HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At first glance, reading the box score from the Rainbow Warrior's loss to the Bruins makes little sense. Hawaii recorded more yards of total offense than UCLA, 515-yards to the Bruins' 505-yards to be exact. Both teams had the same number of first downs, U.H. converted on more third downs, and the 'Bows tallied less penalties, and penalty yards than UCLA. But, the 56-23 score hardly reflected any of those statistics.
"They took advantage of every opportunity we gave them, every mistake we made. And we didn't capitalize enough" said Nick Rolovich of the lopsided outcome.
While the Bruins seemed to routinely march their way to the end zone, the Rainbow Warriors were often able to work their way toward the red zone, where the offense would then seem to stall.
For Hawaii, those struggles started early. After starting from U.H.'s own 25-yard, the 'Bows worked their way to the UCLA 34. There the Rainbow Warriors hit a wall. On second-and-ten Diocemy Saint Juste rushed for a loss of five-yards. Then, with the 'Bows in a third-and-long situation, Dru Brown found Keelan Ewaliko. But, Ewaliko was 10-yards short of a first down, forcing U.H. to punt it away on their first drive.
After a UCLA touchdown, the 'Bows second offensive drive proved to be just as fruitless. Again on third and long, a rush attempt from Saint Juste resulted in a loss. This time with Hawaii on the Bruins' 32-yard line, Ryan Meskell was brought out for a field goal attempt that missed wide left.
"The first two drives, I think those two stalling out - we needed to get some points out of those," said Rolovich of the slow start.
But, the dagger that hurt Hawaii the most was undoubtedly the Bruins' signal caller, Josh Rosen.
"I thought their coaches had a great plan. I thought that kid threw the ball very well," said Rolovich of Rosen's play. 'We either got to get to him or play better coverage [defense] and sometimes we didn't do either."
Rosen accounted for five of UCLA's eight touchdowns and completed 22 of 25 passes for 329-yards and no interceptions. His five TDs were a new career high for the projected top NFL draft pick.