By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
In Las Vegas, as Max Holloway was delivering a beating to Yair Rodriguez, it was the University of Hawaii football team’s postseason hopes that went down for the count. The Rainbow Warriors fell to the UNLV Rebels, 27-13, at Allegiant Stadium. With the loss, Hawaii is now 4-7 and out of contention for a bowl bid.
♦ STAT OF THE GAME: The Rainbow Warriors continue to struggle offensively, racking up just 240 total yards. If you take away Chevan Cordeiro’s 79-yard TD pass to receiver Nick Mardner on UH’s first play from scrimmage, that’s just 161 yards. Also, Hawaii was just 2 for 14 in third down conversions. These kinds of numbers just won’t get the job done.
♦ TURNING POINT: Trailing by a touchdown with 2:04 left in the game, UH faced a 4th-and-2 on their own 46-yard line. Hawaii called a running play, and RB Dedrick Parson was stopped short of the first down marker. Questionable play calling?
♦ UH OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Easy choice here. Mardner snared four receptions for 179 yards and Hawaii’s lone TD.
♦ UH DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Linebacker Darius Muasau was solid, collecting 12 total tackles, a tackle-for-loss, a recovered fumble and a pass breakup.
♦ UH SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE GAME: The punt and kickoff coverage teams were excellent, and punter Matthew Shipley placed three ticks inside the 20.
♦ GAME GRADE: D. Sure, UNLV may be better than their 2-8 record would indicate, but this was a game Hawaii was supposed to win. The UH offense continues to be ineffective, to put it mildly. The defense is doing what they can, but today they simply got worn down. Overall, this team has hit its low point of the season. Let’s see if they can bounce back next week.
♦ WHAT’S NEXT: The Rainbow Warriors now return to the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex to take on Colorado State for their final home game of the season. The Rams are 3-7 (2-4 in the Mountain West) and are coming off a 35-21 loss to Air Force earlier today. Saturday’s game is set for a 6:00 p.m. start. ESPN Honolulu’s full game day coverage will start with the “New Countdown to Kickoff” pregame show at 4:00.