History repeated itself on Saturday as Hawaii thwarted Nevada’s hopes for a perfect season with a 24-21 victory at Aloha Stadium.
Nevada, who entered the game with their best start since 2010, now drops to 5-1. Ten years ago, the Wolf Pack were 6-0 before the ‘Bows handed them their only loss of the season.
Hawaii improved to 3-3 behind a tough defense and standout performances from quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and running back Calvin Turner.
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The Rainbow Warriors were the first team to put points on the board after Matthew Shipley’s 31-yard field goal with 10:11 remaining in the second quarter.
The Wolf Pack took a 7-3 lead with 2:57 left in the first half on Cole Turner’s 4-yard reception from Carson Strong. Hawaii then responded on Cordeiro’s 7-yard touchdown to Calvin Turner with 59 seconds remaining in the half. Cordeiro had a virtuoso performance in the first half, completing 14 of his 15 passes for 141 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He also kept plays alive with his feet, running the ball seven times for 38 yards.
Hawaii extended its lead to 17-7 after a 10-play, 99-yard drive capped by a 4-yard rushing touchdown by Miles Reed with 3:20 left in the third quarter. It was the first touchdown of the season for Reed, who ran for eight scores in 2019.
Toa Taua’s 1-yard touchdown cut the Hawaii lead to 17-14 with 14:28 left in the third quarter, but a 14-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 2-yard rushing score by Cordeiro extended the Hawaii lead again to 24-14 with 9:58 left.
Not to be outdone, Nevada continued to apply the pressure on Tory Horton’s 18-yard touchdown catch with 5:38 remaining, cutting the Hawaii lead to 24-21. But led by Calvin Turner’s 47-yard return on the ensuing kickoff, the ‘Bows ran out the clock and didn’t give Nevada the chance to get the ball back and preserved the victory.
Cordeiro completed 26 of his 32 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 62 yards on 15 carries and an additional score. Turner accounted for 152 all-purpose yards to spark the ‘Bows offensively.
Daiyan Hensley led Nevada with 11 tackles, while Darius Muasau was Hawaii’s leading tackler for the sixth consecutive game with a game-high 14 tackles and a sack.
Strong completed 20 of his 25 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Romeo Doubs, who entered the game as the nation’s leading receiver with 155.6 yards per game, caught just one pass for 10 yards against the Rainbow Warriors.