UH football with another gritty victory, 31-28 over Oregon State
HONOLULU – The University of Hawai'i football team rallied from a pair of two-touchdown deficits and its defense came up big in the second half for a 31-28 victory over Oregon State Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.
The Rainbow Warriors (2-0) posted their second consecutive win over a Pac-12 opponent to start the season and got off to a 2-0 start for the third consecutive season. UH got a career performance from a senior receiver and second-half gem by its defense, holding the Beavers (0-2) scoreless and to only 150 yards of total offense after intermission.
JoJo Ward scored all four of UH's touchdowns – including three in the first half – and finished with a career-high 10 receptions for 189 yards. It marked the second straight game that a UH receiver tallied four touchdowns, tying a single-game school record.
Placekicker Ryan Meskell overcame three earlier misses by connecting on the game-winning field goal, a 28-yarder with 2:17 remaining. OSU had a chance to tie the game but Jordan Choukair's 52-yard attempt was wide left.
For the second straight game, UH engaged in an epic battle with a Pac-12 foe. UH fell behind by 14 points on two occasions in the first half – 21-7 and 28-14 – before Ward's third touchdown catch just before halftime, pulled the Warriors to within one score.
OSU used its run game to take command of the first half as Jemar Jefferson and Artavis Pierce combined for 180 yards, including 37- and 25-yard touchdown runs by Pierce. UH countered with an efficient pass game as Cole McDonald threw for 229 yards on 18-of-31 passing.
The Warriors tied the score midway in the third quarter as McDonald found Ward on a 29-yard pass play. The UH defense held the Beavers to 1-of-9 in third down conversions in the second half and OSU's only real scoring opportunity came on its last possession with the failed kick attempt.
McDonald finished the game with 421 yards passing, his fourth career 400-yard passing game, as UH snapped a four-game losing streak to the Beavers.
The Warriors will play their third straight Pac-12 opponent to start the season when it travels to Seattle to face No. 14 Washington in UH's first road game of the year. Kickoff is 4:30 p.m. PT/1:30 p.m. HT at Husky Stadium.