POSTED: 6:21 p.m. HST, Nov 16, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 8:25 a.m. HST, Nov 17, 2013
The University of Hawaii football team beats San Diego State about as often as a solar eclipse visits the island chain. The Aztecs had won 10 of the last 12 meetings and were looking to keep that trend in place in last night's Mountain West Conference game at Aloha Stadium.
And San Diego State did just that winning 28-21 in overtime before a crowd of 23,229. It was their first victory here since 1997. The only two losses in this recent streak were here in 2002 and 2005.
San Diego State scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to draw even and got the ball first in the overtime period. The Aztecs needed only three plays to score, all on runs by Adam Muema as he went in from the 2 with what proved to be the winning score. Seamus McMorrow added the PAT to give the Aztecs the seven-point lead.
When Hawaii got the ball, the Rainbow Warriors went down quietly with a run for no gain by Joey Iosefa, a sack of quarterback Sean Schroeder and two incomplete passes to fall to 0-10 for the season and 0-7 in MWC play. The Aztecs are bowl-eligible with a 6-4 record and are 5-1 in conference action; their only loss to Fresno State in overtime. Hawaii travels to Wyoming this weekend, while the Aztecs host Boise State.
Down seven at intermission, San Diego State took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and marched steadily down the field, going 78 yards on eight plays. The Warriors forced a punt, but a running-into-the-kicker penalty gave the Aztecs new life with a first-and-10 at the UH 30.
On a straight toss sweep, Aztecs running back Donnel Pumphrey outraced everyone to the end zone as McMorrow added the PAT to make it 14-14 with 11:53 left in the third.
Hawaii went on a similar drive in the fourth to retake the lead, marching 86 yards on 16 grueling plays as Iosefa caught an 8-yard middle screen from Schroeder to score and Tyler Hadden added the PAT to make it 21-14 with 9:42 remaining in the game.
But the Aztecs would not go quietly. They pieced together a nice eight-play, 82-yard drive of their own that ended on a 14-yard draw by Chad Young for the score. McMorrow added the PAT to make it 21-21 with 2:34 left in the game.
The first half was filled with missed opportunities for the Aztecs. Hawaii had two turnovers on its side of the field in the opening period. The first, an interception by Schroeder, resulted in no points for the Aztecs. They turned it over on downs at the UH 24. The second, a fumble by Iosefa, also resulted in no points after UH's John Hardy-Tuliau recovered a fumble by San Diego State quarterback Quinn Kaehler at the UH 35.
Another San Diego State turnover, this time when a Scott Harding punt deflected off the Aztecs' David Lamar and was recovered by Jerrol Garcia-Williams at the Aztecs 23, broke the ice. Two plays later, Iosefa took it in from 5 yards out to give the Warriors a 7-0 lead with 1:14 remaining in the first quarter as Hadden added the PAT.
San Diego State drew even on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Kaehler to a wide open Colin Lockett as McMorrow added the PAT to make it 7-7 with 8:40 left in the second quarter. On the scoring play, Hawaii was offside and thought the play was dead. It was not and the Aztecs were the beneficiary of a gift touchdown.
Hawaii reclaimed the lead on a five-play, 65-yard drive. There were two big snaps from center. The first was a 20-yard reverse by freshman Kwamane Bowens that set up a 31-yard touchdown pass from Schroeder to a wide open Harold Moleni as Hadden added the PAT to make it 14-7 with seven minutes remaining in the half.
It was only the second time Hawaii led at the half this season. The other was at Nevada-Las Vegas where Hawaii lost on a last-second field goal.
Iosefa set a school record with 37 carries for 150 yards and two scores. Having him back has been big for the Warriors. Schroeder completed 18 of 36 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
Muema proved to be the difference with 163 yards on 24 carries and the one huge score for the Aztecs. Lockett led the way in receptions with four for 106 yards and a score. Gant was UH's top wideout with five catches for 41 yards. He and Schroeder tried to hook up for several big plays, but came up empty each time.