A 21-point first quarter deficit proved to be too much to overcome for the University of Hawaii football team, as the Rainbow Warriors yesterday fell to the visiting San Jose State Spartans, 35-24, at Aloha Stadium. Hawaii is now 3-4 on the season, while the Spartans improved their record to 5-0. Here are some postgame notes about last night’s contest:
♦ GROUNDED & POUNDED: The Spartans’ dominant rushing game was the story of this game. SJSU gained 288 yards on the ground (6.3 yards per carry), compared to Hawaii’s 101 (3.9). Two Spartan RBs ran for more than 100 yards: Tyler Nevens (152) and Kairee Robinson (111). For the third straight game, UH QB Chevan Cordeiro led Hawaii in rushing yards, with 36. Cordeiro has led the team in rushing in five of Hawaii’s seven games this season.
♦ IN TOO DEEP: Less than nine minutes into the first quarter, SJSU already had a 21-0 lead. The Hawaii defense gave up big plays, including a 72-yard TD run by Nevens for the Spartans’ second score. UH outscored the Spartans, 24-14, the rest of the way, but it wasn’t enough. As UH head coach Todd Graham remarked after the game, “We dug a hole that we couldn’t get out of.”
♦ STRONG-ARMED: Cordeiro again led the UH offense, The redshirt-sophomore was 28 for 42 for 238 passing yards and 2 TDs, and scored another TD via a 4-yard run. He now has 1,695 passing yards on the year (11 TDs, 5 INTs).
♦ FIRST CATCH: Hawaii RB Koali Nishigaya, a true freshman out of Saint Louis School, registered his first reception of his collegiate career, snaring 26-yard Cordeiro pass on a fourth-down play in the final quarter.
♦ STREAK OVER: Hawaii’s four-game winning streak against San Jose State has been snapped. Interestingly, the road team has won six of the last eight games in this series. With their victory yesterday, the Spartans gained possession of the Dick Tomey Legacy Trophy. The late Tomey served as head coach for both programs.
♦ COACH GRAHAM POSTGAME QUOTE: “This was a very disappointing football game. We duped a poor job of getting the guys ready. We absolutely played the worst that we played this entire season defensively in the first quarter. Simple zone plays. Simple seam patterns. We just did a very, very poor job. It’s very disappointing to play at [a high level] one week and then the next week play like this. I thought we took a giant step forward last week and a giant step backward today. It’s frustrating.”
♦ FINALE: The Rainbow Warriors will close out their abbreviated 2020 season this Saturday with a home game against UNLV. The Rebels are 0-5 on the season. Two of their games, including yesterday’s scheduled contest against Boise State, were canceled doe to COVID-19 issues. UH has won the last two meetings with the Rebels, including a 21-7 victory in Las Vegas last season.
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