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Rainbow Warriors lose in Eugene 55-10

Hawaii was dominated from the opening kickoff

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Oregon Craig Strobeck-USA TODAY Sports

On a toasty 86-degree Saturday evening, the Oregon Ducks showed Hawaii plenty of respect and support in the pregame. Hat tips to Hawaiian culture, providing relief for the victims of the Maui wildfires. Plenty to smile about before kickoff.

...and then the game started, and Oregon was better in every way from beginning to end.

Totally outclassed on the field

Hawaii entered Saturday’s contest against the Ducks floating somewhere between a 35 to 38-point underdog. The Rainbow Warriors were totally outmatched on paper, and in a shock to no one was totally outmatched on the field too.

Oregon outgained Hawaii 560-221, and those totals include the fact that Oregon did a complete line change in the middle of the third quarter. Oregon averaged 8.6 yards per play on the evening. Oregon quarterback Bo Nix had 247 passing yards and three touchdowns and only had six incompletions.

Their first drive took two plays to travel 59 yards for an easy touchdown. The Ducks lead 24-0 before the first quarter had even concluded. You get the picture; the Warriors were totally dominated by a program with resources Hawaii could never dream of.

Injuries, absences piling up

Earlier in the week, Hawaii learned of devastating news that one of team captains, linebacker Logan Taylor, was done for the year with an ACL tear. Another team captain, running back Tylan Hines, didn’t play at all. Unsure what the deal is there, but running back Jordan Johnson has taken over that backfield in recent weeks, and frankly has been one of Hawaii’s more effective players.

Star cornerback Cam Stone missed this game and will be out for a while longer with a knee injury. We’ll learn early this upcoming week if the Warriors picked up any other key injuries, but there has been a price to pay for this daunting part of the football schedule. Hopefully UH sees some of its key players return soon.

This doesn’t really mean anything

Deep breaths, Rainbow Warriors fans. Nobody likes watching their favorite team get blasted. Hell, I watched this game from the stands, and it was difficult to sit through. Hawaii did close to nothing right, and it was obvious from the opening kickoff that Oregon’s team speed was vastly superior to Hawaii’s.

The Mountain West had an excellent day yesterday. Wyoming pushed Texas for 3.5 quarters. Colorado State nearly shocked Colorado after a week of hoopla. Fresno State smashed Arizona State. UNLV defeated Vanderbilt. Hell, even Nevada pushed Kansas to the brink.

With that said, Hawaii will not play another team this fall anywhere near as talented as Oregon. The Ducks are stacked with 4-star and 5-star talent. Only a few MWC teams can say they have 1-3 of those types of players, let alone a roster stacked with them. I’m not going to sit here and attempt to convince readers that Hawaii is amazing, but if you’re going to draw negativity going into NMSU and conference play, it shouldn’t be because of this particular game.

Final Thoughts

Hawaii has just about made it to conference play, with a home contest against New Mexico State standing between them and a showdown with UNLV in Vegas. They’ll want to build some confidence this week against a tricky New Mexico State team.

The run-and-shoot offense has showed flashes in recent weeks, but consistency and rhythm will be important if this team wants to make it to bowl eligibility. Getting key contributors like Cam Stone back will be important too.

Kudos to Nalu Emerson stepping up in place of Logan Taylor, tying for the lead in team tackles on Saturday night. Also, good to see wide receiver Alex Perry score the first touchdown of his young college career. Even in destruction, wide receiver Pofele Ashlock still balled out.

Fret not, Hawaii fans, the bills have been paid. There will be positive moments in the coming months.