BYU Defense Shredded For Nearly 500 Yards Passing In Hawaii Bowl Loss

Dec 24, 2019, 10:49 PM | Updated: 10:50 pm

HONOLULU, Hawaii – BYU’s defense allowed Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald to throw for nearly 500 yards in the Rainbow Warriors SoFi Hawaii Bowl victory.

The Cougars fell to the Rainbow Warriors 38-34 at Aloha Stadium on Tuesday, December 24.

McDonald shredded BYU’s secondary all game long throwing 28/46 for 493 yards, 4 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He entered the game tied for 11oth in the country with 14 interceptions thrown in 2019.

The Hawaii quarterback averaged a first down per completion against the Cougars’ defense.

BYU’s defense entered the Hawaii Bowl having allowed only 37 plays of 20 yards or more this season. That ranked No. 6 in the nation. The Rainbow Warriors had five receivers with long plays of 20 yards or more. Hawaii’s Jared Smart had a 58-yard bomb, JoJo Ward caught a 47-yard toss, and Nick Mardner hauled in a 38-yard reception.

Ward led the Bows with 7 catches for 159 yards. Smart reeled in 7 receptions for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jason-Matthew Sharsh and Mardner combined for 9 catches, 152 yards, and a TD.

BYU’s rush defense has been suspect all season long but it wasn’t a problem against the Warriors. The Cougars held Hawaii’s ground game to 2 yards on 27 carries.

The Cougars outgained the Rainbow Warriors in nearly every metric except for passing yards and turnover margin. BYU committed three turnovers and forced none.

BYU had 29 first downs compared to 20 by Hawaii. The Cougars outrushed the Bows 231-2.

The Rainbow Warriors got a key stop down the stretch to get the ball back, scored the go-ahead touchdown, and forced an interception by BYU QB Zach Wilson to end the game with 25 seconds remaining.

Wilson finished the game 24/40 passing for 274 yards and two interceptions. The Cougars’ signal-caller ran the ball 14 times for 72 yards and two touchdowns.

Hawaii improved to a record of 10-5 to close 2019.

BYU fell in the postseason for the first time under head coach Kalani Sitake. The Cougars finished the season with a 7-6 record for consecutive seasons.

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