HONOLULU - Turnovers and a barrage of penalties ultimately doomed the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Saturday night versus rival Fresno State. With the 42-14 home loss at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium, Hawaii drops to 2-9 overall and remains winless in Mountain West play in seven tries thus far.
UH committed 11 penalties for 132 yards, well more than double their season average, and the offense turned the ball over four times. One of the penalties assessed on defensive back Nick Nelson led to his ejection for targeting. Seven personal foul penalties were called against UH including three on Fresno State’s first scoring drive of the game.
“You can’t have that many penalties and turnover the ball that much and expect to be successful in this game.” Naeole said. “Some of the calls were tough but I’m not going to sit here and question the refs.”
With the victory, Fresno State improved to (3-7, 2-5 MW), marking its fifth straight win versus Hawaii. It was the Zach Greenlee show as the Bulldogs quarterback tossed 6 touchdowns on 20-35 passing for 285 yards. Two of those scoring strikes went to wide receiver Da’mari Scott. Fresno State never trailed the game at any point, and its 28 straight points, after the game was tied at seven at the start of the 2nd quarter, cemented the Bulldogs victory.
Once again, the Rainbow Warrior offense struggled to put points on the board, despite gaining 437 yards of total offense. Woolsey was ineffective going 8 for 20 and 92 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and was replaced by Max Wittek at halftime.
Coach Naeole said on the change, “We needed a spark to get the ball going. I thought Ikaika (Woolsey) missed some reads early and I listened to my offensive coordinator (Don Bailey) and made the change.” He added, “We didn’t have anything to lose and if I didn’t feel Max (Wittek) was going to work out I’d switch back.”
Wittek failed to get the UH offense rolling. He finished the night 9 of 19 passing for just 116 yards and two interceptions.
The lone bright spot once again was running back Paul Harris who ran for 126 yards on 26 carries. This marks the fourth game of the season where Harris has passed the century mark.
“I just give it all to my lineman for giving their all.” Harris said. “Without them I wouldn’t be able to do this. A pat on the back to them. I’m not a selfish guy though and I just want to win.”
The Rainbow Warriors will look to bounce back against San Jose State, the second in their season-ending three-game homestand, Saturday, Nov. 21. Kick-off is 6:00 p.m.