLV that broke out on top with 17 unanswered points, before Hawaii scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 10 at the half.
But the Rebels struck quickly in the third to score 10 unanswered points off two Hawaii turnovers to build the advantage to 27-7, before Hawaii countered with a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bryant Moniz to slotback Justin Clapp to make it 27-14 through three.
It was the second touchdown catch of the game for Clapp, but it was a rare bright spot for UH as the Warriors were plagued with turnovers and penalties throughout the night.
They proved that time and again on the ensuning offensive series for the Rebels, who drove 75 yards for another score, helped by two holding penalties by UH cornerback Mike Edwards. UNLV running back Tim Cornett ended the nearly 6-minute drive with a 2-yard scoring run, his second touchdown of the night. UNLV missed the 2-point conversion to take a 33-14 advantage with 14:28 left in the game.
Edwards also fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half as UNLV's Bradley Randle fell on it at the UH 33. UNLV quarterback Caleb Herring struck quickly as he hit wide receiver Phillip Payne for a 33-yard touchdown pass on the first play after the turnover to make it 24-7 for the Rebels. It was the second touchdown catch of the game for Payne.
And it kept going badly for the Warriors as Moniz was stripped of the ball on the ensuing series, giving the Rebels excellent field position once more. The defense held, but Nolan Kohorst still hit a 50-yard field goal into a stiff wind to make it 27-7 with 10:47 left in the third.
UNLV added a 1-yard touchdown run by Randle with 5 minutes remaining in the game to make it 40-14 and seal the deal as Hawaii added a touchdown late on a 1-yard keeper by backup quarterback David Graves. The try for 2 failed.
Things started going badly for Hawaii right from the start.
The Hawaii defense held UNLV on its opening series, forcing a punt after only three plays. The kick into a brisk breeze was short, glancing off UH special teams player Scott Harding and was recovered by the Rebels at their own 45. They continued a nice drive, mixing pass and run, but stalled at the Hawaii 23, leading to a 40-yard field goal by Kohorst.
Three series later, the Rebels increased the advantage to 10-0 on an 80-yard off-tackle run by Cornett, who raced untouched for the score as Kohorst added the extra point to extend UNLV's lead over the slow-starting Warriors with 1:52 left in the first quarter.
Hawaii was forced to punt on the ensuing series as UNLV set up shop at its own 29. The Rebels went 71 yards on 10 plays to make it 17-0 on a 6-yard scoring pass from Herring to Payne with 9:42 left in the half.
The Warriors finally got on the board as Moniz found Clapp for a 10-yard score that culminated a six-play, 74-yard drive that cut the Rebels' lead to 17-7 with 6:11 left in the half.
It appeared the Rebels were going to add even more points, but after getting to the Hawaii 11 the drive stalled and the field-goal attempt by Kohorst was wide left.