The University of Hawaii football team bounced back into the Mountain West Conference West Division title race with a 42-40 victory over San Jose State on Saturday night led behind the arm, legs, and command of quarterback Chevan Cordeiro.
Making his first start of the season, the redshirt freshman was masterful, going 23-of-31 for 309-yards passing, and five total touchdowns as the UH offense went perfect in the redzone with zero punts.
The decision to start the Saint Louis grad over Cole McDonald, who has gone 5-4 on the season with 25 touchdown passes and nearly 3,000 yards passing was a difficult one for head coach Nick Rolovich, who maintains that he has two capable starting quarterbacks down the stretch.
“It was as stressful a week for me, I mean, the easy decision was to start Cole and bring Chevan in off the bench. That’s the easy decision, I just felt like this game, the way Chevan is playing was, it was time to start him, and I don’t know how this is going moving forward. I really don’t,” said Rolovich.
“I know it’s going to sound like some phrase I made up for the media, but I really feel like I got two starting quarterbacks. I just, I’m proud of both kids for different reasons. I’m proud of Chevan, playing an excellent game. Accurate, knew where to go with the ball, made good decisions, and you’re talking about a two year starter having to sit down and have someone start for him, and him basically saying okay, I’m going to go win this job next week is what he told me.”
“I don’t know if the next two years I’m going to have to go week by week with this battle. This is first world problems at quarterback, and if that’s the terror I need to deal with the next two years or at least the end of this year, well, so be it.”
The Rainbow Warriors with help from Nevada upsetting previously ranked San Diego State, all of a sudden puts UH back into the divisional title race, one week after a loss to Fresno State appeared to knock Hawaii’s realistic chances.
The scenario heading into the weekend is quite simple for the ‘Bows. If San Diego State (4-2 MWC) can beat Fresno State (2-3 MWC) on Friday and UH (3-3 MWC) can defeat UNLV (0-5 MWC) on Saturday, then a West division title game between the Aztecs and Warriors will take place on November 23 at Aloha Stadium.
If Fresno State beats SDSU, then UH still has a chance but relies on getting help, by winning out against UNLV and San Diego State, with Fresno being upset by San Jose State (1-5 MWC) on November 30.
Kickoff between the Rainbow Warriors and Rebels is set for Saturday at 11:00 am HST on Pay-Per-View,
The San Diego State and Fresno State game will take place on Friday at 4:30pm HST on ESPN2.