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No Revenge for the ‘Bows against Vanderbilt: 35-28

By: Tanner Haworth

While the ‘Bows made it a one possession game in the fourth quarter, the Commodores capitalized on UH’s mistakes in all three phases of the game

The Rainbow Warriors lost in a heartbreaker to the Vanderbilt Commodores, 35-28. In a game where offenses shined, it was Hawaii that outgained Vanderbilt in a stark contrast to last year’s 63-10 performance.

Junior quarterback Brayden Schager threw 27-34 for 351 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Schager’s two favorite targets were two newcomers into the Rainbow Warrior program, and both received a couple of “Schager-bombs” in Vanderbilt.

Kansas transfer Steven McBride caught seven passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, including a 45-yard touchdown on fourth-and-six in the second quarter. The biggest surprise comes from Euless, Texas, where redshirt freshman Pofele Ashlock caught seven balls, 127 yards and a touchdown. 

The ‘Bows outgained the Commodores in total yardage, 391 to 297. However, what’s hidden are the yards on kick returns where Vanderbilt took advantage of mistakes on special teams and ran in a 97-yard kick return touchdown. 

Senior linebacker Isaiah Tufaga had plenty of ups and downs over four quarters. He finished with the team lead in tackles (8), sacks (2) and tackles for loss (3), but also gave up plenty of yards on pass coverage and missed a few tackles as well. Senior Andrew Choi shined from the defensive end position, logging six tackles, a sack and 2.5 TFL’s highlights the great play tonight from the d-line. 

The rushing game was nonexistent in this game, as both teams failed to get more than 40 yards rushing. As a reminder, Vanderbilt ran for over 400 yards on the ground in 2022. Hawaii running backs Tylan Hines and freshman Landon Sims had nine carries each, and Sims outgained his teammate with 38 yards to the respective 15 yards. 

The Rainbow Warriors will return home to prepare for this Friday’s matchup against the Stanford Cardinal for the first home appearance at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex this season.