Hawaii football dropped to 2-7 (1-3) on the season after another frustrating close loss, this time to the Wyoming Cowboys. The Paniolo Trophy returns to Laramie. Hawaii started strong, didn’t completely capitalize on their early opportunities and slowly watched their advantage disappear. Sound familiar? Let’s take a look at what happened.
The two teams exchanged punts on their opening drives. On Hawaii’s second drive, the Warriors stayed ahead of the chains and moved down the field methodically and cashed in a big play by running back Dedrick Parson. Great play call by the offensive staff.
The Hawaii defense continued the early momentum with a stop of the Wyoming offense. Wyoming star running back Titus Swen left with an undisclosed injury early in the game. On the ensuing drive, Hawaii marched 67 yards on 11 plays, but Matthew Shipley’s field goal crashed off the upright. In hindsight, this was a huge, missed opportunity for Hawaii.
Wyoming’s early game struggles continued when quarterback Andrew Peasley threw an interception to defensive back Peter Manuma. Manuma had two interceptions on the evening. The Ewa Beach product is going to be a star for the Warriors in the future. Hawaii tacked on a field goal on that offensive drive. Hawaii led 10-0, but there was this aching feeling that they should be up at least 17-0.
After an avalanche of good fortune amounted to a 10-0 lead, Wyoming finally woke up. Running back D.Q. James ran wild on the Warriors to the tune of 179 rushing yards. Wyoming collectively rushed for 365 yards, only passing for 76 yards. No twisting it any other way, the Hawaii defense was gashed on the ground.
The two teams went into the halftime locker rooms tied at 10-10. From there, a defensive struggle broke out in the third quarter. Tied 13-13 going into the final quarter, ugh that dreaded final quarter, Hawaii collapsed again when the game reached crunch time. Wyoming running back Dawaiian McNeely broke out for a 61-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-2. Hawaii’s defense was gassed, Wyoming’s “wear you down” ethos prevailed.
Dedrick Parson had 77 total yards, Tylan Hines finished with 108, yet once again the staff seemed to want to rely on quarterback Brayden Schager to no avail. The offense sputtered again and frankly it just looks like the offense will remain a problem all season. Timmy Chang and his staff need to find some quarterback competition and wide receiver options in the transfer portal this upcoming off-season.
The two teams traded late touchdowns, wide receiver Zion Bowens catching the pass that made some gamblers happy (or mad!). Good play by Bowens, but he dropped some passes that could’ve changed the game earlier. Hawaii lost 27-20 to Wyoming, and frankly that score line flatters UH.
Hawaii drops to 2-7 (1-3) on the season. What more can be said at this point? The 2022 season has been a humbling campaign for a Hawaii team short on talent and breaking in a young coaching staff. Attention is starting to shift to signing day for Hawaii fans (our Mike Wittmann will have you covered!), but next week for the Warriors head to Fresno to take on the Bulldogs. Game starts at 4:30 HT on FS2.