Being home for the holidays sounded pretty good for Hawaii, as few things could compare to having a bowl game win as a nice present under the tree.
The Rainbow Warriors continued their hot play down the stretch and used a couple of Middle Tennessee turnovers to capture a 52-35 Hawaii Bowl win in a wild one on Saturday night.
After the Blue Raiders jumped out to a 14-0 lead just a few minutes into the first quarter, the home team decided to wake up and join the postseason party, turning three first half takeaways into three touchdowns and come roaring into the lead. Quarterback Dru Brown threw for 274 yards and four scores on the night overall (and added another rushing) as the offense threw a little bit of everything at their opponents to keep them on their heels.
Warriors running back Diocemy Saint Juste also had one of his best outings in a Hawaii uniform, rushing for 170 yards on 25 carries and helping power the team over the 500 yards of total offense mark.
As good as the offense was though, it was the defense for the home team that really helped them regain momentum with a fumble recovery in the red zone and a pair of interceptions in the first half, one of which was returned for a 68-yard pick six.
Despite those issues holding onto the ball, MTSU was still able to move down the field fairly effectively. Quarterback Brent Stockstill returned to action for the first time in nearly two months since breaking his collar bone and would have had a pretty nice game if it weren’t for those turnovers, throwing for 432 yards and four touchdowns. Richie James was the target of most of his passes (nine catches for 175 yards, two scores) while I’Tavius Mathers was contained fairly well with just 57 yards on the ground.
But none of that trio could get the Blue Raiders over the hump after a big early hole. Although they threatened down the stretch, ultimately Hawaii had an answer at every turn to capture the program’s first bowl victory in a decade, dating back to a blowout win of Arizona State on this same date and game back in 2006.
That puts the Warriors back at .500 for the season and caps off an impressive turnaround for first-year head coach Nick Rolovich after the team had just seven wins the past two seasons combined coming into 2016.
Nebraska’s hiring of Scott Frost to take over as the head coach of the Cornhuskers came with a red wave of high optimism, but this was always going to be a bit of a rebuilding process in Lincoln. After an 0-2 start to the season, Frost is already bracing Nebraska fans about what could come next for the Huskers, because it may not be all that happy.
“This could get worse before it gets better,” Frost said this week, as quoted in a Sports Illustrated story by Andy Staples. Frost is fair with his assessment.
This week, Nebraska opens Big Ten play with a road game in Ann Arbor against Michigan. The Wolverines are hoping the offense is on track after a tough season opener and playing at home could be a nice advantage against a Nebraska team with a young quarterback and a team still trying to come together under Frost. After that, Nebraska will get a home game against Purdue before back-to-back road games at Wisconsin and Northwestern.
Nebraska also has games later this season at Ohio State, home against Michigan State, and at Iowa to close out the season. The schedule was not a kind one to Nebraska this particular season, but the Huskers should improve over time under Frost.
Making a bowl game in Frost’s first season was always going to be a nice accomplishment if Nebraska could pull it off this season. After a tough 0-2 start with home losses to Colorado and Troy, Nebraska’s bowl hopes already look razor thin, but this is still a team that should continue to grow as the year moves along.
The final piece of the scheduling puzzle for Rutgers has been found for the 2021 season. Rutgers announced the addition of a home game against Delaware, an FCS program, to the 2021 schedule to give the Scarlet Knights a full schedule.
Rutgers will host Delaware on September 18, 2021. Other non-conference games lined up for Rutgers includes a season opener against Temple at home and a road trip to Syracuse for a pair of games against former Big East foes.
Rutgers has not faced the Blue Hens of Delaware since 1973. Rutgers leads the all-time series, 15-13-3. Delaware was also recently added to the future schedule of Penn State, with road trips to Penn State slated for 2023 and 2027.
In a fun little uniform twist, Rutgers will play teams with the signature winged helmet with shades of blue and yellow in back-to-back weeks. A week after hosting Delaware, Rutgers is scheduled to play a Big Ten contest at Michigan. Delaware and Michigan wear similar uniforms highlighted by a similar winged helmet design.
Nebraska will play a 12-game schedule after all, as long as Mother Nature decides to cooperate for the rest of the season. Nebraska announced today it has added a home football game against Bethune-Cookman.
According to the release from Nebraska, the Huskers will host the FCS school on October 27. The game will replace a home game wiped out by lightning against Akron back in Week 1.
“Our great fans and our football student-athletes deserve a full schedule, and we are glad to be able to provide an additional game on Oct. 27 against Bethune-Cookman,” Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said. “We appreciate the patience of our fans through this process.”
Nebraska will pay Bethune-Cookman $800,000 to make the trip to Lincoln.
Unfortunately, Cal’s worst injury fears have been realized yet again.
In the Bears’ season-opening win over North Carolina, Cameron Goode sustained what’s only been described as an unspecified lower-leg injury. The redshirt sophomore linebacker did not play in the past two games because of the injury and won’t play again this season, Justin Wilcox confirmed Wednesday.
“I really feel for him because he puts a lot into football,” the head coach said. “He’ll go through that window of not being able to play this year. It’s a pretty short window, then he’ll start working on what’s next.”
It’s expected Goode will be fully recovered by the start of spring practice.
This marks the second-straight season his year has ended prematurely because of injury. Last year, he started the first nine games before being sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Goode had returned an interception for a touchdown in the opener before going down with the leg injury. He also returned a pick for a score last season in the win over Ole Miss.