Bulldogs run past Rainbow Warriors

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Louisiana Tech dominates second half to win Hawaii Bowl 31-14

By KALANI TAKASE

The Associated Press

HONOLULU — J’Mar Smith threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score in a big third quarter to lead Louisiana Tech to a 31-14 win over the University of Hawaii football team in the SoFi Hawaii Bowl on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.

The Bulldogs (8-5) rallied from a 7-3 halftime deficit to secure their fifth bowl victory in as many seasons, a program first.

Smith threw for 285 yards on 19-of-31 passing with an interception. He tossed a 58-yard touchdown pass to Jaqwis Dancy and scored on a 4-yard run that was part of a 21-point third quarter.

Louisiana Tech took the lead for good on Israel Tucker’s 5-yard TD run with 10:27 left in the third.

Bulldogs defensive end Jaylon Ferguson became the NCAA’s career sacks leader when he dropped Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro for a 2-yard loss late in the third. Ferguson’s 45 sacks broke the previous mark set by Arizona State’s Terrell Suggs.

Hawaii played without wide receiver John Ursua, who leads the nation with 16 touchdown catches. Ursua, sidelined with an undisclosed injury, was ruled out just minutes before the start of the game.

The Bulldogs had a Hawaii Bowl-record nine sacks, four by Willie Baker. Amik Robertson had two of their three interceptions.

The Rainbow Warriors (8-6) were just 2-of-14 on third down and got penalized 12 times for 140 yards.
Cole McDonald started the game at quarterback for UH and finished 10-of-20 for 85 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Cordeiro, a freshman playing in his fourth game this season, thus preserving his redshirt year, finished 7-of-14 for 83 yards, a touchdown and a pick.
While the Rainbow Warriors were denied their second Hawaii Bowl victory in three seasons, they still improved by five wins from last year’s 3-9 record and finished with the program’s first winning season since 2010. All but three of 22 starters are expected to return next year.
Hawaii 0 7 0 7–14
Louisiana Tech 3 0 21 7–31
First Quarter
LT–FG Hale 24, 1:08
Second Quarter
HAW–Sharsh 24 pass from Cordeiro (Meskell kick), 8:20
Third Quarter
LT–I.Tucker 5 run (Hale kick), 10:27
LT–Dancy 58 pass from J.Smith (Hale kick), 4:44
LT–J.Smith 4 run (Hale kick), :55
Fourth Quarter
HAW–Armstrong-Brown 7 pass from McDonald (Meskell kick), 6:14
LT–McKnight 39 run (Hale kick), 3:45
A–30,911.
HAWLT
First downs 17 21
Rushes-yards 32-58 38-163
Passing 168 285
Comp-Att-Int 17-34-3 19-31-1
Return Yards 60 29
Punts-Avg. 9-38.55 3-30.75
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 12-140 9-94
Time of Possession 29:23 30:37
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING–Hawaii, F.Holly 9-57, Furuta 3-9, Ito 2-8, M.Reed 1-4, Cordeiro 6-(minus 3), McDonald 11-(minus 17). Louisiana Tech, Dancy 15-57, I.Tucker 10-44, McKnight 2-38, A.Smith 1-16, J.Smith 7-16, (Team) 2-(minus 3), Okorie 1-(minus 5).
PASSING–Hawaii, Cordeiro 7-14-1-83, McDonald 10-20-2-85. Louisiana Tech, J.Smith 19-31-1-285.
RECEIVING–Hawaii, Armstrong-Brown 7-59, Sharsh 5-67, Byrd 3-31, Ito 1-6, Furuta 1-5. Louisiana Tech, Veal 8-107, Hardy 6-93, Dancy 2-63, A.Smith 2-14, I.Tucker 1-8.
MISSED FIELD GOALS–None.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

All times HST

Saturday’s Results

Birmingham (Ala.) Bowl

Wake Forest 37, Memphis 34

Armed Forces Bowl • At Fort Worth

Army 70, Houston 14

Dollar General Bowl • At Mobile, Ala.

Troy 42, Buffalo 32

SoFi Hawaii Bowl • At Honolulu

Louisiana Tech 31, Hawaii 14

Wednesday’s Games

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl At Dallas

Boston College (7-5) vs. Boise St. (10-3), 8:30 a.m. (ESPN)

Quick Lane Bowl • At Detroit

Minnesota (6-6) vs. Georgia Tech (7-5), 12:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Cheez-It Bowl • At Phoenix

California (7-5) vs. TCU (6-6), 4 p.m. (ESPN)