Off to their best start since joining the Mountain West, Hawaii advanced to 2-0 in conference and 3-3 overall following a 34-17 victory over the San Jose State Spartans on Saturday.
After surviving a grueling opening slate and inserting newly arrived JC transfer Dru Brown at quarterback, Hawaii has put the conference on notice that a game against the Warriors is no longer the automatic win it used to be.
Early on the Spartans moved the ball at will. Despite a pair of horrendous kickoff returns, they had no problem picking up large chunks of yards on the ground.
Tim Crawley broke off a big run early and Deontae Cooper kept the chains moving. Hawaii finally made some plays and stopped the Spartans at the two-yard line, forcing a field goal. After Hawaii tacked on a field goal of their own, Kenny Potter marched the Spartans back down the field to score the game's first touchdown. The touchdown would be the high-point of the game for Potter and the Spartans.
The Dru Brown show would begin on the following drive. After a failed run attempt by Diocemy St Juste, Brown completed 5 passes in a row wracking up 77 yards and the game-tying touchdown. Following a Spartan punt Hawaii was facing a fourth-and-one on their own 38.
Head coach Nick Rolovich rolled the dice and called a read option. Brown faked the handoff to Steven Lakalaka then turned the corner and sprinted 62 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
A pair of interceptions by Potter ended the Spartans next two drives, but Hawaii failed to capitalize as the Spartan's bottled up St Juste. Wit 1:17 left in the half and leading 17-10, Hawaii forced a turnover on downs and received the ball on their own 29. Brown then completed his next five passes including a 39-yard touchdown to Ammon Barker to give the Warriors a 24-10 lead entering the second half.
Things slowed down in the second half as both offenses struggled to move the ball on the ground. After exchanging a series of punts the Spartan's forced a fumble, which they recovered for a touchdown bringing the score to 24-17. Hawaii then coughed up another fumble, but the Spartan's failed to capitalize as Potter immediately threw his third interception. Hawaii then began running it up the middle in an effort to wind down and Lakalaka tacked on a 30-yard touchdown run. Hawaii put up one more field goal bringing the score to 34-17 before time expired.