POSTED: 1:19 p.m. HST, Oct 27, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 8:06 p.m. HST, Oct 27, 2012
In a battle between two teams desperate for a win, Colorado State held off Hawaii to secure a 42-27 victory at today's Mountain West Conference football game in chilly Fort Collins, Colo.
It was the first conference win for Colorado State, as the Rams raised their overall record to 2-6 and are 1-3 in league play. Hawaii fell to 1-6 for the season and 0-4 in the MWC. But you can't say the Warriors didn't have their chances.
Down seven to start the third quarter, Hawaii forced the first of four second-half turnovers to set up a 46-yard field-goal attempt by Tyler Hadden that he missed wide left. The Hawaii defense wasn't fazed by the squandered opportunity. On the ensuing offensive series for the Rams, UH defensive end Paipai Falemalu scooped up a fumble by CSU running back Chris Nwoke, his second of the game, and returned it to the Rams 20-yard line.
A big personal foul penalty by the Rams moved the ball to the 11, but a fourth-down try by UH went awry and CSU dodged another bullet to start the second half. But give the UH defense credit, it forced another turnover, giving the offense a third red-zone opportunity.
But once again, the Rams held, forcing a 26-yard field goal by Hadden that cut the CSU lead to 28-24 with 6:51 left in the third.
On the next CSU series, Hawaii blocked the punt, giving the Warriors more prime real estate at the Rams 35. Pass interference on the first play of the series by CSU moved it to the 20. After an apparent touchdown pass was overturned by replay officials, Hawaii had to settle for another field goal by Hadden, this time from 43 yards out to make it 28-27 with 4:31 left in the third.
Early in the fourth, Hawaii faced a fourth and 2 at the CSU 33 and appeared to have been stopped, but an offside by CSU kept the drive alive. Unfortunately for UH, quarterback Sean Schroeder overthrew a wide-open receiver on the next play and it was picked off by DeAndre Elliott and returned 76 yards for a touchdown. Jared Roberts added the PAT to make it 35-27 with 14:36 left in the game.
CSU sealed the deal with another pick-six late as Schroeder faced a fourth and 13 deep in his own end of the field. Jasen Oden picked it off and returned it for the score. Roberts made the PAT with 1:17 left in the game to make it 42-27.
The first half was equally entertaining.
After holding the Warriors on their initial offensive series, the Rams took over at their own 12-yard line. Two plays later, Nwoke fumbled. UH freshman linebacker Jerrol Garcia-Williams scooped it up and returned it 12 yards for the touchdown. Hadden added the PAT to give Hawaii a 7-0 advantage with 10:38 left in the opening quarter.
Nwoke made up for it on the Rams' next series. He caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Conner Smith, with Roberts adding the PAT to make it 7-7 with 8:29 left in the opening quarter. The Rams drove 69 yards on five plays to draw even.
But the score wasn't even for long, as Hawaii drove quickly down the field to set up a first and goal at the 7. Two plays later, Schroeder completed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Chris Gant. Hadden added the PAT to give Hawaii a 14-7 advantage with 4:27 left in the opening quarter.
Schroeder kept the drive alive with a 17-yard run and completed a 24-yard pass to John Lister as UH went 75 yards on nine plays to regain the lead.
Early in the second quarter, Colorado State forced a Hawaii turnover to set up shop at the UH 29-yard line. A penalty by Hawaii gave the Rams first and goal and they made the most of it, as Nwoke scored on a 6-yard run. Roberts hit the PAT to make it 14-14 with 14:09 left in the second.
Colorado State forced a three and out, then returned a punt to the UH 5-yard line. James Skelton needed only one play to score from there and Roberts added the PAT to make it 21-14 with 12:50 left in the half.
The Warriors drove into Colorado State territory on their next offensive series, but a fumble by Joey Iosefa killed it at the CSU 34, giving the Rams all the momentum they would need. Colorado State went 66 yards on only six plays to extend its lead to 28-14 on a 1-yard run by Tommy Morris. Roberts added the PAT with 6:19 left in the half.
The Rams tried an onside kick, but Lister got a great bounce and returned it 45 yards to the Colorado State 1-yard line. On fourth and goal from 2 feet, Schroeder scored from that spot on the field on a sneak to cut the Rams advantage to 28-21 with 5:10 left in the half.
Hawaii picked off Smith on the next offensive series on a nice play by UH linebacker Brenden Daley and the Warriors quickly moved into Rams territory on a 29-yard run by Will Gregory at the CSU 45, but Schroeder was sacked to end the drive.