San Jose State (4-5, 3-2 MW) blew out Hawaii (2-7, 0-4 MW) 35-0 in the last game of the college docket Saturday. The Spartans dominated every facet of the game neutralizing any sense of a rivalry.
But with all eyes on Hawaii’s football native son, Chevan Cordeiro’s emotions and tears finally let loose post game.
“Growing up in Hawaii, you’re really raised different,” said Cordeiro knowing he was leaving family Saturday evening. “We have to work harder than everyone else and that’s why we’re really competitive. Coach Brennan is always the one to let me know when I have to cool down and stay level-headed and that it’s always one play at a time.”
Cordeiro’s known for being ultra-competitive, intense and unemotional, probably almost to a fault.
After the convincing win Saturday night, Cordeiro showed a human side rarely seen outside his football family. A human side that only Hawaii, his family and Brennan could know and bring out.
“Every time I’m frustrated, it’s not on my team or someone, it’s alway on myself,” said Cordeiro as the media looked on in somewhat shock from his emotions. “It is one thing I need to work on. I’m competitive, because I want to win on every play even though we know it’s not going to go your way every time. I just feel it’s the way I was raised in always competing with my brothers and that’s why I am who I am.”
The unabashed game that controls Cordeiro also values his highly efficient production and career. On an overmatched Hawaii team, Cordeiro’s two touchdown passes from 251 yards passing on 16-26 attempts (no INTs) was vintage Cordeiro.
“Chevan was brilliant, as usual.” said Brennan. “We’re going to feel great about it and celebrate it for 24 hours, because obviously we still have some things to fix and to learn from.”
Cordeiro’s fast, elusive play and trust in his receivers only gets better when a power run game is set.
For the third game in a row, the Spartans broke the 200+ yard rush mark. Kairee Robinson’s 146 yards on the ground (17 carries, two rushing touchdowns) and his cohort Quali Conley’s 73 yards on 19 carries and one rushing touchdown is a site to behold in Sparta. It’s a power run game OC Kevin McGiven has always dreamed about.
“Anytime I see Quali in the game getting his yards and run somebody over or make a big play, it just gives me energy and vice versa,” said Robinson on the tag team dynamics. ‘We just feed off each other.”
And feed off each other they did. On just the second drive of the game, after a shaky start by both teams, both set the tone on a 12-play, 93 yard scoring drive that took 6:40 minutes
The route was on
It was Robinson’s fourth 100+ rushing yard effort this season, where a 52-yard TD rush was also the longest of his college career.
Not to be left out, Cordeiro’s other safety valve in receiver Nick Nash was heavy into the game action. Nash’s two touchdown receptions, 86 yards receiving and especially, third down conversions contributed to the 468 total yards of offense for the Spartans.
And also not to be left out, the Spartan defense was the force they expected themselves to be holding the Rainbow Warriors to 198 total yards. CB Kenyon Reed was the leading tackler (6) with a sack and two TFLs.
Back to Chevan
“I feel so lucky every day that Chevan chose to come play for us,” said Brennan. “He believed in our coaching staff and program to spend his last couple years with us and I’d like to believe that we’ve done right by Chev.”
With yet another mini-gaunlet of formidable Mountain West teams on the horizon, San Jose State will need even more of Cordeiro to run the table to be better-than-bowl eligible. With Fresno State, San Diego State and UNLV up next, the bye week timing is perfect.
As Cordeiro may have shown another dimension not seen by many Saturday night, it is quite possibly and finally a tangible sign that the regular world can see in his growth as a person, as we’ve seen as a player.
When Brennan and company say to expect more - expect more and expect things to ramp up in Sparta even during the bye week.
As the last three game performances have shown, this program wants to do right for every player pouring their hearts and emotions out like all of the Spartan leaders - especially Chevan Cordeiro.
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