HONOLULU — It took three games for University of Hawai‘i quarterback Chevan Cordeiro to throw his first touchdown pass of the season.
The drought in aerial touchdowns was non-existent in the first two games of the season against Fresno State and Wyoming, but that didn’t prevent UH’s offense from generating points.
Hawai‘i still produced a total of 44 points and split the two road games.
In the home opener against New Mexico, Cordeiro and the offense found their rhythm, generating a season-high 39 points in the 39-33 shootout win over the Lobos.
Cordeiro connected on 33 of 44 passes for 410 yards and threw four touchdown passes in the victory that proved the Rainbow Warriors’ offense is more than one-dimensional headed into the contest with San Diego State Saturday at 11 a.m. in San Diego.
Getting everyone involved
One of the most critical statistics related to Cordeiro’s four touchdown passes was his ability to distribute the football to multiple receivers.
Cordeiro connected on two touchdowns passes to Zion Bowens, one to Nick Mardner and another to running back Calvin Turner.
Mardner and Jared Smart both led the Rainbows in targets, combining for a total of 12 receptions for 187 yards, with Mardner getting the majority of yards between the pair, tallying 147 yards.
Ground attack stays steady
While the emphasis for the Rainbow Warriors was through the air, they were still able to generate solid run production in their victory over the Lobos.
While none of UH’s backs eclipsed over 100 yards in the win over New Mexico, the Rainbows continued to showcase their ability to rotate backs.
Dae Dae Hunter and Reed Miles combined for the majority of carries in the backfield, with a combined 13 runs between the pair.
Hunter and Miles combined for 57 total yards, which didn’t generate a single touchdown in the win against the Lobos.
Cordeiro has continued to prove he is a dynamic quarterback who can make plays with his legs, leading the team in rushing with 48 yards on 10 attempts, including hauling in one for a touchdown.
Aztecs look to rebound
San Diego State’s recent four-game win streak, (including last season) was snapped with their 28-17 loss to San Jose State University last Saturday.
Before falling to the Spartans, the Aztecs steamrolled its two first opponents, defeating UNLV and Utah State by a combined margin of 72-13 in the first two games.
The San Diego State University defense held its fourth-straight opponent to less than 300 yards of total offense, which is the longest active streak among NCAA Division I teams.
The Aztec’s nation-leading streak of 41 consecutive quarters of holding its opponent without multiple scores came to an end with the Spartans cashing in on the two aforementioned drives.
Controlling the clock
The Aztecs are a methodical team, and they like to grind away at defense and control the flow of the football game by controlling the time of possession.
This season, the Aztecs have a large time of possession advantage.
In their first three games, San Diego State has controlled the tempo 36:08 to 23:52.
Stopping Greg Bell
San Diego State senior running back Greg Bell is becoming one of the all-time great running backs at a university that is former Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams’ Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk’s alma mater.
Bell is doing things Faulk never did. He became the first Aztec player in school history to open with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
Bell transferred from the University of Nebraska, another school known for producing top-tier runing backs including former NFL players Ahman Green, Roger Craig and Lawrence Phillips.
Bell carried the ball 25 times for 111 yards and a touchdown, and ranks eighth nationally in rushing yards per contest.
• When: Saturday, Nov. 14
• Time: 1 p.m. PST/11 a.m. HT
• Where: Carson, California
• Stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park
• Television: Spectrum Sports PPV (Spectrum Ch. 255/HD 1255 and Hawaiian Telcom Ch. 969). Robert Kekaula (play-by-play) and Rich Miano (analyst).
• Radio: ESPN Honolulu (1420AM/92.7FM). Bobby Curran (play-by-play) and John Veneri (analyst). KRKH (Maui), KPUA (Hawai‘i Island), and KTOH-HD3 (Kaua‘i). Chris Hart and Gary Dickman hosts the “Countdown To Kickoff” at 9:00 a.m.
• Video streaming: Only available outside the state of Hawai‘i through the Team1Sports app.
• Audio streaming: ESPNHonolulu.com/Sideline Hawaii app
• Live stats: HawaiiAthletics.com
Jason Blasco, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or email@example.com.