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Arizona routs Hawaii 47-28

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Hawaii linebacker Jahlani Tavai (31) and Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea (5) pressures Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Hawaii quarterback Ikaika Woolsey warms up before the game against Arizona.

There weren’t too many among the University of Hawaii faithful who believed the Rainbow Warriors were going to beat Arizona tonight in the desert heat of Tucson.

But what they were hoping for was that Nick Rolovich and Co. showed some improvement in all phases of the game as Hawaii enters Mountain West Conference play at home against Nevada two weekends from now.

As expected, the Arizona Wildcats made short work of the Warriors in a lopsided 47-28 nonconference victory that left Hawaii 1-3 for the season entering a much-needed bye week. Arizona moves to 2-1, but numerous injuries at key positions on both sides of the football could hinder their progress as they prepare for Pac-12 play next weekend.

Backup quarterback Brandon Dawkins had a career night as he rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another score in an impressive display that had the Arizona Stadium crowd rocking and rolling for most of the night. He had 118 yards rushing on 15 carries and completed 16 of 21 passes for 235 yards, including a 56-yard scoring pass to Shun Brown in the first half.

Fellow second-stringer J.J. Taylor filled in just as nicely at running back, as the true freshman rushed for 168 yards on 18 carries, including a 61-yarder for a touchdown after starter Nick Wilson went down early with a foot injury. He had only two carries for 3 yards., but it was a rare down moment for Arizona on this night.

After building a 34-7 halftime lead, Arizona picked up where it left off with a deliberate 12-play, 81-yard scoring drive to open the second half. It ended with a 27-yard field goal by Josh Pollack to extend Arizona’s lead to 37-7 with 9:32 left in the third quarter.

Hawaii sophomore quarterback Dru Brown started the second half in place of Ikaika Woolsey, who completed 11 of 25 passes for 117 yards. The senior starter had one touchdown and one pick. Brown countered by hitting 10 of 18 for 144 yards and was a key catalyst for Hawaii in the second half.

On the Warriors’ opening drive of the third quarter, Brown went 5-for-8 for 64 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Steve Lakalaka. It ended a 13-play, 78-yard drive and Sanchez added the PAT to cut Arizona’s lead to 37-14 with 4:04 left in the quarter. It was Lakalaka’s third touchdown of the season. He had 63 yards on 16 carries to lead all UH rushers.

Hawaii attempted an onside kick, but it went out of bounds, giving Arizona the ball at its own 49. The Wildcats overcame a holding call on first down, as Taylor ran for a touchdown from 61 yards out. Pollack hit the PAT to make it 44-14 with 3:28 left in the quarter.

Not to be outdone, Hawaii scored on its second series of the half as well. The Warriors went 67 yards on 10 plays, with the final 6 coming on Lakalaka’s second touchdown of the game. Rigo Sanchez added the PAT to cut Arizona’s lead to 44-21 with 14:54 left in the game.

Arizona put together another good scoring drive against an overmatched UH defense, but had to settle for a 28-yard Pollack field goal to make it 47-21 with 10 minutes remaining.

But Brown wasn’t done yet for UH, as he started the next UH drive with a 37-yard completion to Marcus Kemp. It helped set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Brown, who walked into the end zone untouched for the score. Sanchez added the PAT to make it 47-28 with 4:25 left. The scoring drive went 74 yards on 12 plays to round out the scoring.

Arizona may have struggled somewhat in the first half of its first two games, but such was not the case tonight, as the Wildcats took a 34-7 advantage into intermission.

It began with plenty of offense in the opening quarter, as the two teams combined for 288 yards, with Arizona grabbing a 20-7 lead.

Hawaii managed a first down in the opening offensive series of the game, but a chop block put a stopper in that bottle. Facing a first-and-25, Woolsey was sacked for a 7-yard loss. Two plays later, the Warriors were forced to punt and Arizona took over at its own 12 for its first offensive set of the game.

It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to get in motion, with a 24-yard pass play from Dawkins to Wilson. Facing a third-and-5, Dawkins converted with a 23-yard pass play to Nate Phillips, who was wide open down the middle of the field.

