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Hawaii loses 58-7 to Air Force, the worst home loss in school history


HONOLULU — Despite another lopsided loss, Hawaii football coach Norm Chow isn't thinking about job security.

The Rainbow Warriors suffered the worst home loss in school history in Saturday's 58-7 defeat at the hands of Air Force. It also marked their sixth consecutive loss this year, dropping them to 2-7.

Hawaii is also the lone winless team remaining in the Mountain West conference at 0-5. It is now 10-36 overall and 4-25 in conference under Chow, the fourth-year coach.

The loss eliminated the Rainbow Warriors' chances of reaching bowl eligibility and assured them a fifth consecutive losing season.

"I'm not worried about my job," Chow said in a post-game press conference. "I've been through this a long time, so my issue really has nothing to do with this football game. There's 65 guys in there that are hurting and you're worried about me? Come on. Give me a break."

It just the latest event in a series of tough losses for Hawaii, which blew a 10-point halftime lead at New Mexico two weeks ago and a 17-point second-quarter lead at Nevada a week later.

The Rainbow Warriors avoided being shutout for the fourth time this year Saturday night on Keelan Ewaliko's 98-yard kickoff return late in the game.

Jacobi Owens rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns to lead Air Force's prolific rushing attack, which entered the game averaging 333 rushing yards (third-best in the country).

The Falcons (5-3, 4-1 Mountain West) amassed 576 yards of total offense, including a season-high 496 rushing, en route to their first road win of the year.

It was the second straight week that Air Force had two ball carriers go over 100 yards in a game. Timothy McVey ran for 113 yards and two late touchdowns. Benton Washington, Karson Roberts and Aubrey Duty-Tyson each recorded a rushing score and Luke Strebel made field goals of 40, 36 and 44 yards.

The Falcons ran 92 total offensive plays, which bested its season-high mark of 90 in last week's win over Fresno State.

Owens' first rushing score capped a 15-play, 90-yard drive that included three third-down conversions.

The Falcons were 8 for 8 on red zone scoring opportunities and dominated possession, hanging on to the ball for 45:06.

The Rainbow Warriors were 1 of 10 on third downs with 178 yards of total offense.

Hawaii's Jerrol Garcia-Williams led all players with 17 tackles, including 10 solo stops.

Roland Ladipo led Air Force with a forced fumble that led to Roberts' 1-yard touchdown run and an interception that set up Strebel's second field goal.

Weston Steelhammer's interception led to another Strebel field goal. He also recovered a fumble in the first half.

The Falcons, who led at halftime 34-0, improved to 47-11 when leading at the half and 58-8 when leading after three quarters under ninth-year coach Troy Calhoun.

With the win, Air Force held on to the General Laurence S. Kuter Trophy, which dates back to 1980 and is named after the first head of the Pacific Air Forces Command, based out of Honolulu. Air Force leads the all-time series against Hawaii, 13-6-1. It was the first time the teams met since 2012, when the Falcons beat the Rainbow Warriors 21-7 in Fort Collins, Colorado

It was the largest margin of victory for either team in the series since the first meeting in 1966, which Air Force won 54-0.

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