In one of its poorest all-around performances as a program in contemporary history, the University of Hawaii football team suffered a 42-21 loss to New Mexico on Saturday.
Hawaii fell to 2-6 overall and 0-3 in Mountain West Conference play. The Lobos, who have recently been cellar dwellers in the conference, improve to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in Mountain West games. The Lobos entered Saturday’s contest losers of 20 straight conference home games and 14 conference games overall.
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On Saturday, Hawaii’s opening woes continued, as the ‘Bows received the opening kickoff and went three-and-out to continue its streak of scoreless opening possessions in 2023. The Lobos scored on their first possession with a 28-yard pass from Dylan Hopkins to Jeremiah Hixon with 8:59 left in the first quarter.
UH’s slow opening start continued with another punt, which allowed New Mexico to score on another drive to extend its lead to 14-0 with 2:14 left in the first quarter. All told, the Lobos scored on all four of their possessions in the first half, while Hawaii attempted to remain in the game with touchdown passes from Brayden Schager to Steven McBride and Pofele Ashlock to cut the halftime deficit to 28-14.
The Lobos poured it on with another pair of touchdowns, stretching its lead to 42-14 in the fourth quarter. Hawaii scored with six seconds left on McBride’s second touchdown reception of the day, but the game had been decided well before then.
New Mexico entered Saturday with no interceptions in 2023, but exited with three, picking off Schager thrice. Despite the three interceptions, Schager also threw three touchdowns with 345 yards, completing 33 of his 52 passes.
For the Lobos, quarterback Dylan Hopkins was an efficient 20-for-25 with 202 yards and three touchdowns, completing 80 percent of his passes with no turnovers. Andrew Henry led UNM’s rushing attack with 112 yards and a score on 13 carries. As a team, New Mexico gashed Hawaii with 227 yards on 38 rushing attempts.
Defensively, Jer’Marius Lewis had a team-high seven tackles with two interceptions, two pass breakups, a sack and a forced fumble in a standout effort for the Lobos. For Hawaii, Isaiah Tufaga had a game-high 12 tackles.
Next up for Hawaii is a home contest against San Jose State on Oct. 28. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.