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Hawai’i Beats Houston 28-14 in 2020 New Mexico Bowl


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FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Chevan Cordeiro threw three first-half touchdown passes and Calvin Turner had two long scoring plays to help Hawaii beat Houston 28-14 on Thursday in the New Mexico Bowl.

 

The game was moved to Frisco from its usual location in Albuquerque because of COVID-19 restrictions in New Mexico.

 

Hawaii (5-4) gave first-year coach Todd Graham his 100th career victory. He previously coached at Rice, Tulsa, Pittsburgh and Arizona State.

 

The Rainbow Warriors had a winning record for the third season in a row, the first time they’ve done that since 2001-04. Houston (3-5) has consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 2000-02.

 

Cordeiro completed 15 of 23 passes for 136 yards and had eight carries for 33 yards.

 

Houston’s Clayton Tune was 20 of 38 for 216 yards with two touchdown and three interceptions.

 

Hawaii raced to a 21-0 lead in the first half, with Cordeiro throwing scoring passes of 3 yards to Dae Dae Hunter, 75 yards to Turner, and 4 yards to Jonah Laulu.

 

Houston rallied with two touchdowns in the third quarter, with Tune throwing a 7-yard scoring pass to Nathaniel Dell and a 26-yarder to Christian Trahan.

 

After Trahan’s score, Turner returned the kickoff 92 yards to cap the scoring.

 

Houston & Hawai’i to Play in the 2020 New Mexico Bowl

Cougars and Rainbow Warriors to play Christmas Eve on ESPN

Albuquerque, NM – The University of Houston and University of Hawai’i will face off in the 2020 New Mexico Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 24. The 15th annual bowl game, which will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m MT, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX, is scheduled to be the only bowl game played on Christmas Eve.

 

The game, which was relocated due to COVID-19 restrictions in New Mexico, will air live on ESPN and ESPN Radio.

 

“We are excited to host the Houston Cougars and Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors both making their first appearance in our game,” said New Mexico Bowl Executive Director Jeff Siembieda. “This should be a really exciting and fun matchup for the New Mexico Bowl and we are looking forward to hosting these two tremendous programs and their fans in Frisco.”

 

The Cougars dropped their final scheduled game of the 2020 regular season at Memphis on Saturday in dramatic fashion to finish 3-4 on the year. Quarterback Clayton Tune leads the nation’s 39th best scoring offense (32.3 ppg) averaging 261.7 passing yards (25th in FBS) in the seven contests.

 

Houston will make its 28th all-time appearance in a bowl game and first in the New Mexico Bowl. This will be seventh bowl appearance for the Cougars in the last eight seasons and the 14th since the year 2000. Houston also represents the first team from the American Athletic Conference to play in the New Mexico Bowl. The AAC joins teams from the Mountain West, Pac-12, WAC, Conference USA and MAC to appear in the contest.

 

The Rainbow Warriors enter the Christmas Eve matchup having won two of their last three games en route to a 4-4 campaign in 2020. Quarterback Chevan Cordeiro paces both the Hawai’i passing and rushing attacks, amassing 299.6 total yards per game which is 21st in FBS. The Rainbow Warriors are averaging 33.75 points in their four victories.

 

Hawai’i will make is 14th bowl game appearance, first in the New Mexico Bowl and only the third bowl game on the mainland in program history (1992 Holiday Bowl, 2007 Sugar Bowl)

 

Tickets to the New Mexico Bowl can be purchased by going to https://newmexicobowl.com/get-tickets/ or via telephone at (855) 492-8053.  Phone orders may be placed Monday-Saturday (9 a.m. – 9 p.m. CT) and Sunday (10 a.m. – 6 p.m. CT).  All tickets will be mobile tickets through the AXS App, available for iOS and Android. Seating will be assigned in a socially distanced manner with ticket blocks being limited to accommodate a safe game experience.

 

COVID-19 Measures

All fans attending the 2020 New Mexico Bowl must adhere to Toyota Stadium’s COVID-19 safety protocols. These include but are not limited to following all social distancing guidelines and wearing a mask at all times except when eating or drinking. For a complete list of COVID-19 safety precautions, please visit ToyotaStadiumDallas.com/StadiumSafety.

 

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

 

For more information, visit the official websiteFacebookTwitter or YouTube pages.

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Media Coordinator: Ryan Kasmiersky at 214-707-3852 or ryan@breakaway-sports.com
ESPN: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com; @ItsAnnaNegron