9:00 PM ET, September 19, 2003
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.
One team committed them, and the other took advantage. UNLV made the best of six Hawaii miscues to defeat the Warriors, 33-22 Friday night.
Two Hawaii mishaps helped Rebel field goal kicker Dillon Pieffer convert four field goals, which tied a school record. Pieffer's field goals came from 45, 43, 39 and 20 yards, with the three longest of the night coming in the third quarter.
Also for the Rebels, who are 3-1 for the first time since 1992 and coming off a stunning 23-5 win at Wisconsin last Saturday, running back Dominque Dorsey rushed for 111 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown. Dorsey scored on a 36-yard run down the right side with 1:46 until halftime, to give UNLV (3-1), which committed one turnover, the lead for good, 21-14.
The Warriors (1-2), who came off a 61-22 loss at USC last Saturday, fumbled the ball away three times in the first half, and quarterback Timmy Chang (37-for-61, 363 passing, two touchdowns) was intercepted three times in the second half.
"I was surprised because I think that is a highly-skilled offense," said UNLV coach John Robinson of the turnovers. "I got the feeling in the fourth quarter that (Hawaii's) offense was under duress, more than our defense was. They are so scary and they are so good, but there was a point where I started thinking that they aren't going to put much up," he said.
The first Warrior turnover, a fumble by punter Kurt Milne at the Hawaii 12, led to a Dyante Perkins 1-yard touchdown run up the middle with 9:26 left in the first quarter to give UNLV a 7-0 lead.
Hawaii, which out-gained the Rebels in total yards 417-296, tied it on a Chang 38-yard scramble touchdown pass to Britton Komine (112 yards receiving) with 2:31 remaining in the first quarter. The Warriors then took a 14-7 lead on a Chang 8-yard pass down the middle to Chad Owens with 9:53 left in the half. After UNLV's Ruschard Dodd-Masters returned a Jimaal Brimmer fumble 22 yards to the Hawaii 16, Perkins then ran in a 4-yard touchdown around the left to tie it, 14-14 with 5:36 left. After the Dorsey touchdown run, UNLV then made it 24-14 at halftime on a Pieffer 20-yarder with 16 seconds until halftime.
"The turnovers and penalties were too much to overcome," said Hawaii coach June Jones. "We didn't play very well. We didn't coach very well. There is no explanation for why we were so undisciplined. We deserved to lose."
In the third quarter, Pieffer kicked three field goals. He then went to break the school in the fourth quarter, but his kick from 37 yards hit the right upright.
"Pieffer has done a very good job and has become very consistent," Robinson said. "He is kicking his ball very fast. The ball is up and it is high and it is away, and well under the time frame that you need."
Hawaii's lone second half score came on a See Poumele 7-yard touchdown run, with 8:44 left in the third, to cut the lead to 27-22. Pieffer's 45 and 43-yarders came after the Poumele touchdown. UNLV quarterback Kurt Nantkes threw for 180 yards on 14-of-36 passing.
NOTES: UNLV's single-game field-goal record also is held by Nick Garitano, who did it in 1992 and 1993, and Joey DiGiovanna in 1984. The crowd of 34,287 was the third largest crowd in Sam Boyd Stadium. The two largest were against Wisconsin in 2002 (42,075) and 1996 (40,091). UNLV is 6-10 against Hawaii, but now has won three straight. . The Rebels are 4-1-1 playing Friday night games. The Warriors are playing six road games this season and are 0-2. The Warriors are now 5-21-1 all-time on national televised games. The game was on ESPN2.