The Rainbow Warriors went into this game a massive underdog but the final result speaks volumes for the effort that was put in. Hawaii were behind early on when Sean Mannion completed a 48 yard pass to Storm Woods that set up a simple 3 yard receivng touchdown for Kellen Clute. There was even worse news to come when on the kick off return Brenden Daley was injured and needed an ambulance and a strectcher. All seems to be okay after he was seen to acknowledge the crowd and his teammates before going on to the hospital. Later it was said that he had suffered a concussion. Anytime that Daley will miss will be significant, he was the defensive leader against USC with 10 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
Things then went bad to worse when the beavers drove all the way from their own 31 yard line to go a total of 69 yards in 15 plays to set up a 19 yard pass touchdown to Richard Mullaney. The series took a lot out of the defense and lasted a little over eight minutes. However the Warriors defense wasn't going to lie down, and after the offense went another 3 and out they managed to hold OSU to a 3 and out of their own which included a sack for a loss of 10 yards by Julian Gener.
On the ensuing Warrior drive there was another 3 and out after Graham failed to complete a pass to Vasquez Haynes at 3rd and 7. Mannion snapped the ball at his own 28 yard line after the punt and was duly picked off by Julian Gener who was responsible for the sack on the drive before. Gener returned the ball all the way for a touchdown and suddenly there was still life in the whole of the Hawaii team.
The defense played well for the rest of the first half, seemingly reacting the way Daley would've hoped to the injury early on in the first quarter. Siasau Matagiese was inspired on the next drive, tackling Storm Woods for a four yard loss, then on the very next play tackling Connor Hamlett for another three yards loss after the completed pass from Mannion. OSU went 3 and out again and suddenly the offense took over at their own 20.
The best was yet to come when Taylor Graham and Steven Lakalaka led a rushing attack all the way down to the OSU 42. Graham then completed a pass for 25 yards to Chris Gant. Another 15 yard completion to Clark Evans and suddenly the Warriors were level at 14-14. This would be how the teams went in to half time.
Unfortunately this was to be as good as it got for Hawaii. In the third quarter the Warriors managed just two drives which both went 3 and out either side of two scores for OSU. Not surprisingly it was Brandin Cooks that done the damage with a pair of eight yard touchdowns from Mannion after great work on the ground from Storm Woods and Terron Ward. Any hope that Hawaii had at the half suddenly vanished and a 14-14 scoreline was now 28-14 to end the third.
Again in the fourth there was no way Hawaii could sustain anything after good work from Charles Clay and John Hardy-Tuliau to stop a 10 play Beaver drive. Later the defense managed to hold OSU to another field goal and then Steven Lakalaka was tackled for a one yard loss that resulted in a safety. The score was now 33-14 and all was over. There were a few nice completions in garbage time by Sean Schroeder but that was that.
Looking at the box score it is clear that whilst the defense gave up 508 total yards there is no way they can be expected to do much when the offense can barely get going. The offense had a mere 239 total yards with a 3rd down effiency rate of 1-11. There is no way that is good enough, and until those numbers improve then it will be a long season for Hawaii. With the defense being on the field for almost 40 minutes of the game there isn't a surprise that eventually it cracked in the second half. Holding OSU to just 57 yards on the ground is something they can take solace from. Until the offense improves there is going to be nothing the D can do.
Hawaii offensive player of the game: Scott Harding.
Harding had a team high five receptions for a gain of 42 yards and an average of 8.4. He also had 4 punts with a net average of 41.3 yards.
Hawaii defensive player of the game: Julian Gener.
Gener is a junior who stepped up at linebacker when Daley was carted off. Gener picked off Mannion and returned it for a touchdown and also had a sack along with six solo tackles and 11 tackles in total.