Another second half collapse doomed the University of Hawaii football team in a 49-17 loss to Western Kentucky on Saturday night at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.
Hawaii falls to 0-2, while Western Kentucky improves to 2-0.
All the latest sports news from Hawaii’s sports station
After Brayden Schager got the start for Hawaii in its Week 0 blowout loss to Vanderbilt, Joey Yellen got the start at quarterback for Hawaii on Saturday
Hawaii got the scoring started with a 40-yard Matthew Shipley field goal with 11:46 left in the first quarter. Despite recovering a muffed punt at the WKU 2, the ‘Bows lost 20 yards on the first drive due to a rash of penalties and had to settle for the field goal.
After an ugly first quarter in which both teams were penalized five times, WKU got on the board on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Austin Reed to Dalvin Smith with 13:23 left in the second quarter. On UH’s next possession, the Hilltoppers doubled their lead to 14-3 on Juwuan Jones’ 38-yard interception return for a touchdown.
UH cut the deficit to 14-10 on Dedrick Parson’s 9-yard rushing touchdown with 7:40 remaining in the second quarter. WKU took a 21-10 lead into halftime on Joshua Simon’s 47-yard reverse flea flicker touchdown reception, the same score that Vanderbilt led UH by after two quarters in Week 0.
The Hilltoppers extended their lead to 28-10 after an interception thrown by Schager was returned by Kaleb Oliver to the UH 17, which WKU capitalized on with a Jaylen Hall touchdown reception on the next play from scrimmage.
All told, WKU outscored UH 28-7 in the second half on rushing touchdowns from Kye Robichaux, Reed and Davion Ervin-Poindexter.
Hawaii’s lone touchdown in the second half was scored by Nasjzae Bryant-Lelei on a 1-yard rush in the fourth quarter.
The Rainbow Warriors had 12 penalties and eight turnovers as a team. Meanwhile, Yellen and Schager combined to throw five interceptions while completing 26 of 44 passes for 266 yards.
For Western Kentucky, Reed was an efficient 22-for-31 with three touchdowns, 271 yards and an interception. Defensively, Will Ignont had a game-high eight tackles. For Hawaii, Penei Pavihi had a team-high six tackles.
Next up for Hawaii is a game at powerhouse Michigan. The Wolverines are currently ranked No. 8 in the country. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. HST.