EditorsNote: 8th and 9th grafs, change references to McKnight to McDonald
Louisiana Tech senior Jaylen Ferguson set an all-time FBS career record for sacks Saturday night and the Bulldogs scored 21 third-quarter points in the penalty-riddled Hawaii Bowl, beating the host Rainbow Warriors 31-14 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
Ferguson collected 2½ sacks, breaking the record of Terrell Suggs (Arizona State) at the 4:25 mark of the third quarter with his 45th career sack. Ferguson finished the season with 17½ sacks and recorded 26 tackles for loss.
Louisiana Tech wiped out a 7-3 halftime deficit as its offense finally got untracked after committing three turnovers. Israel Tucker’s 5-yard touchdown run with 10:27 left in the third quarter gave the Bulldogs (8-5) the lead for good at 10-7.
It became 17-7 at the 4:44 mark on a perfectly-executed 58-yard screen pass from J’Mar Smith to Jaqwis Dancy, finishing off a 92-yard drive.
Smith made it 24-7 with 55 seconds remaining on a 4-yard keeper, polishing off a 65-yard drive on which he connected with Adrian Hardy for a 54-yard gain to set up the score.
Hawaii (8-6) pulled within 24-14 on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Cole McDonald to Marcus Armstrong-Brown with 6:14 left in the game, but Louisiana Tech sealed the outcome on a 39-yard scoring run by Kam McKnight with 3:45 remaining.
The Rainbow Warriors never got untracked offensively, their line surrendering a bowl-record nine sacks, four by Willie Baker for another bowl record.
Coach Nick Rolovich alternated McDonald and backup Chevan Cordeiro, but neither could survive against the Bulldogs’ pass rush.
McDonald completed 10 of 20 passes for 85 yards with two interceptions, while Cordeiro was 7 of 14 for 83 yards and a 24-yard touchdown strike to Jason-Matthew Sharsh with 8:20 left in the second quarter.
Hawaii played without its leading receiver, John Ursua (hamstring), who led FBS this year with 16 touchdown catches.
Smith completed 19 of 31 attempts for 285 yards with an interception. The Bulldogs have finished their last five seasons with a bowl victory.
The teams combined for 21 penalties and 234 yards. The Rainbow Warriors drew 12 flags for 140 yards.
—Field Level Media