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Five big plays from Hawaii's 38-31 win over Nevada


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POSTED: Monday, October 27, 2008

1. Defense scores

The Setup: Hawaii 0, Nevada 0, 9:45 remaining first quarter, Nevada ball, third and 10 at Nevada 24

The Play: DE David Veikune knocks the ball out of the hands of QB Colin Kaepernick. DE John Fonoti scoops it up at the 10-yard line after a couple of bobbles and runs in for the game's first score.

The Impact: Hawaii takes a 7-0 lead with the defense's first score of the season.

Defensive ends coach Dave Aranda: “;It was good to finally get on the board as a defense. Dave's got about 30 almost-sacks. It was good to see him hit home, and John scoop and score. We don't want just sacks, we want sack-fumbles.”;

2. Tackle 367

The Setup: Hawaii 7, Nevada 0, 9:29 remaining, first quarter, Nevada ball, first and 10 at Nevada 24

The Play: RB Vai Taua runs left and is met by a crowd of Hawaii defenders. LB Solomon Elimimian gets an open shot with a running start and a good angle, and applies the biggest hit of the game.

The Impact: With his 367th career tackle, Elimimian passed Levi Stanley (1969-72) for the Hawaii record. Elimimian finished with a game-high 10 stops and a forced fumble and was in on a sack.

Coach Greg McMackin: “;He's right up there with Jeff Ulbrich and Pisa Tinoisamoa.”;

3. Long run

The Setup: Hawaii 17, Nevada 10, 9:14 remaining, third quarter, Nevada ball first and 10 at Nevada 21

The Play: Taua breaks through the middle of the Hawaii line, escapes the second level of defenders at midfield and then sprints to the right sideline. Taua completes a 79-yard touchdown run, barely touched.

The Impact: The score comes immediately following a Hawaii field goal and ties the game. It sets the tone for a second-half shootout. Taua rushes for 160 yards and Kaepernick for 139 (including a 61-yard touchdown), but both also lose fumbles that Hawaii capitalizes on.

Taua: “;We've got to be able to pull this kind of game out. ... No way can I consider myself having a good game.”;

4. Alexander to Washington

The Setup: Hawaii 24, Nevada 17, 15:00 remaining, fourth quarter, Hawaii ball, second and goal at Nevada 16

The Play: SB Mike Washington curls into the end zone. He is wide open and Greg Alexander, the third quarterback for Hawaii, finds him for the touchdown.

The Impact: Hawaii cashes in on an 11-play, 78-yard drive with Alexander's first career touchdown pass. It is the first time Hawaii scores in the fourth quarter since the second game of the season, Sept. 6.

Washington: “;We weren't putting enough points on the board, so we went back to that old Hawaii, that run-and-shoot attacking offense.”;

5. Alexander to Lane

The Setup: Hawaii 31, Nevada 31, 0:28 remaining, fourth quarter, Hawaii ball, third and 1 at Nevada 24

The Play: With time running down and the outcome on the line, UH goes with a pass play into the end zone instead of a field goal. Alexander throws it up to WR Malcolm Lane and Lane beats his defender and comes down with the ball for the game-winning points.

The Impact: Nevada fails to get the ball near midfield in its final chance, and Hawaii beats Nevada for the third consecutive time in a close game. Alexander, in less than one half of play, completes 17 of 22 passes for 205 yards with two TDs and no interceptions.

Lane: “;He played me man and any receiver loves that. It all came down to who wanted the ball more.”;