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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football drops season opener to Hawai’i in a game of catch-up

Mike Christy
Arizona Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate (14) runs over Hawaii Warriors defensive back Khoury Bethley (5) during the Arizona Wildcats vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors college football game 8/24/19 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI. Photo by Mike Christy / Arizona Athletics

University of Arizona football kicked off the 2019 season Saturday evening in Honolulu, Hawaii as the Wildcats were defeated by the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors by a final score of 45-38 in a game that came down to Arizona being one yard short of a touchdown that would’ve thrown the game into overtime.

After a 5-7 record last year in Kevin Sumlin’s inaugural season, Arizona was looking to re-kindle the fire and bring some hope back to Arizona fans. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that did not happen.

On the Wildcats’ final play, Khalil Tate’s 30-yard run was one yard short of securing the final touchdown they needed to even up the game and force an overtime.

The Wildcats’ defense could not stop the Rainbow Warriors’ offense all night. Hawai’i finished the game with a total of 436 passing yards compared to Arizona’s 361.

Hawai’i’s star Cedric Byrd II finished the game with a total of 224 yards and 4 touchdowns on the night, and he gave his team their first 3 touchdowns of the game. Arizona could not find a way to stop him by any means.

Arizona was playing catch-up with Hawai’i the entire game. After the Rainbow Warriors secured 2 touchdowns right out of the gate, Arizona knew they had to put some points on the board in order to stay with Hawai’i.

By the end of the first half, Arizona had a total of 213 total yards, compared to Hawai’i’s 327. The Wildcats went an abysmal 1-for-5 on third down conversions, compared to the Rainbow Warrior’s 3-for-5 in the first 30 minutes of play.

In the third quarter, the Wildcats got the spark they needed to finally tie the game. Tate’s 21-yard pass to Stanley Berryhill III was the push Arizona needed to even up the scoreboard, 35 a piece.

Hawai’i’s starting quarterback, Cole McDonald, was pulled out at the end of the third quarter after going 29-for-41 for a total of 378 yards and 4 touchdowns, but a whopping 4 interceptions.

Chevan Cordeiro took over for the Rainbow Warriors in the fourth, and he kept the team ahead of the Wildcats long enough to secure the victory.

After a season opener loss, Arizona football is back in action at home on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7:45 p.m. against NAU in the Arizona Stadium.

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