RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Ryan Grice-Mullen, who caught nine passes for 137 yards and four touchdowns last night, tried to get by New Mexico State's Alex Bernard in the fourth quarter.
Rookie is the go-to guy
If his last two home games are any indication, Hawaii wideout Ryan Grice-Mullen is beginning to turn Aloha Stadium into his own personal playground.
The redshirt freshman continued his stellar play of late, hauling in nine passes for 137 yards and four touchdowns last night to help spur the Warriors to a 49-28 victory over New Mexico State at Aloha Stadium.
Over the last three games, Grice-Mullen has become Colt Brennan's go-to receiver, totaling 379 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, with six of them coming in Hawaii's last two home games.
"I just feel so blessed to be able to go out there (in Aloha Stadium), and play for this team," Grice-Mullen said. "I'm playing the game I love and take nothing for granted."
It took just 6 minutes for Grice-Mullen to score the first of his four touchdowns last night, and he finished with three in the first half to give him six in a span of seven quarters dating back to the fourth period of the Boise State game two weeks ago.
"I think it's just a question of everyone getting more comfortable with the offense," Grice-Mullen said of his recent hot streak. "Chad (Mock) stepped up and had a real nice game and I think it's just everybody coming together and knowing what they have to do for us to be successful. Tonight was just my night."
Fellow freshman Davone Bess added 128 receiving yards. Mock led the trio with 147 yards, pleasing head coach June Jones, who looks at the three as being key ingredients to Hawaii's success.
"Ryan and Davone are very dedicated players," Jones said. "I knew they were going to be really good slots when we recruited them and because they're playing so much, they're growing up even faster, and you kind of saw that with Chad Mock."
Brennan took advantage of his receivers' play to throw for a career-high 515 yards and seven touchdowns.
"The camaraderie with those guys is getting a lot better and they're working for each other," Brennan said. "It's not just about (them) trying to get open, it's about (them) trying to pull the safety down so (someone else) gets open behind them."
Hawaii had never been this deep into the season without a home victory under Jones, making last night's win even more important. With the Warriors now at the halfway point of the season, Grice-Mullen feels it is the time for the Hawaii offense to step up.
"We started off with some tough teams and mentally we just messed up," he said. "Now we have shown that when we're clicking, I don't think any team can stop us."
With back-to-back games over 130 receiving yards at home, Grice-Mullen knows for him to step up and be a leader, he needs to continue to bring the same results on the road.
"We just got to act like we're at home (when we're on the road)," Grice-Mullen said. "At the end of day, home or away, it comes down to just playing ball.
"And this team is starting to play some ball."