2018 Hawaii Bowl: Louisiana Tech’s Third Quarter Led Them To Victory Over Hawaii, 31-14
The Warriors had all sorts of trouble on the offensive side of the ball.
Penalties, failed opportunities, and other errors for Hawaii.
For once the Hawaii defense showed up and look really good against Louisiana Tech in the Hawaii Bowl. The Warriors had three forced turnovers in the first half — despite only scoring seven off of them — and held the Bulldogs to just three points while scoring seven of their own.
However, things were not as they appeared in this game as the Warriors ultimately lost 31-14 behind a collapse of a third quarter where Louisiana Tech outscored Hawaii 21-0.
The game started off with some bad news as star wide receiver John Ursua was out with a hamstring injury. Ursua tried to warm up and go as he was on the field in full pads but ultimately he had to shut it down.
The Hawaii offense sputtering is putting it nicely. The Warriors offense only made it past midfield once in this game which came on its first touchdown drive of the first half. They did get to midfield once and the other touchdown they scored Hawaii started on the Louisiana Tech side of the field after blocking a punt.
Other offensive woes came when head coach Nick Rolovich decided to yank starting quarterback Cole McDonald after just the third possession of the game in favor of Chevan Cordeiro. This was not uncommon in the final few weeks of the year to bring in Cordeiro but it did nothing for this team.
Also, for good measure, the running game did not show up either with Fred Holly leading the way with 57 yards on nine carries with a long of 21.
The two ended up getting multiple series and neither played well. The duo combined to complete 17 of 34 passes, 168 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. That is a far cry from how the offense was humming in August and September, and it seems there will be full on quarterback competition this spring.
All the blame can not go on the quarterbacks because the offensive line had zero answers for Louisiana Tech and new NCAA all-time sack leader Jaylon Ferguson. Affectionately known as “Sack Daddy,” Ferguson ended up with 4.5 sacks and 2..5 for loss. Ferguson was not even the best at getting to the Warriors signal-caller as Willie Baker had four sacks, and as a team, the Bulldogs had nine in the game plus another 10 tackles for loss
Those sacks were the sense of frustration for the Hawaii offensive line which had multiple personal foul penalties called against them and at one point forced the Warriors offense to have a 1st-and-40-yard situation.’
For the day the team was whistled for a season-high 12 penalties for a loss of 140 yards, including four 15-yard flags in four plays late in the second quarter.
The 8-6 record for Hawaii in 2018 is still a great accomplishment as it is five more wins than last year. However, there is a sense of dissapoinment as the Warriors started the year 6-1 but finished just 2-5 and did not become bowl eligible until the 12th game of the year.