The University of Hawai’i football team dropped its first conference game of the year with a 59-37 loss at No. 14 Boise State Saturday Night at Albertsons Stadium. The Rainbow Warriors fell to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Mountain West with its second road loss this season.
Two weeks after an error-free win at Nevada, the turnover bug returned to sting the Rainbow Warriors. UH lost three fumbles in the first half alone and the Broncos took full advantage parlaying those turnovers into 21 points. Boise State took a 31-14 lead into the locker room and didn’t let up after the break.
UH remain winless in seven all-time trips to Boise and fell to a nationally ranked team for the 12th straight time. Boise State, meanwhile, remained undefeated (6-0), while moving to 3-0 in MW play.
“Coaches always say, they always tell us, one snap and clear, so that’s exactly what we got to do. We can’t dwell on the loss, we just have to go back and fix our mistakes,” said senior linebacker Kana’i Picanco.
Picanco had six tackles, a foreced fumble, and a pass break-up in defeat.
“After the game we kept saying we’ll see them in December. I’m glad everybody was saying that because it means we still want it,” added Picanco, referencing that UH is still very much in contention for a west division title which would earn a game against the Mountain division champion in the MWC title game. Boise State currently leads that division, while UH is a half-game back of San Diego State in the west.
“We’re still going to go out every week and give it everything we got. We can’t dwell on the loss. We just got to look at the good things, and correct the bad mistakes that we had and on to the next. We got Air Force next so, we just got to take care of them. One week at a time, take care of every opponent that we go up against.”
Despite the loss, UH quarterback Cole McDonald tossed three touchdowns, two of which went to Melquise Stovall. Stovall enjoyed his best game yet as a Rainbow Warrior with a team high eight catches for 114 yards. The junior college transfer became the fifth different UH receiver to crack the 100-yard mark in a game.
With 251 passing and 54 rushing yards, McDonald moved past Garrett Gabriel on the school’s all-time passing yardage and total offense lists. McDonald now stands at fifth all-time in passing (5,777) and fourth all-time in total offense (6,429).
UH now returns for their first home game in nearly a month when it hosts Air Force. Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. at Aloha Stadium.
The Rainbow Warriors opened as two-point underdogs according to VegasInsider.com.