In a game that didn’t end until well after midnight, the No. 18 Utah State Aggies (8-1, 5-0 Mountain West) beat the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (6-5, 3-3 Mountain West) 56-17.
From the beginning, this game didn’t look like it would be much of a fight. A little over three minutes into the game, Utah State quarterback Jordan Love lobbed a 16-yarder to Ron’quavion Turner to give the Aggies a 7-0 lead. Three rushing touchdowns later, the Aggies were up 28-3 to end the first quarter.
The second period was quiet on both fronts, as neither team was able to muster serious movement. But after halftime, both teams started to show signs of life. Utah State running back Darwin Thompson ran 26 yards for his second touchdown of the night, capping off an 80-yard drive by the Aggies. Then Hawai’i quarterback Cole McDonald answered with a huge 54-yard bomb to John Ursua, finishing it with a two-point conversion to cut the lead to 35-11.
Utah State wasn’t finished, however. Thompson ran for another touchdown to give the Aggies a 42-11 lead, then gave way to his partner-in-crime, Gerold Bright. Bright, who had ran for an 18-yard touchdown earlier in the game, ran for two more in the third – a 47-yard and a 9-yard run – within two minutes, giving the Aggies a 56-11 lead that was impenetrable. Hawai’i managed to get one more touchdown, a 38-yard pass from McDonald to Devan Stubblefield, but they failed on the two-point conversion.
The interesting part of the game was the solid difference in offensive styles. Hawai’i threw for more passing yards (347 to Utah State’s 175) but was less efficient (19 completions on 48 attempts, Utah State was 19-of-24). The running game was the major difference in the end, however. Utah State ran for 426 yards, while Hawai’i only managed 43.
Utah State will get a chance to improve to 9-1 next week when they take on San Jose State (1-8) at home, while Hawai’i will try to break their four-game losing streak as they go against last-place UNLV (2-7).