Part of the beauty of college football is the unpredictability that comes with it. The likes of Kentucky and Washington State are in line for major bowl appearances. Fresno State and Utah State are at the forefront of the Group of 5 New Year’s bid fight. Living proof that on any given Saturday, anyone can beat anyone. Hawaii had proven that time and time again against Fresno State.
Such unpredictability made no appearance at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday night.
I take that back. I don’t think anyone expected the power to go out in part of the stadium. That was unpredictable. The football on the field, however, played out as many would expect.
The game started in positive fashion for the Warriors. A quick 31-yard strike from quarterback Cole McDonald to wide receiver John Ursua had Hawaii in business. The Warriors would have to settle for a field goal, but nonetheless scored on their first drive.
Then the Hawaii defense took the field. In Hawaii’s last road game, the Warriors conceded 49 points to Brigham Young. Earlier on Saturday, that same Brigham Young failed to score a touchdown at home. Against Northern Illinois. Needless to say, the Hawaii defense is very, very bad right now. The Bulldogs made quick work of the helpless unit, scoring on a well-designed play that saw tight end Jared Rice score from 19-yards out.
On Fresno’s next drive, they would score again on a 49-yard strike from quarterback Marcus McMaryion to wide receiver Jamire Jordan. The Bulldogs would be up 14-3 after one quarter, and this contest looked to be headed for barbeque chicken status.
Hawaii would show a brief sign of life when Cole McDonald found wide receiver JoJo Ward for a 50-yard touchdown pass. Fresno State’s defense finally showed some weakness. Unfortunately, Hawaii’s defense could not give its offense a chance to make this interesting. Fresno followed up that busted coverage by scoring instantly on a 76-yard touchdown run from running back Ronnie Rivers. The Bulldogs offense was ruthless in their execution, hardly putting a foot wrong the entire evening. After exchanging field goals, Fresno would score another touchdown, this time on a wheel route from McMaryion to running back Jordan Mims.
Down 13-30 with one minute left in the first half, Hawaii took a chance. Marching down the field, Hawaii put themselves in position for a long field goal attempt. Then the weirdness broke out. The field goal was on target, but well short. Fresno State’s Jamire Jordan was in the end zone to field the failed kick attempt. From there, it was as if Hawaii’s special teams unit did not know the kick was returnable, or that Jordan was even there. The Bulldogs wide receiver sprinted toward the sideline and was challenged by two and only two well-blocked players. Jordan would score on a 100-yard return. Hawaii went from having a chance at only being down two possessions going into the locker room to suddenly being blasted in Fresno.
Down 13-37 at half, this one was over and frankly, Hawaii would be thankful that Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford was in a charitable mood, because the entire second half was a charade. The Bulldogs were doing everything humanly possible to not run this score up into the 70s. Hawaii freshman quarterback Jeremy Moussa made his first ever appearance for the Warriors and scored a garbage touchdown. Both teams went through the motions through the fourth quarter and Hawaii would lose 20-50 on the road. Hawaii has lost its last three football games and now sits at 6-4 (3-2).
NEXT UP: Newly-ranked Utah State at Aloha Stadium. No rest for the weary.