Two plays after that at the UH 30, Arizona faced another third-and-5, and once again converted on a 6-yard keeper by Dawkins. It set up a 24-yard scamper for a touchdown by the Arizona quarterback, who went in untouched on the keeper around the right side.

Arizona failed on the 2-point conversation, but the Wildcats had a 6-0 lead with 9:13 left in the quarter. It was Dawkins’ third rushing touchdown of the season, as he was a key component in the eight-play, 88-yard drive.

Hawaii opened its second series at its own 15 and picked up its second first down of the game on an 11-yard completion from Woolsey to Collie, but failed to convert on a third-and-4 pass to Kemp.

After forcing UH to punt, the Wildcats began their second drive deep in their own territory at the 18. Wilson left the game with the apparent foot injury on Arizona’s scoring play. No matter. Taylor stepped in nicely with a 30-yard run as the large Arizona crowd roared its approval.

It set up Dawkins’ 14-yard scoring run around the right side once more. And again, he went in untouched to cap the six-play, 88-yard run. Pollack added the PAT to make it 13-0 Arizona with five minutes left in the period.

Hawaii turned it over on the ensuing offensive series on a deflected Woolsey pass that ended up in the hands of Flannigan Fowles at the UH 24. On the first offensive play, Tyrell Johnson ran it in for the score. Pollack hit the extra point to make it 20-0 with 4:44 left in the quarter.

Hawaii came back with a nifty nine-play, 81-yard scoring drive that included a 38-yard pitch-and-catch from Woolsey to John Ursua that set up a 15-yard scoring pass from that same combination. Sanchez added the PAT to make it 20-7 with 1:10 remaining.

After forcing Arizona to punt at the beginning of the quarter, Hawaii had a huge touchdown pass from Woolsey to Dylan Collie called back on a holding call against UH O-lineman Leo Koloamatangi. Later in the series, Hawaii faced a fourth-and-3 at the Arizona 41 but failed to convert.

The Hawaii defense forced a quick three-and-out and the Warriors set up shop at their own 20. Another bad penalty by Koloamatangi, this time a block below the waist, killed another potential drive, forcing Hawaii to punt once more as the game’s torrid first-quarter pace cooled considerably.

But Arizona heated things back up with a 56-yard touchdown pass from Dawkins to a wide-open Brown, who went into the end zone untouched for his first career score. Pollack added the PAT to make it 27-7 Wildcats with 7:17 left in the half.

After forcing a UH punt, Arizona quickly moved down the field for another score. The nine-play, 80-yard drive ended on a 6-yard touchdown run by Dawkins, who kept it around the left side and extended his arm to hit the pylon and get his third rushing touchdown of the game. Pollack added the PAT to make it 34-7 Arizona with 1:44 left in the half.

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  • No more excuses, please!!!! First half was just pathetic…..no speed, whatevas………please don’t use Chow as an excuse for UH losing…..Rolo hasn’t shown me anything in coaching this team…..the only positive is California is currently beating Texas….oh, well, now UH can concentrate on conference play with crummy teams …oops….save for San Diego State and Boise……nothing more and nothing less.

    • Cal showed that its for real, Michigan too, and ‘Zona is for real also. There is no coach in the land that can coach “speed.” You either got it or you don’t. UH is still consistently moving the ball and putting up way more points that under Chow. If Chow’s that great, why isn’t he HC at some Power Conference team. Defense needs a lot of work, difficult to win or look good when you consistently give up 50 points a game and rarely force a punt. If anyone thought UH would have a winning record these first 4 games then he should share whatever he’s been smoking.

  • With 9 minutes left, 3 running plays up the middle using a huge chunk of time. No hurry up offense? Are they trying to win or simply trying to prevent the other team from scoring? Play to win!

  • This is an improved team but it is unrealistic to expect to beat Arizona in Arizona after all the team’s bad recent history and having to fire the team’s star player. Nick Rolovich is going to be one of our best coaches but he is not likely to instantly perform miracles…

    • Hey, entrkn…how is this an improved team….geezus, defense pathetic, lack speed, got faked out so many times, can’t tackle….yeah, different sets on offense but what’s the purpose…..SAME RESULTS!! turnovers, ah, well…..what the heck…they go in conference play with crummy teams save San Diego St. and Boise……so we can expect some wins……but no more Chow blaming…..Rolo is the coach and he is responsible for the pathetic display of what’s happening on the field…nothing more and nothing less.

