In the Nick Rolovich era, every time the University of Hawaii football team appears ready to take a big step forward, it flies into reverse.
No. 14-ranked Boise State showed why it rules supreme in the Mountain West Conference by beating Hawaii 59-37 before a sellout homecoming crowd of nearly 37,000 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. The curse of the blue Smurf turf continued for the Rainbow Warriors as they dropped to 0-7 lifetime in the famed facility in this key conference matchup.
Hawaii returns home tomorrow to prepare for the Air Force Academy next Saturday at Aloha Stadium with an overall record of 4-2 and a 1-1 mark in conference play. The Broncos remain undefeated at 6-0 for the season and 3-0 in league action. Four of the Broncos’ remaining six games are on the road.
Three turnovers in the first half by UH led to 21 costly points. Throw in 73 yards in penalties over the first 30 minutes and this game was already over before the Boise band played a note. Three Boise State quarterbacks combined for 315 yards and five touchdowns to lead an innovative offense that overcame the loss of starter Hank Bachmeier, who went down with a hip injury in the second quarter.
Broncos wideout John Hightower had seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns while true freshman running back George Holani had two scoring catches as well as a 40-yard touchdown run, the last score of the game. Robert Mahone led the Broncos in rushing with 74 yards on 16 carries.
UH quarterback Cole McDonald led the way for UH, completing 23 of 41 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 54 yards on eight carries and another score.
Down by 31 to start the fourth quarter, UH got the ball first in the final period. Hawaii drove 73 yards on 10 plays with the final 3 coming on a touchdown pass from McDonald to Melquise Stovall. McDonald took it in from 3 yards out for a successful 2-point conversion to cut Boise State’s lead to 52-29 with 10:37 left in the game. Hawaii added another touchdown late on a 50-yard strike from backup quarterback Chevan Cordeiro. The try for 2 was good to make it 52-37 with 2:36 left.