The struggles continued for the University of Hawaii football team today as host Utah State won 38-0 in chilly Logan, Utah. The victory made the Aggies bowl eligible for the seventh time in eight years with a 6-5 mark overall and 4-3 record in Mountain West Conference play. Hawaii dropped to 3-8 for the year and completed its league action at 1-7. Hawaii closes out the season with a home game on Nov. 25 against Brigham Young University at 4 p.m.
Utah State quarterback Jordan Love completed nine of 14 passes for 113 yards and one touchdown. He also carried the ball six times for 47 yards and another score. LaJuan Hunt rushed for 111 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries. Gerold Bright also had a touchdown of 60 yards en route to carrying the ball eight times for 93 yards as the UH defense continued to yield big plays. The Aggies had 475 yards to UH’s 318.
UH running back Diocemy Saint Juste had 122 yards on 28 carries. He also had a costly fumble at the Utah State 1 late in the first half that typified the afternoon for the Rainbow Warriors, who had plenty of chances but no points. UH quarterback Dru Brown completed 16 of 29 for 128 yards. Cole McDonald was 3-for-5 for 18. He also rushed the ball eight times for 45 yards.
FOURTH QUARTER: UTAH STATE 38, HAWAII 0
Utah State completed a nine-play, 63-yard drive that began in the third quarter with a 20-yard field goal by Dominik Eberle to give the Aggies a 38-0 lead with 13:10 left in the game. McDonald re-entered the game at quarterback on the next UH drive, but just handed the ball off three times to Saint Juste, who gained only 5 yards on the attempts, leading to a punt of 39 yards, the Aggies taking over with 11:11 left. Senior Utah State quarterback Kent Myers returned to the game as well, but much like McDonald, could only produce a three-and-out.
Hawaii took over with 9:44 left at its own 33. Nobody scored the rest of the way.
THIRD QUARTER: UTAH STATE 35, HAWAII 0
Hawaii opened the second half with a three-and-out, giving the ball back to the Aggies at the UH 48. From there, Hunt broke through the UH defense for a 48-yard touchdown. Eberle converted the extra point to give Utah State a comfortable 28-0 advantage with 13:25 left in the quarter.
Hawaii put together a nice drive on its next series as Brown completed a couple of passes for first downs and Saint Juste had some nice runs, but once again the Warriors failed to convert on fourth down and Utah State took over at its own 28. Brown missed a wide-open Dylan Collie on the play that would have gone for a score.
The Warriors forced a punt on the next Utah State series, taking over at their own 20. Two big plays of 16 and 19 yards by Saint Juste produced a promising start. But the Warriors failed to convert on fourth-and-5 when Brown lost 7 on the sack.
It didn’t take long for Utah State to score again, this time on a 15-yard keeper by Love. The three-play drive began with a 26-yard completion from Love to Hunt. Eberle added the PAT to extend the margin to 35-0 with 3:29 remaining.
And the Aggies weren’t done, mounting another drive after forcing a three-and-out. But they would have to wait until the fourth quarter to score some more.
SECOND QUARTER: UTAH STATE 21, HAWAII 0
Hawaii opened the period with a 42-yard field-goal attempt by Alex Trifonovitch that sailed wide left. It didn’t take long for the Aggies to make the Warriors pay for not scoring, as Myers entered the game and threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Braelon Roberts. Eberle added the PAT to give Utah State a 21-0 lead with 14:01 left in the quarter. The four-play drive went 75 yards.
Hawaii failed to pick up a first down on its ensuing series and the Aggies took over at their own 29 after the punt. They failed to make a first down as well and were forced to punt for the first time in the game. UH took over at its own 30.
From there, Hawaii went on a grueling drive that led to no points. The Warriors went 55 yards on 19 plays, Brown failed to convert on fourth-and-9 at the Aggies 15. He and McDonald took turns under center as UH coach Nick Rolovich did a little experimenting. It worked well enough, but no points was disappointing.
Hawaii got the ball right back on an interception by Trayvon Henderson that gave UH the ball at its own 47 due in part to a personal foul penalty on the return. Brown and Co. quickly picked up a pair of first downs on a pair of completions from Brown to Dylan Collie totaling 22 yards. Those set up a 21-yard scamper by Saint Juste that made it first-and-goal from the 4 with 43 seconds left in the half.
Two snaps later, UH had a third-and-goal from the 1, but Saint Juste fumbled and it was recovered by the Aggies with five seconds remaining.
FIRST QUARTER: UTAH STATE 14, HAWAII 0
Utah State got the ball first after Hawaii won the toss and deferred. The Aggies opened at their own 35 after UH kicked it out of bounds. Under the guidance of Love, the Aggies moved easily down the field with a mixture of run and pass. They picked up a couple of first downs and eventually settled for a 46-yard field-goal attempt by Eberle that sailed wide left.
Hawaii took over at its own 29 and promptly went three-and-out, with Brown being sacked on a third-and-10 play. A nice punt by Stan Gaudion of 49 yards gave the Aggies the ball at their own 34 for their second series of the quarter with 10:11 left.
Facing a third-and-6, Bright appeared to be stopped on a rush play, but escaped the pile and raced up the sideline for 60 yards and a touchdown. Eberle added the PAT to give Utah State a 7-0 lead with 9:33 left in the period. The three-play drive went 66 yards.
The Hawaii offense went three-and-out once again, with Brown losing 10 yards on a third-down sack, forcing Hawaii to punt from deep in its own territory. Another good kick had Utah State starting at its own 33. The Aggies needed only eight plays to move right down the field against a porous UH defense that couldn’t stop the run or pass. Hunt had five runs for 26 yards that helped set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Love to Ron’quavion Tarver. Eberle added the extra point to extend the Aggies’ lead to 14-0 with 5:32 left in the quarter.
Hawaii began its third drive at its own 24 and promptly picked up its opening first down of the game on a 6-yard keeper by Brown. Saint Juste finally got his hands on the football and rewarded the coaches with a pair of 5-yard runs and then an 8-yard scamper that gave UH another first down.
Backup running back Ryan Tuiasoa got UH into Utah State territory with a 4-yard run. Saint Juste came back in and ripped off a 13-yard run to the 35. Back in the game came Tuiasoa and he picked up a first down on a big third-down run to the Aggies 24.
Facing third-and-6 with 35 seconds left Hawaii called timeout to avoid a delay penalty, but Brown was sacked on the ensuing snap to end the period before the Warriors could attempt a field goal.
On an early afternoon where there promises to be a chill in the thin air of Logan, Utah, the University of Hawaii football team prepares for next year.
Coach Nick Rolovich conceded it’s important for the Warriors to finish strong and build toward the 2018 season, starting with today’s Mountain West Conference football game with host Utah State. The Aggies need a win to become bowl eligible in their final home game. That dream was dashed for UH with last week’s loss to Fresno State.
The Warriors have dropped seven of eight and have only one league win over lowly San Jose State. They finish the season on Nov. 25 with a nonconference matchup with former rival Brigham Young University. In today’s matchup, the Warriors will be fighting not only the Aggies, but the elements. At almost 5,000 feet, altitude is a problem. And when it’s 38 degrees at kickoff, it’s likely to be below freezing by game’s end.
For more Hawaii football, visit the Warrior Beat blog.