University of Hawaii QB Cole McDonald recently announced that he will forgo his senior season to enter this year’s NFL Draft. In his three seasons in Hawaii, the signal caller from La Mirada, California has certainly made his mark as a Rainbow Warrior, leading UH to a Mountain West division title and a pair of SoFi Hawaii Bowl appearances. McDonald finished his UH career with 8,032 passing yards and 70 passing TDs – both good for fourth on the school’s record book. He also ran for 12 TDs on the ground.
Here is one subjective list of McDonald’s five best games as a Rainbow Warrior:
NUMBER 5: Sept. 1, 2018. Numbers wise, it’s hard to beat Hawaii’s 59-41 victory over the Naval Academy. In just his second game as a starter, McDonald threw for 428 yards and 6 TDs – 2 each to receivers John Ursua, Cedric Byrd and JoJo Ward. It was the most passing TDs by a UH QB in five seasons.
NUMBER 4: Aug. 25, 2018. McDonald made his UH starting debut one to remember, passing for 3 TDs and running for 2 more scores in a season-opening upset at Colorado State. He set a new UH record for passing yards in a QB’s starting debut. The game also marked Hawaii’s return to the run-and-shoot offense.
NUMBER 3: Aug. 24, 2018. In the 2019 season opener, Hawaii beat the Pac-12’s Arizona Wildcats for the first time in six tries, and McDonald played a big role in the upset. He delivered 4 TDs (all to Cedric Byrd) on 29-of-41 passes and 378 yards.
NUMBER 2: Nov. 24, 2018. In the days leading up to the UH-San Diego State game, Aztecs Athletics Director David Wicker was quoted as saying, “If we beat Hawaii and we finished ahead of them, we should be in [the SoFi Hawaii Bowl] ahead of them.” McDonald and the Rainbow Warriors rendered Wicker’s point moot, as UH beat SDSU, 31-30, in San Diego to earn its eighth victory of the season and the Hawaii Bowl berth. McDonald came up big, passing for 452 yards and 3 TDs. He also added a rushing TD.
NUMBER 1: McDonald saved his best for last. In the 2019 SoFi Hawaii Bowl against rival BYU, McDonald passed for a career-high 493 yards and 4 TDs – he also added a rushing TD – in leading UH to a 38-34 win on Christmas Eve. His 24-yard TD strike to receiver Nick Mardner with 1:14 left in the game gave Hawaii the victory. For his efforts, McDonald was named the game’s MVP.
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