Friday night was set for the WAC to take center stage. Hawaii and San Jose State had a primetime slot on ESPN and there were no other college football games on the schedule. In that sense, this game was a huge success -- in terms of entertainment value, the Spartans and Warriors put on an exciting show for four quarters.
In the end, San Jose State overcame a ferocious Hawaii comeback to win 28-27.
At the half, SJSU led 20-7, picking off Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz twice and recovering two fumbles. Nothing was working for the Warriors, and the Spartans took full advantage.
San Jose State struggled mightily with ball control in the second half, turning the ball over six times resulting in 20 Hawaii points. This was a classic self-destruction as the Spartans fumbled three times and threw three interceptions.
Early in the fourth quarter, Hawaii running back Joey Iosefa scampered 32 yards for a Warriors touchdown, giving Hawaii a 27-20 lead. The extra point, however, was blocked and returned for a 2-point conversion by SJSU safety Duke Ihenacho.
With a minute left to play, San Jose State began at their own 13-yard line, down five points. SJSU quarterback Matt Faulkner led a spirited six play, 87-yard touchdown drive that culminated in a 37-yard Chandler Jones touchdown reception.
SJSU went for the two-point conversion but were stopped. Hawaii tried their best to come back with just seconds to play, but could not make it to field goal territory.
In total, the two teams combined for 12 turnovers, creating a terrifically compelling football game for the casual observer. The WAC didn't necessarily expect tonight to be a showcase game for their conference, but the entertainment value of this matchup was excellent.
With the win, SJSU moves to 3-4 on the season and a respectable 2-1 in WAC play. Next week, San Jose State heads to Louisiana to take on LA Tech.