The worst-case scenario for Nevada’s Mountain West opener in Honolulu came to fruition.
The passing game was out of sorts, the defense struggled to get off the field, and Nevada fell to 2-3, 0-1 with a 38-17 beat down at Hawaii (2-3, 1-0) late Saturday night.
Many missed the game because the only television coverage was in Hawaii, there was no online stream and it didn’t start until 9 p.m. Pacific Time. The game ended well after midnight in Reno.
Hawaii snapped a five-game losing streak against Nevada with the win, including the previous two in Honolulu. Perhaps adding salt to the Pack’s wound, first-year Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich was the offensive coordinator at Nevada from 2012-15. He faired awfully well in his debut against his former team.
Making his first career start at Hawaii, sophomore quarterback Dru Brown shredded the Pack’s secondary. He completed 15-of-18 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns.
Hawaii’s ground game had a day as well. Dicomey Saint Juste sliced through Nevada’s mightily struggling rush defense for 205 yards on just 19 carries (10.8 yards per carry). Hawaii finished with 344 total yards on the ground.
Nevada senior quarterback Tyler Stewart was held to 19-of-33 passing for 203 yards with a touchdown. Much of the yards came in the fourth quarter when the Pack fell into a 38-3 hole. He was sacked four times after getting dropped five times in last week’s loss at Purdue.
It’s now wound-licking time for coach Brian Polian’s squad (Polian is now 7-15 on the road), which returns to Mackay on Saturday to play Fresno.
The Bulldogs (1-4, 0-1) are fighting through struggles of their own, falling 45-20 at UNLV on Saturday night. Their defense has allowed 43 or more points in every game this year, with the exception of a 31-3 win over Sacramento State.
-Junior RB James Butler passed Don Jackson and B.J. Mitchell to slide into 11th in career rushing yards at Nevada. He has 2,530 rushing yards for his career.
-Butler also went over 100 yards on the ground for the 13th time of his career and third time this season. He finished with 168 yards on 21 carries. His career high is 189.
-Senior WR Jerico Richardson extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 24 games. He finished with four catches for 39 yards.
-This was the third straight game that Nevada did not turn the ball over.
-Senior CB Elijah Mitchell’s 52-yard kick return in the second quarter is a season-long and tied him for fifth in career kick return yards at Nevada with Ronnie Hardiman. He finished with 84 return yards and is in sole possession of fifth.
-Senior WR Hasaan Henderson passed Tim Fleming for 18th in career receiving yards at Nevada.
-Eight receivers caught a pass tonight, second-most in a game this season.
-Sophomore DE Malik Reed forced a fumble late in the third quarter, the first of his career. He forced two in the game. Reed also posted a sack in the fourth quarter, the second of his career.
-Sophomore FS Asauni Rufus recovered his first career fumble in the fourth quarter.
-Freshman RB Jaxson Kincaide scored the Pack’s second touchdown of the game. It was his second career touchdown, also scoring in the fourth quarter at Notre Dame.
-Nevada is now 3-2 in Mountain West openers and 17-8 in conference openers since joining the FBS in 1992.
-The Wolf Pack is 12-9 in the all-time series vs. Hawai’I, 5-8 on the road.