By Fred Guzman
A 35-yard field goal by Kenton Chun with 32 seconds left lifted UH to a 16-14 victory on Saturday. The Vandals had one last shot at salvaging an upset, but missed on a 53-yard field-goal attempt with eight seconds remaining.
On day during which its one-dimensional offense struggled to put points on the scoreboard, Hawaii relied on a strong defensive effort in improving its records to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the WAC.
Linebacker Aaron Brown was the top defensive performer for UH, registering nine tackles, intercepting a pass and breakng up another.
Nevada stayed atop the WAC with a 3-0 mark thanks to a 48-34 win at New Mexico State. Louisiana Tech defeated visiting San Jose State 38-28 to remain tied for second place with Hawaii at 3-1.
Bryant Moniz threw for 338 yards and one touchdown. He also threw a costly pick-six that was returned 70 yards, giving Idaho a 14-13 lead late in the third quarter. UH’s best offenive player was Roycc Pollard with 10 catches for 151 yards. But Hawaii’s ground game went AWOL, generating just 15 yard.
UH’s maligned place kicking unit delivered. Chun earlier made a 27-yarder for a 10-7 lead. Tyler Hadden, the team’s long-range kicker, converted a 47-yarder with less than a minute before halftime for a 13-10 edge.
UH is home this week, facing Utah State on Saturday. The Aggies, coming off a bye, are 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the WAC. Their record is deceiving. Utah State has been hard-luck losers in road games against defending national champ Auburn, in overtime against Colorado State and suffered a last-second loss at BYU.