Recap written by Dylan Fox.
The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors kicked off the Nick Rolovich era against the Golden Bears in Sydney, Australia with a surprise onside kick. Cal recovered the kick and quickly turned the drive into points with a 34-yard touchdown run with Khalfina Muhammad slicing through the Hawaii defense.
The first offensive drive from the ‘Bows under Rolovich ended with an interception thrown by Ikaika Woolsey, who was bailed out by a 3-and-out from the Hawaii defense. With the ball back in the hands of the offense Diocemy Saint Juste showed some of what he can offer with strong runs before Woolsey hit top target Marcus Kemp for a 39-yard TD pass to tie game at seven. With the ball back in the hands of Davis Webb, he led the Bears on a 10 play, 61 yard drive to re take the lead capped off by Chad Hansen's touchdown grab.
Saint Juste once again showed what he brought to the offense when sliced his way through the Cal defense to score on a 53-yard touchdown run. With the bear raid offense ready to get rolling again Hawaii was able to hold them to field goal from Matt Anderson. The second quarter was a tough one for Hawaii in all three phases of the game.
The ‘Bows were unable to put together anything on offense with one drive finishing with a punt and time expiring at the half to end the other. Special teams chipped in to help with the woeful quarter by contributing a fumble from Keelan Ewaliko on a kick return following another Cal field goal.
The defense was plagued by poor tackling and penalties while they were being dismantled by the passing attack led by Webb. When the game reached halftime the score was 34-14, Hawaii had been outscored 17-0 in the second quarter. Along with the lead the Golden Bears entered the locker with a red hot Davis Webb who threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns in the first half while also adding a rushing touchdown. At the start of the third the Hawaii offense put together a drive that was 7 plays for 4 yards, luckily it ended in points with Rigoberto Sanchez 42-yard field goal.
Cal hit the field ready to go again, driving 58 yards in 3:42 on nine plays, capped off by another Davis Webb touchdown pass. Webb hit freshman wide receiver Melquise Stovall for 14 yards, it was the first touchdown catch of his young Cal career. Finally, the ‘Bows were able to put something together on offense for the first time since the first quarter. The six minute, 84-yard drive was led by senior running back Steven Lakalaka.
Lakalaka rushed for 58 yards on the drive and finished it off with a touchdown run from four yards out. The defense was able to force a punt from Cal on the next drive with a good defensive stand. With the ball back into the hands of Woolsey and the offense coming off a successful drive it seemed like they may have been able to make something happen.
The drive was cut short after Cal forced a fumble, punching the ball of the hand of Saint Juste and ending any hope that Hawaii had left. Cal's high powered offense went on to score another 10 unanswered points bring the score to 51-24. One trait that Rolovich's team showed was that they were not going to fold and give up.
Even though they were down by 27 points Hawaii left in the starters and put together a nice 82-yard drive that ended in a touchdown run by Paul Harris. Cal would run out the clock on their next drive, the final score of the game Cal 51 Hawaii 31.
Ikaika Woolsey finished 17 of 34 for 234 yards with one touchdown and one interception, his top targets were Kemp who had four catches for 73 yards and a touchdown while John Ursua had 5 catches for 70 yards. Saint Juste was the team's leading rusher with 118 yards on 14 carries and touchdown but he also had a fumble.
Steven Lakalaka added 61 yards and touchdown on 11 touches and Paul Harris rushed 7 times for 36 yards and the teams last touchdown of the game. The Rainbow Warriors let themselves down with a sputtering offense that was not helped by special teams' mistakes or missed tackles by the defense.
Now the team must travel from Sydney back to Honolulu and then to Ann Arbor to face the Michigan Wolverines. After all of the traveling the ‘Bows must face the Wolverines who have one the best defenses in country and an offense that is loaded with weapons like Jake Butt and Jehu Chesson. Hawaii needs to improve and perform throughout the season in all three phases of the game under Rolovich to get and keep this program rebuild moving in the right direction.