In the first Hawaii Bowl played on the University of Hawaii campus and first overall since 2019, Middle Tennessee edged San Diego State 25-23 on Saturday evening.
Zeke Rankin made four of his five field goal attempts, including the game-winner from 37 yards with 2:05 remaining.
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Rankin’s 49-yard field goal in the second quarter was a Hawaii Bowl record until it was surpassed by San Diego State’s Jack Browning in the fourth quarter, a 52-yard field goal that gave the Aztecs a 23-22 lead with 5:43 left in the game.
MTSU defensive end Jordan Ferguson was named the inaugural Hugh Yoshida MVP of the game after racking up five tackles (three solo), along with an interception, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup. He also lined up on offense for the Blue Raiders, hauling in an eight-yard touchdown.
Michael Shawcroft had a game-high eight tackles for SDSU. Not far behind was Punahou alum Seyddrick Lakalaka, one of six players with Hawaii ties to suit up for the Aztecs, who had six tackles and a quarterback hurry in his final collegiate game.
Offensively, SDSU quarterback Jalen Mayden struggled with three interceptions on 19 of 43 passing for 309 yards and two touchdowns, while MTSU quarterback Chase Cunningham completed 26 of his 43 passes for 236 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
SDSU’s Kenan Christon and MTSU’s Jaylin Lane each had one touchdown reception and 111 yards.
Middle Tennessee ends its 2022 campaign at 8-5, while SDSU concludes with a 7-6 mark.