HONOLULU – The University of Hawai'i football team suffered its first home loss and first conference loss of the season after 40-22 setback to Nevada Saturday night at Aloha Stadium. UH dropped to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in the Mountain West with its second straight loss.
UH could never get in sync in all three phases of the game as the Wolf Pack (4-4, 2-2 MW) defeated the Rainbow Warriors for the seventh time in their last eight meetings. Nevada scored 23 unanswered to turn a 14-10 first quarter deficit to a 33-14 lead in the fourth quarter.
Despite forcing three turnovers, the Warriors stumbled with four failed fourth down attempts, including twice in the red zone, and were unsuccessful on three onside kicks, two of which occurred in the first half.
Quarterback Cole McDonald passed for 259 yards and three touchdowns while receiver John Ursuahad seven catches for 123 yards and a score. Ursua went over the 1,000-yards receiving on the season, becoming the 13thplayer to reach that mark. Cedric Byrd and JoJo Ward also caught touchdown passes.
UH got the first break of the game when they recovered a muffed punt return in Nevada territory and parlayed it into an 8-yard touchdown reception by Byrd to go up 7-0. The Warriors got another huge play with a 70-yard bomb from McDonald to Ursua for a 14-10 lead.
However, Hawai'i couldn't muster much else, managing only six first downs in the first half.
Nevada in turn benefited from a short field on four straight drives—twice off special teams gaffes and once after UH was stopped on downs near midfield. With that, the Wolf Pack were able to take a 20-14 lead into the locker room.
Nevada extended its lead to 26-14 on a 40-yard rush from Elijah Cooks then stopped UH on a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line to garner all the momentum in the third quarter. The Warriors recovered another muffed Nevada punt return in the third quarter but was stopped on downs again in the red zone, all but putting the game away for the Wolf Pack.
Toa Taua had 126 yards rushing and one touchdown for Nevada while Ty Gangi passed for 247 yards and a score.
The Rainbow Warriors will next head to the road to take on Fresno State in a nationally-televised contest on Saturday, Oct. 27. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. PDT (4:30 p.m. HT).
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