      • Man can’t believe you know it all whiners. What did you expect miracles after 3 games into Rolo’s head coaching career in Hawaii? I read the same crap after the 2nd season with June Jones when the team struggled during the 2000 season. Give Rolo a chance to turn this program around. His attitude in changing this year’s culture to embrace Hawaii is a great start. Look Chow left a bad taste for all the fans who became frustrated and disenchanted with Hawaii football. Do you think for one second the players and coaches are happy with the first 4 games. Our defense just needs to suck it up and play Hawaii football which is tough, hardhitting defense.

        • Well said old timer! I think Dru Brown earned a start. We have 2 weeks to get him ready. The defense has to step up.

  • Lets give the boys a little credit. The killer schedule over the last three weeks would be a bad start for anyone. I for one am still a fan. Go boys!. We know you can do it.

  • If Ikaika Woolsey is UH’s best quarterback they are in deep trouble. He is 50% career passer and his touchdown to interception ratio is about even. Of course the quarterback doesn’t do it by himself but you can’t win many games with those stats.

  • That was embarrassing. UH must have the worst defense in the nation after that game, and an offense that’s not far behind. No urgency from the coaching staff at all. UH is going to need to score 50 to win any of its remaining games. 1-12 is a distinct possibility. MW opener against Nevada will tell a lot.

  • Armchair/Monday morning QB’s crack me up! First year first time head coach/first month of football and you all are expecting miracles. If you all know what’s best for this team send in your resumés to the UH Athletic Dept. pronto for his job! Then we’ll start seeing 100% improvements from you lot, right? You all remind me of a certain NFL QB who takes a knee during the National Anthem, you want changes but don’t do anything but whine. If you don’t think there’s anything you can do, start by filling up the stadium and supporting our boys. I’ve been a season ticket holder since Dick Tomey days, my dad traveled to Arizona to watch them and goes to one or two road games every year. You all come and go but us diehards, we’ll always be here, win or lose. We’re frustrated alright, but at least we show our support. Go ‘Bows!

    • JJ and Miano applied for the UH head coaching job and they were rejected over Rolo by Maitlin. That to me is the underlying problem. Maitlin chose the ‘nice guy’ and in the world of cut throat Div 1A football, the nice guy will almost always finish LAST and fail. If Rolo, like Chow, fails for multiple seasons, not only should Rolo be fired, so should Maitlin. I and others know enough about football success is not only about good onfield strategy, it also about recruiting, and JJ and Miano are far superior recruiters given their ties with the NFL and the American Samoan community than Rolo. That is a FACT. UH after Chow is in a deep hole that requires veteran mircale workers who have been there, done that, not a person with zero head coaching experience and have the ability to attract players and assistant coaches who will give him undying loyalty and perform at the highest levels and INSPIRE them all to WIN. I hope I am completely wrong about this but unfortunately there are clear patterns in life, including rebuilding a successful Div 1 A football team where you have to exploit the few strengths UH has, its physical location where Hawaii has whole lot of top blue chip recruits, and coaches that can convince enough of these players to stay home to bring back UH to a level of respectability AND profitability. It is a vicious cycle that is very difficult to break and only a couple of people have the capability to do it.

    • Many of season ticket holders and former season ticket holders come well before you. You’re right about some fans wanting a quick turn around to what has happened in the past but the quality of play in the past games shows a lot that the either the athletes are not that good or they are not being coached well enough. I don’t seriously think that we can expect a perfect record up to now but at least be competitive to some degree. It really looks pretty bad from what you’re seeing on the field.

  • As a mid major program we can’t compete with the talent and speed of the power 5 conferences but it’s sad when the effort is not there. That’s not on the coaching staff and that is the character this team has built from the Norm Chow era. Coach Rolo is trying to instill a new attitude and belief in this team and it’s gonna be a two season process I think. I’m a fan and will support this team through 0-12 and 12-0 no matter. Just gotta stay patient and continue to support.

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