Five big plays from Hawaii's 68-37 win over Fresno State
1. The spark
The Setup: Fresno State 7, Hawaii 0; 12:19 remaining, first quarter; Hawaii ball, first and 10 at the Hawaii 25.
The Play: Colt Brennan completes a shovel pass to running back Nate Ilaoa, who follows his blocking to find open field to his right and rumbles 39 yards to the Fresno State 36.
The Impact: After Fresno State stunned the Warriors with a 75-yard touchdown pass less than 3 minutes into the game, Ilaoa's longest gain of the day ignites the Hawaii offense and begins to tilt the momentum Hawaii's way. Brennan completes four more passes on the drive and Ilaoa scores on a 1-yard run to tie the game.
Ilaoa: "That's what you have to do, you have to get guys up there to get big plays and it snowballed from there."
2. Just a Sample
The Setup: Hawaii 7, Fresno State 7; 5:39 remaining, first quarter; Hawaii ball, third and 6 at the Fresno State 47.
The Play: Ian Sample runs a post pattern from his right receiver spot and Colt Brennan hits him in stride deep over the middle for a 47-yard touchdown.
The Impact: The first of Sample's two touchdown receptions and Hawaii's longest play of the game gives the Warriors a lead they wouldn't relinquish in a remarkably efficient offensive performance. Sample goes on to reach the end zone two times for the third consecutive game.
Sample on his streak: "It's the luck of the draw with which plays we run and how the defense is playing, and it's just trusting Colt and the O-line and the rest of the receivers doing their jobs."
3. Taking it away
The Setup: Hawaii 14, Fresno State 7; less than 3:40 remaining, first quarter; Fresno State ball, third and 1 at the Fresno State 29.
The Play: Fresno State running back Dwayne Wright tries to bull through the middle, but is drilled by Hawaii linebacker Solomon Elimimian behind the line of scrimmage and fumbles the ball. Ikaika Alama-Francis recovers for the Warriors at the Bulldogs 24.
The Impact: The Hawaii offense converts the first of Fresno State's three turnovers into a touchdown three plays later to open up a controlling 21-7 lead. The takeaway gets the Warriors rolling toward their highest point output since 2001 and their most ever on the road.
Elimimian: "I saw the hole and I just hit him with my best shot and he fumbled the ball. That really gave us a boost."
4. To the (dog)house
The Setup: Hawaii 35, Fresno State 14; less than 1:50 remaining, second quarter; Fresno State ball, second and 10 at the Fresno State 46.
The Play: Fresno State backup quarterback Sean Norton fires a pass to his left only to have Hawaii safety Leonard Peters step in front of the throw and race 54 yards along the Bulldog sideline for a touchdown.
The Impact: Norton had sparked the Bulldogs in his first appearance of the season by completing his first four passes, including a touchdown to bring Fresno State to within 28-14. But after Hawaii responded with a score, Peters' second interception return for a touchdown this season stretches the Warriors' lead to 28 and demoralizes the Bulldogs and their crowd.
Peters: "I saw him staring down the left side the whole time, and as soon as I saw the outside receiver break in I broke too and it came right to me."
5. Record run
The Setup: Hawaii 55, Fresno State 23; less than 1:00 remaining, third quarter; Hawaii ball, first and 10 at the Fresno State 35.
The Play: Colt Brennan completes a pass to Ross Dickerson cutting across the middle. Dickerson outruns the Bulldogs' defense down the sideline and dives into the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown.
The Impact: Brennan's fifth touchdown pass of the game and Dickerson's third score of the season, followed by Dan Kelly's PAT, ties the school record for points scored in a road game, matching the mark set at San Jose State in 1999. The Warriors break the record in the fourth quarter on Tyler Graunke's 1-yard scoring pass to Jason Rivers, their 10th TD of the game.
Brennan: "The offensive line gave me all day back there and the receivers and running backs capitalized."