FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – Cornerbacks DeAndre Elliott and Jasen Oden both returned interceptions for touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and Colorado State weathered four turnovers of its own to beat Hawaii 42-27 on Saturday night.
Chris Nwoke had his first career touchdown catch and ran for another score to offset a pair of fumbles, helping Colorado State (2-6, 1-3 Mountain West) snap a six-game losing streak. Nwoke finished with 115 yards rushing, the first time this season a Rams player has gone over 100 yards.
Sean Schroeder completed 19 of 46 for 200 yards for Hawaii but was sacked four times and threw three interceptions.
Joey Iosefa rushed 22 times for 106 yards for the Warriors (1-6, 0-4), who lost their fifth in a row and remained winless in their last seven conference games dating to last season.
Colorado State started the second half with three successive turnovers as Nwoke fumbled for the second time, Conner Smith threw a second interception and Tommey Morris also lost a fumble. But Hawaii also struggled to capitalize, netting only a 26-yard field goal by Tyler Hadden following Morris’ fumble to pull within 28-24 with 6:51 left in the third quarter.
Hadden kicked a 43-yard field goal later in the third to narrow the score to 28-27 after several Warriors broke through to partially block Pete Kontodiakos‘ punt.
But Elliott deflated the Warriors’ comeback bid when he snared Schroeder’s pass and sprinted untouched 76 yards down the sideline for the score with 14:36 left to play.
With 1:17 left, Schroeder overshot his target and Oden made the interception, in stride, taking it back 40 yards for a touchdown. Schroeder’s final pass was picked off in the end zone by Elliott as time expired.
Taking advantage of two Hawaii fumbles, Colorado State led 28-21 at halftime, though the Warriors got back into the game after a surprise onside kick by the Rams backfired.
Riding a 21-point run to a two-touchdown lead, the Rams tried the onside kick, but it bounced into the arms of Hawaii’s John Lister near midfield and he took off the other way, getting to the 2-yard line before being knocked out of bounds.
Four plays later, Schroeder dove into the end zone from 1-yard out for a touchdown.
Hawaii turned a Colorado State turnover into the game’s first score. Marrell Jackson punched the ball from Nwoke’s grasp and Jerrol Garcia-Williams grabbed it on the bounce and dashed 12 yards for a touchdown.
Nwoke came back to catch a 27-yard touchdown pass from Smith and ran 7 yards for another score around Chris Gant‘s 8-yard scoring pass from Schroeder.
The touchdown run by Nwoke tied it 14-all and was set up when Max Morgan returned a fumble 38 yards to the Hawaii 29-yard line after Shaq Bell jarred the ball loose, following a reception by the Warriors’ Ryan Hall.
Joe Hansley broke free for a 76-yard punt return to the Hawaii 5-yard line and James Skelton ran it in on the next play.
Colorado State went up 28-14 on Morris’ 1-yard scoring run with 6:19 remaining in the second. The Rams began the drive after Nu’uvail Fa’apito recovered a fumble by Iosefa.
By DENNIS GEORGATOS, Associated Press
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)