Hawaii Comes From Behind To Defeat New Mexico, 39-33

Hawaii Comes From Behind To Defeat New Mexico, 39-33

Hawaii

Hawaii Comes From Behind To Defeat New Mexico, 39-33

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Hawaii Comes From Behind To Defeat New Mexico, 39-33


Big plays define Hawaii vs. New Mexico


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Warriors break out of passing slump

Chevan Cordeiro not only threw his first touchdown pass of the year but he had one of his best games in his career by completing 33 of 43 passes for 410 yards, four touchdowns and he was not perfect with a pair of interceptions. He also ran for 39 yards and had a rushing score.

This game had it all, for both teams. New Mexico got out to a 17-7 lead in the first quarter and 20-14 at the half. Then the Hawaii offense got going and made big plays and the Lobos were unable to match the Warriors blow-for-blow.

New Mexico did have its own big plays with touchdowns of 52, 29, and 26 yards. They also took advantage of Hawaii miscues by scoring 10 points of turnovers but neither was enough. The Warriors defense clamped down and allowed just one touchdown and two field goals to the Lobos in the second half.

There were plenty of chances for New Mexico to win this game but head coach Danny Gonzales was not happy with coming up short.

“The positives? We tried hard,” Gonzales said. “If you’re happy with trying hard, that’s a loser’s mentality. If you want to convince yourself that moral victory is OK, then you don’t belong in our program and shame on you.”

Gonzales really wants to get his alma mater on the winning ways but it will take time to get there.

“I got a lot of text messages last week about: ‘Coach, we’re so proud of you,’ and ‘they played harder. You can see a difference,’” Gonzales said. “Don’t feel sorry for me. That bugs me. We gave up 39 points on defense. That’s getting your tail whooped. I don’t think that’s positive. I think they need to compete better.”

However, despite the loss there were positives in this game like quarterback Tevaka Tuioti who had two touchdown passes, no turnovers and a few big plays. His accuracy could be better as he was 17 of 31 for 181 yards.

At the end, it was Hawaii who broke through with plays. There was bad tackling with the Lobos defense which allowed the Warriors pass catchers. The defense is where the Lobos need to shape up and the good news is that they have the staff to get there with Gonzales as a defensive-minded coach and his mentor in Rocky Long running the defense.

Hawaii Offense Here To Stay?

Warriors made the plays and Cordeiro looks to be one of the best quarterbacks in the Mountain West, but playing the Lobos does help as Hawaii had passes for 42, 42, 40 and 64 yards.

The passing attack featured a new Warriors wide receiver in Nick Marder who had a career-high with six receptions for 147 yards and a touchdown. The running game needs work and Hawaii can’t have Cordeiro lead the team in rushing once they face better teams.

The passing game was the key to victory and this Hawaii team against New Mexico looked a lot like the 2019 team in how much they passed compared to running but also the big plays.

The game-winning score came on this Calvin Turner touchdown reception where he evaded many New Mexico defenders by crossing the field for a score and would be one of the top plays of the game.

Enter Jared Smart. His two-point catch eclipsed the prior play as the catch of the game. That catch saw Smart seemingly float above the rest of the players on the field and somehow came down in bounds.

This score put Hawaii up six points, 36-30.

Then the Hawaii defense showed up and force a Lobos three-and-out and then took that for a field goal to go up nine. New Mexico did manage a field goal to cut the lead to six but that was as close as it got.

Hawaii’s offense was clicking and there is likely a balance between it being this good and prior games where the passing game was just OK. A lot has to do with the opponent but if Hawaii can be at 80% offensive efficiency against other opponents that have a real chance to win games.


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