Hawaii vs. Oregon State: Warriors Defense Comes Up Short, 45-27
Hawaii drops second game to a Pac-12 foe.
Hawaii falls to 1-2 on the year.
If you were given one quarter to “warm up” and any points scored within that quarter did not count towards the final score, Hawaii would be in good shape. The reality is, those points do count and they put Hawaii in a 21-0 hole last night. The Beavers scored a touchdown on their first three offensive possessions and the Warriors were forced to punt on their first two drives. A second half rally was not enough as the Warriors lost 45-27 and fell to 1-2 on the season.
Chance Nolan started the game at QB for the Beavers and he was solid all night going 21/29, 302 yards and two touchdown passes. Nolan’s efficiency allowed the Beavers to stick with a balanced offensive attack all night. The offensive line led the way as Nolan had clean pockets to work with and the ground attack pounded the Warriors for 256 yards and four touchdowns. BJ Baylor ran for 171 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.
After punting on their first two drives of the game, the Warriors offense settled down and showed the ability to move the ball. Offensive coordinator Bo Graham went deeper into his playbook this week and showed some creativity with a couple trick plays and misdirections. Although the offense took a while to get rolling and is still a work in progress, I see last night as a step in the right direction.
One major improvement was that they made it a point to get the ball to Calvin Turner Jr. early and often. In the first two games combined, he had a total of 18 offensive touches. Last night, he had 10 carries for 21 yards and two touchdowns and also added 7 catches for 106 yards and another score through the air. He wove through the Beavers defense almost as easily as he did against Portland State and once again showed why the Warriors are lucky to have a player of his caliber.
-Good things happen when you throw the ball to Nick Mardner. The redshirt sophomore is averaging 18.6 yards per catch this season. Last night, he had a 24 yard catch and run that sparked the offense on its first scoring drive, a 40-yard catch in the third quarter which helped to set up a Turner Jr. TD run, and he broke open on a slant for a 10-yard touchdown strike from Cordiero. He finished the night with six catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Dae Dae Hunter flashed his versatility and hands out of the backfield finishing with 5 catches for 83 yards including two catches that went for 20+ yards on wheel routes down the field.
Fo’i Shaw came to the Warriors as a walk-on defensive lineman out of Farrington High School. Last night, he made his impact as a lead blocker on short-yardage plays. His size, physicality, aggressiveness, and athleticism makes him a stud for the Warriors in their jumbo package. He’s following in the footsteps of former Warrior greats West Kiliikipi and Reagan Mauia who also made the transition from defensive line to offensive hammer. I found my eyes drawn to him every time he came into the game to see what he would do next.
It wasn’t the upset road victory over a power 5 opponent that we all hoped for, but the Warriors showed some flashes and I hope they can build off the positives from last night and correct the mistakes. Next week, the Warriors return home and start their conference season against the defending league Champion San Jose State Spartans. They will be without linebacker and team captain Darius Muasau for the first half after he was ejected for targeting during the second half last night’s game. If stopping the Spartans potent offensive attack wasn’t already a tall task, this certainly does not make it any easier.