Maui Sports

Hawaii Plays at Home Away From Home

September 14, 2011, 5:49 PM HST
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By Fred Guzman

Technically, the University of Hawaii is playing a road football game Saturday night against UNLV.

Actually, UH and its fans feel quite at home in Las Vegas. That’s because there will be lots of green in the stands and along downtown Las Vegas this weekend. 

Well over 10,000 Hawaii fans are expected to flock to 36,800-seat Sam Boyd Stadium for the non-conference game, which is set for a 4 p.m. kickoff, Hawaii time, and will be aired on KNUI AM-900.

Those fans not only will be arriving from the Aloha State, but many also are transplants now residing all along the West Coast and still have a hunger for local grinds and Rainbow football.

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While UH fans will be descending on Vegas for a few days, the football team has been in town since last Saturday night, leaving Seattle immediately following a 40-32 away loss to the Washington Huskies.

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UH fell into a into a 21-0 hole in the first quarter, and never was quite able to make up the huge deficit.

There were some highlights for Hawaii, for sure.

Quarterback Bryant Moniz completed 31 of 45 passes for 333 yards and one touchdown.  He also rushed for his his fourth TD of the season.

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Slotback Jeremiah Ostrowski led UH with 11 receptions for 87 yards and one TD, and Royce Pollard added  eight catches for 128 yards.  Sterling Jackson running for two scores.  Safety Richard Torres registering a pick six.

But those bright moments were offset by a variety of letdowns:  Dropped passes, particularly by Darius Bright.  Missed assignments, too many to mention. PAT breakdowns. Also, right tackle Sean Shigematsu was lost for the season with a knee injury.

Things have not gone well for UNLV.  After being routed 51-17 at Wisconsin, the Rebels fell to 0-2 after receiving a 59-7 thumping at Washington State.

UNLV was out-gained 610-158 by the Cougars.  In a stat boding well for Hawaii’s high-octaine offense, the Rebels surrendered 471 yards through the air last week.

The teams have met 20 previous times with the UH holding a 13-7 edge – including a 59-21 romp last year at Aloha Stadium. Moniz threw for 380 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for two more scores, and UH outgained the Rebels 606-295.

In their last meeting in Las Vegas, two years ago,  in UNLV scored the game-winning touchdown with 34 seconds left for a 34-33 victory.

That’s a point the coaching staff undoubtedly have been driving home during what will be a week-long stay in Vegas.  Tune out the bright lights.  The fans are on vacation, you’re here on business.  And don’t forget what happened here in 2009.

 

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