UH races past New Mexico with big first half
HONOLULU – The University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior football team got back on the winning track in resounding fashion with a 45-31 road win over New Mexico Saturday at Dreamstyle Stadium. The Warriors snapped a two-game slide improving to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the Mountain West.
After dropping consecutive games to Boise State and Air Force, the third time was the charm versus the Mountain Division as the Warriors jumped all over the Lobos (2-6, 0-4 MW) from the get-go. It was UH's first win over New Mexico since 1991 after dropping seven straight meetings.
UH led wire-to-wire, taking a 21-3 first-quarter lead before expanding it to 35-3 at the break for the program's largest lead ever on the road. The Warriors held a 45-10 lead in the fourth, before the Lobos scored the final 21 points of the game.
UH ran for a season-high 255 yards, while finishing with 578 yards of total offense, its second-highest total this year. Cole McDonald passed for 237 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for two touchdowns and 140 yards to fuel the duel threat UH offense. The 140 yards rushing were the most by a UH quarterback in 24 years.
Miles Reed rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown with all but 12 of those yards coming in the first half. Meanwhile, in his first action in nearly two years, Kumoku Noa led the UH receiving corps with four catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Noa became the sixth Rainbow Warrior receiver to eclipse 100 yards in a game this season.
UH used three huge plays in the first quarter to jump out to a 21-3 lead. McDonald scored on a 76-yard run on just the second play from scrimmage, Solomon Matuatia returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown, and McDonald capped the quarter with a 54-yard scoring strike to Kumoku Noa. UH tacked on a pair of rushing touchdowns by McDonald and Reed in the second quarter to build an insurmountable halftime lead.
The Warriors now head back to Hawaii where they will play four of their final five games, beginning with a home match-up against Fresno State on Saturday, Nov. 2. Kickoff is 6:00 p.m. at Aloha Stadium.