2019 SoFi Hawaii Bowl

Posted on Dec 26, 2019 in UH Corner

McDonald’s Five Touchdowns Lead
UH To Hawai‘i Bowl Win

HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i football team capped a memorable 2019 campaign with a dramatic 38-34 win over Brigham Young in the SoFi Hawai’i Bowl on Christmas Eve at Aloha Stadium. Quarterback Cole McDonald’s touchdown pass to Nick Mardner with 1:17 left and safety Khoury Bethley’s second interception of the game in the closing seconds sealed the win.

McDonald, who garnered Most Valuable Player honors – finished with five total touchdowns – four passing and one rushing – and threw for a career-high 493 yards on 28-of-46 passing. Bethley tallied a career-high 10 tackles along with his two picks.

The Rainbow Warriors (10-5) finished with 10 wins for the first time since 2010 and for just the seventh time in school history. The Warriors also snapped a five-game losing skid against BYU while posting their first back-to-back winning seasons since 2006-07.

In the win, receivers JoJo Ward and Jared Smart each went over 1,000-yards on the season as UH became just the sixth team in FBS history with three 1,000-yard receivers. McDonald also became the fourth UH quarterback to surpass 4,000-yards passing.

After an explosive first half in which the Rainbow Warriors led 31-24, UH went scoreless in the second half until Mardner’s touchdown. The redshirt freshman was relatively quiet until Hawai’i’s final drive, catching a 38-yarder on 3rd-and-1 and the 24-yard touchdown on the very next play.

In the first-ever postseason meeting between the former WAC rivals, the first half featured 55 combined points, third-highest in bowl history while the 34 combined points in the second quarter, was second-most. The teams combined for more than 600 yards of offense in the first half alone. McDonald passed for 331 yards and three touchdowns – two to Smart – while BYU quarterback Wilson threw for 209 yards.

Wilson finished with 274 yards passing and 72 yards rushing and two scores as he was selected as BYU’s Most Valuable Player. The Cougars held a dominant advantage on the ground, rushing for 231 yards compared to 2 for the Warriors.

BYU, which trailed throughout the first half, tied the score at 31 on its first possession of the second half on Wilson’s 2-yard touchdown run. Jake Oldroyd’s 20-yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter gave the Cougars their first lead of the game.

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