San Diego State missed a long field goal with time winding down, as Hawaii beat the Aztecs 14-11 to secure a berth in the Mountain West title game.
With the win, the Rainbow Warriors (8-4, 5-3) drew even with the Aztecs (8-3, 5-3) in the standings as they played their final conference game.
But the head-to-head tiebreaker gave Hawaii the advantage in the West and the coveted spot in the Dec. 7 Mountain West championship game.
They will take on No. 20 Boise State, champion of the Mountain Division.
The Aztecs had the ball with 1:23 seconds left, and moved it 50 yards down field to get within field-goal range with 8 seconds remaining. But kicker Matt Araiza missed the 48-yard attempt with 8 seconds left.
Quarterback Ryan Agnew had scored with about 13 minutes left, and followed by making a two-point conversion, to draw the Aztecs to within three, at 14-11.
Agnew finished the night with 229 yards after going 25 for 39. Cornerback Luq Barcoo notched his eighth interception of the season, tied for the national lead.
Hawaii scored first, with Cole McDonald’s 5-yard pass to Jason-Matthew Sharsh in the first quarter. Fred Holly III’s ran 11 yards for a touchdown to put the Rainbow Warriors up 14-3 in the third quarter.
Despite the loss, San Diego State held Hawaii to its fewest total yards, 347 and passing yards, 215, this season. The Aztecs, however had anticipated that it would be a tough matchup.
“They’re very elusive receivers and running backs that can make you miss, said safety Tariq Thompson earlier this week. “Our goal is to stop the yards after catch because it could kill us.”
San Diego State closes out the regular season at home next week against Brigham Young.
— Spectrum Sports HI (@specsportshi) November 24, 2019
– Staff reports