The University of Hawaii football team broke out of its recent slump with a 27-14 road victory over Nevada on Saturday, accomplishing multiple firsts in the process.
Hawaii’s victory marked its first road win of the Timmy Chang era, as well as its first conference win in 2023. UH improved to 3-7 overall for the season while snapping a four-game losing streak, while Nevada dropped to 2-7, including 2-3 in conference games.
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After a scoreless first quarter for both squads, Matthew Shipley got Hawaii on the board with a 50-yard field goal.
Hawaii ended the second quarter with touchdowns from Dalen Morris and Pofele Ashlock, taking a stunning 17-0 lead at halftime. It was the first time Hawaii led at the break all year, and the first time UH shut out an opponent through the first two quarters since the 2020 New Mexico Bowl.
Looking for a spark, Nevada inserted Saint Louis alumnus and Lahaina native AJ Bianco near the end of the second quarter after starter Brendon Lewis completed just one of his eight pass attempts.
Although the Wolf Pack struck first in the first half on Sean Dollars’ 2-yard run, Hawaii answered with a Peter Manuma interception returned to the Nevada 6, followed by an Ashlock touchdown reception two plays later.
After Dollars’ second touchdown of the day, Shipley countered with his second 50-yard field goal of the day with 12:41 remaining in the fourth quarter to close the scoring.
Hawaii quarterback Brayden Schager completed 21 of 38 passes for 203 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran the ball 11 times for 49 yards. As a team, Hawaii carried the ball 35 times for a season-high 136 yards.
For Nevada, Bianco completed five of his 15 passes for 76 yards and an interceptions. He also added 63 rushing yards on 15 carries.
Defensively, Hawaii had 10 tackles for loss as a team with six sacks, led by Jalen Smith’s team-high seven tackles.
Next up for Hawaii is a home game against No. 25 Air Force on Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. HST.