Spartans fall to Hawai’i on Homecoming in 5 OT thriller

Josh Love threw for a career-high 451 yards and three touchdowns, however San Jose State fell to Hawai’i in their Mountain West opener 44-41 in a thriller that spanned five overtimes, the most in SJSU history.

Love’s 451 yards are the most thrown in a game since David Fales threw for 547 against Fresno State in 2013. It is the 11th highest single-game total ever thrown in SJSU history.

The offenses combined for 965 yards with SJSU finishing with a season-high 490 and Hawai’i with 475. Rainbow Warriors’ quarterback Cole McDonald finished with 341 yards and four touchdowns on 34-of-57 passing with just his second interception of the season by Spartan safety Jonathan Lenard Jr in the second half.

Tied at 24-24 with 10:07 to play in the fourth quarter, Love hit Malike Roberson for a four yard score, his third touchdown pass of the game, to give the Spartans a 31-24 lead. Hawai’i would answer, however, with 4:34 on the clock to tie the game at 31-31 as McDonald found John Ursua for his third touchdown catch of the game.

The Rainbow Warriors nearly drove to the 50-yard line in the final seconds of regulation to potentially set up a game-winning field goal attempt, however Cade Hall sacked McDonald for an 11-yard loss and forced a fumble that was recovered by Boogie Roberts to end the threat and send the game to OT.

Both teams scored touchdowns in the opening OT period as Dayton Furuta rumbled in from a yard out for Hawai’i and Roberson skated in from 13 yards out for the Spartans to re-tie the game at 38-38. The game went into a second OT, however neither team came away with points as they exchanged missed field goals.

After Hawai’i’s Ryan Meskell missed again from 49 yards out, the Spartans had a chance to win the game in the third OT. After some extremely conservative play calling, SJSU settled for a Bryce Crawford 30-yard field goal attempt, which sailed wide left.

Crawford, who finished the night 2-for-6 on field goals, briefly redeemed himself on the next possession in the 4th OT as he nailed a 20-yard chip shot. The Rainbow Warriors answered however as Meskell’s 35-yard sailed through the uprights.

Meskell also nailed a 35-yarder to open the fifth and final OT. The Spartans looked to answer, but after a false start penalty, Love was sacked on second down and threw an incompletion on third down to set up a long try for Crawford from 47 yards out. The kick sailed wide right and the game came to an end just over four hours after it kicked off.

It was a disappointing loss for the Spartans, especially considering they had several chances to win and/or put the game away but failed to do so.

With the loss, San Jose State drops to 0-4 overall and 0-1 in MWC play while Hawai’i improved to 5-1 (2-0 MW).

San Jose State returns to action next Saturday, October 6, against Colorado State in CEFCU Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm (PT).

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