Hawai’i Loses to New Mexico State, 45-26

Hawai’i Loses to New Mexico State, 45-26

Saturday, September 24, 2022

By: Tanner Haworth

The New Mexico State Aggies break a 10-game losing streak to the Rainbow Warriors as they pummel the University of Hawaii 45-26. The Aggies bulldozed through the UH defense with 357 rushing yards with Star Thomas leading the way with 144 on the ground and a touchdown.

This is the third game of the season where the defense allows 200 or more rushing yards as the Aggies looked like a hot knife cutting through the butter of the Hawaii defense. The defense only mustered one tackle for loss and no sacks, alongside an interception by CB Virdel Edwards II.  

The Aggies offense looked to the opponents of Hawaii’s past and noticed the apparent struggle the ‘Bows had with scrambling quarterbacks from Vanderbilt and Michigan, as quarterback Gavin Frakes busted multiple long runs, including an untouched 25-yard touchdown. Frakes finished his night going 8-14 for 81 yards in the air and a passing touchdown to go alongside his 78 rushing yards. 

There were no bright spots for the offense either despite a solid opening drive touchdown. Preaching a new look to their offense with quarterback Brayden Schager returning to starting duties, Schager would finish his night going 22-39 for 261 yards, multiple missed opportunities, but did finally give Hawaii their first passing touchdown of the season and the best performance from a Hawaii quarterback so far in 2022.

Optimism was strong for the ‘Bows with their 75-yard opening drive that ended with a Dedrick Parson touchdown and was set up by multiple chunk passing plays. But miscues and misplays derailed many Hawaii drives against the Aggies. 

Tight end Caleb Philips finished the night with 8 catches and 138 yards as he came out as Schager’s safety blanket over the course of the game. In a depleted wide receiver core, freshman Jalen Walthall made much of his opportunity against NMSU, hauling in 40 yards and the lone passing touchdown. 

As the Rainbow Warriors go into their bye week before they open up Mountain West play, the amount of questions about the Hawaii football team far outweighs any answers. Alongside the questions on the field, the questions off the field are starting to pile about the lack of any productive offense. 

The Rainbow Warriors finish off their non-conference schedule at 1-4 and will open up Mountain West play at San Diego State on October 4th in the brand new Snapdragon Stadium.