Hawaii takes advantage of Houston’s mistake
The 28:14 success of Hawaii against Houston in the New Mexico Bowl, which had been relocated from Albuquerque to Frisco, Texas due to corona requirements of the state of New Mexico, once again showed how important it is to win the “Turnover Battle” . While Hawaii did not lose the ball, Houston made three interceptions, two of which resulted in an early 14-0 lead for Hawaii. The match winner for the Rainbow Warriors was RB Calvin Turner, who took 252 yards with runs, catches and returns and thwarted Houston’s comeback in the second half with a big play in the special teams.
The attitude of the teams was also decisive for the course and outcome of the game. Houston didn’t seem really motivated in the first half and played accordingly. On the Cougars’ third play, Penei Pavihi intercepted a pass blocked by DT Djuan Matthews from QB Clayton Tune at their 8-yard line. Two games later, Hawaii scored the 7-0 after almost four and a half minutes with a 3-yard pass from QB Chevan Cordeiro to RB Dae Dae Hunter. The second interception was twice as expensive from Houston’s point of view because it stopped a promising attack. On the second play of Houston’s third possession, which began after Hawaii’s short punt and a 23-yard return on Hawaii’s 40-yard line, a pressure pass from Tune ended up as a “flutter ball”, which CB Michael Washington intercepted. The next play, Cordeiro threw a 12-yard pass in the middle at Turner, who then ran away from several Cougars defenders to a 75-yard touchown. In the middle of the second quarter, Hawaii extended their lead to 21-0 with a 4-yard run by Jonah Laulu. Cordeiro had laid the foundation for this touchdown with a 52-yard run to Houston’s 7-yard line.
During the half-time break, Houston’s head coach Dana Holgorsen must have verbally missed his team a decent kick in the buttocks, because at the beginning of the second half, the Cougars played with significantly more fire and greater precision when executing the moves. It paid off. With an impressive first attack after the break (17 plays, 75 yards, almost seven and a half minutes spent playing time) Houston came to 7:21, and after a quick “three and out” from Hawaii two longer passes (39 yards on the first play and 26 yards to touchdown in the fifth) for Houston getting within 14:21. Turner was responsible for the fact that the game did not turn over completely. After the subsequent kickoff he scored the touchdown for Hawaii with a 92-yard return to make it 28:14. Then Hawaii’s defense got the game under control again, ended Houston’s next attack with the third interception and stopped the last two attacks of the Cougars in the fourth quarter with the help of quarterback Sacks.
High – December 26th, 2020
Hawaii ended the season on a positive note after beating Houston in the bowl. (© Getty Images)
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