Hawaii falls way short in bid to become bowl eligible
HONOLULU (AP) – John Clay’s relentless rushing helped Wisconsin run over Hawaii 51-10 win on Saturday night, dashing the Warriors’ hopes for an appearance in their hometown bowl game.
Clay rushed for 172 yards and scored three touchdowns for postseason-bound Wisconsin (9-3), which strengthened its argument for an invite to the Outback Bowl.
Hawaii (6-7) had its four-game winning streak come to an end and fell one victory short of a bid to the Hawaii Bowl, in which the Warriors had hoped to face former coach June Jones and SMU.
Clay, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, finished the season with 1,416 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien was 16 for 20 for 253 yards.
Hawaii’s lone touchdown came on a 2-yard pass from Bryant Moniz to Javonte Taylor in the fourth quarter. Moniz was 15 for 34 for 197 yards and a touchdown but had two interceptions.
Wisconsin is probably headed to Florida for an appearance in the Outback Bowl or Champs Sports Bowl.
Hawaii’s streaky season is over. SMU has already accepted an invitation to the Hawaii Bowl for its first bowl appearance in 25 years after the school received the NCAA’s death penalty for repeated rules violations. The 7-5 Mustangs will likely face 8-4 Nevada.
Clay’s touchdowns came on runs of 15, 3 and 2 yards. His longest run was 34 yards in the second quarter, setting himself up to score the Badgers’ fourth touchdown as they entered the half with a 27-3 lead.
The Badgers’ rushing attack was also powered by Montee Ball, who had 78 yards and a touchdown, and David Gilreath, 13 yards and a touchdown.
Hawaii’s offense was held to 214 total yards, including only 17 rushing yards. The Warriors’ previous low this season was 301 yards against Louisiana Tech.
Greg Salas fell short of becoming Hawaii’s single-season leader in receptions and receiving yards. He needed six catches and 155 yards to set those school records but instead caught three passes for 31 yards.