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San Jose State knocks off Hawaii to maintain unbeaten Mountain West record

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                San Jose State quarterback Nick Nash (16) gets around Hawaii defensive back Cameron Lockridge (20) during the first half of a college football game today at Aloha Stadium.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    San Jose State quarterback Nick Nash (16) gets around Hawaii defensive back Cameron Lockridge (20) during the first half of a college football game today at Aloha Stadium.

San Jose State didn’t let having to play what was supposed to be a home game on the road bother it today. After cancellations two weeks in a row, the Spartans were just happy for a game anywhere and kept their record unbeaten by knocking off Hawaii 35-24 at Aloha Stadium.

The game was supposed to have been played at San Jose, Calif., instead of a five-hour plane ride away in Hawaii, but because of new COVID-19 guidelines, the game could not be played in California. Because the team had left the state the previous weekend for a game at Boise State (which was canceled), they were subject to a 14-day quarantine.

A compromise was reached that allowed them to play at Hawaii instead of canceling the game.

>> RELATED: FINAL SCORE: San Jose State beats Hawaii, 35-24

Hawaii reported its first positive COVID-19 test of a football player Friday, but athletic director David Matlin issued a statement saying that it would not affect today’s game.

The Spartans had not played since Nov. 14, since their game scheduled for Nov. 21 at Fresno State was also canceled.

It was the Rainbow Warriors (3-4), however, who looked rusty. San Jose State (5-0) jumped to a 21-0 advantage in a first quarter where UH had zero passing yards and just one first down compared to 10 for the Spartans.

San Jose State drove 75 yards after taking the opening kickoff. Isaiah Holiness capped it with a 2-yard pass from Nick Starkel.

After a Hawaii punt, Tyler Nevens covered nearly that much distance on the Spartans’ second play from scrimmage with a 72-yard touchdown run. This was another 75-yard drive, but on just two plays. San Jose State’s lead was 14-0 at 9:36 of the first quarter.

It was Nevens again just three minutes later with a 10-yard scoring run.

UH did not get a first down until less than three minutes left in the first quarter.

>> PHOTOS: Hawaii vs. San Jose State at Aloha Stadium

The Warriors bounced back with Matthew Shipley’s 25-yard field goal and a 10-yard touchdown pass to Dae Dae Hunter from Chevan Cordeiro. Isaiah Tufaga’s interception set up the touchdown.

UH made it 17 unanswered points with a steady drive to open the second half. Cordeiro’s 11-yard TD pass to Rico Bussey capped the 12-play 74-yard march.

The Spartans responded with 2:17 left in the third quarter as Kairee Robinson’s 2-yard touchdown run made their lead 28-17.

Starkel hit Tre Walker for a 50-yard touchdown pass, and the Spartans were up 35-17 with 12:03 left in the game.

Cordeiro kept for a 4-yard touchdown run with 2:24 left for the final score.

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For more Hawaii football, visit the Warrior Beat blog.

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