The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors fell 28-0 at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers this past Saturday falling to (2-2) on the year, while the Badgers improved to (3-1). For the second time this season Hawaii’s offense was shutout versus a Big 10 opponent as the Rainbow Warrior offense was held to 255 total yards. Senior quarterback Max Wittek finished with 189 yards on 15 of 32 attempts, while junior running back Paul Harris was contained, garnering only 22 yards on 6 carries. The lone bright spot for the Rainbow Warriors on offense was junior receiver Quentin Pedroza who hauled in 10 catches for 134 yards.
The Badgers' two-headed monster rushing attack featured freshman running back Taiwan Deal and junior running back Dare Ogunbowale. With 26 carries, Deal rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns, while Ogunbowale added 1 score and 85 yards on 15 attempts. The Badgers’ ability to run the football versus the Rainbow Warriors was evident on the opening drive, as Wisconsin drove 97 yards on 16 plays, 13 of them on runs, en route to 2 yard Deal rushing touchdown.
The second scoring drive for the Badger’s also ended in a 2 yard plunge by Deal, which capped off a 9-play, 73-yard drive just before the first half came to an end. The Badgers led 14-0 going into the break. Most Rainbow Warrior faithful would gladly accept a two-touchdown deficit going into halftime, but Coach Chow was disappointed his defense couldn’t hold up near the goal line versus the Badger’s power running game.
“Yeah, I really thought we could play with these guys.” Chow said. “Obviously, they’re a very, very good football team. Very well coached. I thought we could play with them. I knew we’d have to as play mistake-free football as we could. I don’t know… we’ll have to go see how it looked on the one-yard line when we got pushed back.”
Hawaii’s offense struggled the entire game, as they failed to establish a rushing attack or find a passing rhythm. In the 3rd quarter, Offensive coordinator Don Bailey finally found a spark, by utilizing a nifty reverse flea flicker pass from receiver Makoa Camanse–Stevens, who connected with Harris for a 51 yard gain.
However, this drive stalled due to 4 penalties called against Hawaii, forcing the offense to settle for a 49-yard field goal attempt for Rigoberto Sanchez. Sanchez’s kick had the distance, but veered to the left falling wide, his first career miss.
“We needed to play more consistently on offense, and we didn’t do that.” Chow said. “We had a couple of big plays… a couple of trick ‘em’s I guess.”
Hawaii was flagged 11 times racking up 100 yards in penalties, and the lack of discipline clearly has Chow concerned.
“That’s what I told the players I’m most disappointed in.” Chow said. “We play with toughness, we play with class, we play with style. That hurt us. Calls hurt us. The calls cost us some yards. You can’t do that. We have to be disciplined.”
The first points scored in the second half came with 53 seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter, as senior quarterback Joel Stave connected with senior tight end Austin Traylor for a 12 yard pass, extending the Badger’s lead to 21. Stave finished the day 14-23 for 164 yards.
The majority of the damage done by the Badgers’ offense came via the run, as they totaled 326 yards in this department. Ogunbowale’s 9-yard rush midway through the 4th quarter was the final scoring play of the night, cementing the Badger’s shutout victory over the Rainbow Warriors.
Leading the Rainbow Warrior defense was safety Marrell Jackson recording a career-high 10 tackles. Linebacker Jerrol Garcia-Williams followed up his impressive performance in the previous week with 10 total tackles, 6 solo, his second consecutive week with double digit tackles.
University of Hawaii (2-2) will head to Boise, Idaho next week to open up Mountain West Conference play versus the Boise State Broncos (3-1), who are coming off of a dominating 56-14 victory over Virginia. Next week’s game will air live on ESPN2 at 8:15 p.m. MT / 4:15 p.m. HT.