Nevada’s Jefferson Runs Wild Against Hawaii
By Rodney S. Yap
The University of Hawai’i football team could not contain Stefphon Jefferson and the Nevada Wolf Pack in a 69-24 loss, Saturday, in a nationally televised game at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.
Jefferson tied an NCAA record against a major college opponent with seven touchdowns – six rushing and one receiving – and broke the Mountain West mark for points scored. The Wolf Pack (3-1, 1-0 MW) generated 575 yards of total offense while Jefferson finished the game with 170 yards rushing and 76 yards receiving.
The 69 points were the most points surrendered by UH in a home game since 1950 and most in a conference home game. The 45-point margin of defeat was tied for the most in a conference home game and the Warriors allowed the Wolf Pack to rush for 355 yards, the most by a UH opponent since 2004.
The Warriors (1-2, 0-1) moved the ball in the first half with 275 yards of total offense but struggled to match Nevada’s scoring drives. The Wolf Pack closed the half with two touchdowns in the final 5:35 for a 34-17 lead.
Hawai’i quarterback Sean Schroeder passed for 234 yards and two touchdowns. Jeremiah Ostrowski led the Warriors with 99 yards receiving, including a 36-yard touchdown in the second quarter, which pulled UH to within 20-17.
Cody Fajardo passed for 220 yards and two touchdowns for the Wolf Pack, which snapped a seven-game losing streak to Hawai’i in Honolulu.
Nevada struck first with a 55-yard screen pass from Cody Fajardo to Jefferson midway through the opening period. On UH’s ensuing possession, the Warriors marched downfield but stalled inside the Nevada 5-yard line, settling for a 22-yard Tyler Hadden field goal.
The Wolf Pack answered back as Fajardo directed an eight-play drive culminating in a 3-yard touchdown run by Jefferson and a 14-3 lead. With the Warriors forced to punt near midfield, defensive back Bubba Pouea-Luna executed a perfect fake on an a 36-yard end-around. Two plays later, Schroeder found Ryan Hall from 19 yards out, cutting the deficit to 14-10.
Nevada answered UH’s score again with Jefferson’s third touchdown, a 2-yard rush. On the PAT, John Hardy-Tuliau blocked his seventh career kick for UH. The Warriors fought back as Schroeder completed six of seven passes on UH’s next drive, capped by the 36-yard reception to Ostrowski.
From there, the Wolf Pack onslaught took over beginning a run of 42 unanswered points that stretched to the fourth quarter. Jefferson ended both drives of the first half with short touchdown runs.
Nevada scored 21 points in the third quarter and opened the fourth period with a 78-yard interception return for touchdown by Khalid Whooten. The Warriors ended the drought with a 4-yard touchdown run by Will Gregory midway in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors will next travel Brigham Young for a non-conference game, Friday, Sept. 28 in Provo, Utah. The game will be televised on ESPN beginning at 6:00 p.m. MT (2:00 p.m. HT).