"They kicked our butt up front on offense and defense," coach Dick Tomey of San Jose State said. "Frankly, I was impressed with their defense as much as anything. They're a very good offensive team, but much the same as last year.
"Defensively, there's a huge difference. If you can't block guys consistently in football, that's where it gets hard. We just couldn't block them. They've made major improvement on defense."
Here's the scenario: With two games remaining, San Jose State is 6-4 overall and 3-3 in the WAC.
Boise State, Hawaii and Nevada have already secured first, second and third place, respectfully, but with two wins to close the season, at Idaho this week and home against Fresno State on Dec. 2, the Spartans would have eight wins and be all but assured a bowl invitation.
So while it's been a nice season to date, how the 2006 campaign is remembered will be determined in the next two weeks. The program hasn't been to a bowl game since 1990.
This Saturday's game in the Kibbie Dome will be the first time San Jose State has played indoors since losing to Minnesota in the Metrodome in 1992.
GAME BALL GOES TO: P Waylon Prather -- As usually is the case, it's not a good sign when the punter gets the game ball. However, take nothing away from Prather who averaged 42.3 yards on six punts, including a 56-yarder.
KEEP AN EYE ON: RB Cameron Island -- A lone bright spot for the Spartans, Island rushed for 38 yards on five carries.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "They were fundamentally sound and more physical than us today. That's pretty much it." -- San Jose State tailback Yonus Davis after his team's 54-17 loss at Hawaii.
LOOKING GOOD: The special teams were solid, and as ridiculous as it may sound, San Jose State became only the second defense in six games to hold Hawaii under 60 points.
K Jared Strubeck -- Booted a 37-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in the first half. The kick made the score 20-10 at halftime.
LB Damaja Jones -- The senior linebacker led the Spartans with 10 tackles, including seven solo.
STILL NEEDS WORK: The offense really struggled, with only 192 yards of total offense while the defense allowed 568 yards.
QB Adam Tafralis -- Perhaps the most inconsistent signal caller in the conference this season, Tafralis struggled against a relentless Hawaii defense, completing 7-of-15 passes for 110 yards. He also took four sacks and fumbled four times, losing two.
RB Yonus Davis -- The conference third-leading rusher was invisible, 29 yards on 14 carries and one catch for nine yards.
ROSTER REPORT: No injuries were announced by coach Dick Tomey following his team's loss to Hawaii. S Rakine Toomes, a senior, had his first interception of the season in the fourth quarter of the loss to Hawaii.