HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two weeks after Hawaii celebrated it’s most emphatic conference victory since joining the Mountain West, the Rainbow Warriors were issued a blue-tinged reminder on Saturday: the path to conference supremacy still runs through Boise State.
The 14th-ranked Broncos defeated Hawaii 59-37 on a chilly night inside Albertsons Stadium, running their record to 6-0 and cementing themselves at the top of the conference’s Mountain Division.
Hawaii was doomed, it seemed, from the start. The Rainbow Warriors went three-and-out to open the game after receiving the opening kickoff, then quickly surrendered a touchdown to the Broncos on a four-play drive that lasted less than two minutes.
The 'Bows’ next possession ended in a fumble, as did two others in the first half ― each of which ended in a touchdown for Boise State.
When Hawaii received the ensuing kickoff, it seemed for a brief while that the offense may have finally returned to its explosive form. Quarterback Cole McDonald led the 'Bows on a three-play scoring drive that ended in a touchdown pass to freshman receiver Lincoln Victor, his second of the year, on a possession that lasted less than a minute.
But Hawaii was able to run just 11 plays on their next three offensive possession, punting twice and turning the ball over on downs deep inside their own territory, a decision made on 4th-and-1 after Boise State had jumped to a 17-7 lead.
The decision was not one Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich rued for long ― linebacker Kanai Picanco crunched Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier on a quarterback scramble three plays later, forcing a fumble that was recovered by defensive lineman Manly Williams.
The turnover did little to spark Hawaii’s offense, though, and UH punted after a three-play possession that netted just a single yard.
Though Bachmeier left the game with an injury after fumbling and did not return, the Broncos didn’t appear to miss him. Backup Chase Cord finished the game 12-for-18, with 175 yards and 3 touchdowns, leading BSU to 28 second-half points against the 'Bows.
Hawaii was able to find rhythm offensively in spurts throughout the game: McDonald threw for 3 scores and ran for another, throwing for 251 yards and no interceptions in the process, but Hawaii’s turnovers ― as they were in the first four games of the year ― were frequent.
The Rainbow Warriors return to Aloha Stadium next week to host the U.S. Air Force Academy.