In what was the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams, the University of Hawaii football team was walloped 44-20 by UNLV at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday.
Hawaii falls to 2-4 for the 2023 season, while UNLV improves to 4-1 after dominating the Rainbow Warriors on both lines of scrimmage.
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UNLV struck first on former Kaimuki quarterback Jayden Maiava’s 16-yard checkdown to Vincent Davis with 9:04 left in the first quarter.
After the teams exchanged field goals, UNLV seized control of the game with another field goal and a Courtney Reese 4-yard touchdown that gave the Rebels a 20-3 lead at halftime.
Hawaii cut the deficit to 10 points in both the third and fourth quarters, but UNLV gained major separation with a pair of touchdowns in the final period, encapsulated by Donavyn Lester’s 22-yard rushing score with 5:37 left following a fourth down conversion.
The disparity on both lines of scrimmage between the Rainbow Warriors and Rebels became increasingly glaring over the course of Saturday’s contest, as UNLV sacked Hawaii quarterback Brayden Schager six times. On the other side of the ball, UNLV racked up 307 rushing yards by committee, with a total of seven players running the ball, with none going over 100 yards. By comparison, Hawaii ran for 46 yards in total. The Rebels also played turnover-free ball, while Hawaii turned it over twice on a fumble and interception by Schager.
Schager completed 22 of his 35 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns, despite absorbing 15 hits.
Accounting for more than half of Hawaii’s offensive production was receiver Steven McBride, who hauled in six passes for 180 yards and a touchdown on six receptions.
Maiava completed 11 of his 21 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns and also had 32 rushing yards on four attempts.
Defensively, linebackers Jalen Smith and Isaiah Tufaga each had a game-high 10 tackles for UH.
Hawaii has a bye week before next facing San Diego State on Oct. 14 at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.