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Cordeiro, UH outlast San Jose State

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HONOLULU (AP) — Chevan Cordeiro accounted for five touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter, and the University of Hawaii football team held on for a 42-40 win over San Jose State on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.

In his first start of the season and second of his career, redshirt freshman Cordeiro was 23-of-31 passing for 309 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and added 11 carries for 55 yards and two scores.

UH coach Nick Rolovich said he made the decision to start Cordeiro ahead of Cole McDonald because he thought the Saint Louis School graduate gave the team the best chance to win. He said the final decision on the quarterback change was made Friday night.

“Probably the toughest decision in my head coaching career,” Rolovich said. “You’re talking about taking, by numbers, you could be taking the offensive player (of the year) in the conference off the field.

“I respect Cole McDonald so much for the way he handled it, and I think Chevan played great.”

Miles Reed had 124 yards rushing and a TD on 17 carries and JoJo Ward finished with seven receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns for the Rainbow Warriors (6-4, 3-3 Mountain West).

San Jose State’s 16-play, 67-yard drive stalled and the Spartans (4-6, 1-5) settled for a 28-yard field goal by Matt Mercurio that trimmed their deficit to 28-26 going into the fourth quarter. Cordeiro hit Jared Smart for a 5-yard touchdown to give Hawaii a nine-point lead with 12 minutes to go and, after Josh Love connected with Bailey Gaither for a 40-yard TD about 2 1/2 minutes later, Cordeiro’s 2-yard scoring run capped a 12-play, 85-yard drive to make it 42-33 with 4:23 remaining.

Love hit Isaiah Ward for a 19-yard touchdown to bring San Jose State within two with 1:51 to go, but Cordeiro’s 4-yard run on third-and-2 allowed the Rainbow Warriors to bleed the clock.

Love passed for 375 yards and two TDs, DeJon Packer had 20 carries for 112 yards and two scores and Tre Walker had 10 receptions for 138 yards for San Jose State.

UH next plays its final road game of the season, traveling to Las Vegas to take on UNLV on Saturday.