By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
They saved their best for last. In the final game of the regular season, the University of Hawaii football team played perhaps its most complete game of the year in beating Wyoming, 38-14, at War Memorial Field in Laramie. It was Hawaii’s first road win against the Cowboys in 30 years. The Rainbow Warriors concluded their regular season with a 6-7 record (3-5 in the Mountain West). Wyoming dropped to 6-6 (2-6).
♦ STAT OF THE GAME: Coming into the game, Wyoming averaged 202 rushing yards per contest, or 4.9 yards per carry. The UH defense held the Cowboys to just 119 yards in the game (3.2 ypc) – 41 in the decisive first half (2.2 ypc).
♦ TURNING POINT: Wyoming got their first points of the game – a four-yard rushing TD – late in the first half. With the score, the Cowboys trailed 24-7, and were going to have the first possession of the second half. But with the game clock expiring, UH QB Chevan Cordeiro launched a 50-yard “Hail Mary” that somehow connected with WR Jared Smart in the end zone. UH 31, Wyoming 7. That evaporated any kind of momentum Wyoming may have had going into halftime.
♦ UH OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Chevan Cordeiro was masterful today, completing 19 of 31 pass attempts for 323 yards, three TDs and one INT. The former Saint Louis standout also led the Rainbow Warriors in rushing, finishing with 86 yards and another TD.
♦ UH DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Safety/Linebacker Khoury Bethley was again all over the field today, finishing with 12 total tackles (eight solo) and a TFL. In truth, however, the entire defense should share this honor. It was a tremendous team effort.
♦ UH SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE GAME: As he has been all season, freshman Kyler Halvorsen was a weapon on kickoffs, launching five of his six kicks into the end zone for touchbacks. Wyoming’s lone return was stopped cold at their own 17 yard line.
♦ GAME GRADE: A. What can you say? Needing a victory to have any chance of securing a bowl game, head coach Todd Graham and his staff put together an effective game plan. Offensive coordinator Bo Graham opened up the playbook and utilized a wide number of different offensive sets, and the defense shut down Wyoming’s run game.
♦ WHAT’S NEXT: Is a postseason bowl berth in the cards? That still needs to be sorted out, but the odds are not looking good. One thing we know for sure: Coming up next is “Call the Coach” at Ruby Tuesday in Moanalua this coming Thursday (Nov. 2) at 6:00 a.m. Hope to see you there!