Crunching numbers: OT success a good omen for UH

Hawaii players run onto the field to celebrate the 44-41 five-overtime victory against San Jose State on Saturday. / Photo by Tony Avelar, Special to the Star-Advertiser

Perhaps you think it is a cliche when it is talked about how good teams “know how to win” or “find a way to win” close games.

But if we take a look at the University of Hawaii football team’s history when it comes to the closest of close games — those that go to overtime, there may be something to be said for that.

Since overtime was instituted at the beginning of the 1996 season, UH is 9-5 in OT games, including Saturday’s 44-41 five-overtime victory at San Jose State.

UH has lost one overtime game in a winning season (2004 vs. Florida Atlantic at Aloha Stadium) and has won an OT game in just one losing season (at San Jose State, in 2009 when Hawaii finished 6-7).

In the eight seasons when Hawaii has won an OT game (in 2007 it won two), including this year, the Rainbow Warriors are 64-35 overall.

In the four seasons when Hawaii has lost an OT game (in 2013 it lost two), the Rainbow Warriors went 15-34.

(UH has never won and lost in overtime in the same season.)

Some other OT notes for the Rainbow Warriors:

>> UH is 8-1 in overtime games with the run-and-shoot as its primary offense, with the lone loss against Florida Atlantic in 2004
>> UH is 7-2 in overtime games on the road
>> UH is 4-0 in multiple-OT games
>> Nick Rolovich is 2-1 in overtime games as UH head coach, 2-0 as a UH assistant, and 1-0 as a UH player

Here’s the complete list of UH football overtime games:
Nov. 22, 1997, at Hawaii — Northeast Louisiana 23, Hawaii 20
Nov. 13, 1999, at Hawaii — Hawaii 31, Fresno State 24 (2OT)
Oct. 6, 2001, at SMU — Hawaii 38, SMU 31
Dec. 25, 2003, at Hawaii — Hawaii 54, Houston 48 (3OT)
Sept. 4, 2004, at Hawaii — Florida Atlantic 35, Hawaii 28
Sept. 8, 2007, at Louisiana Tech — Hawaii 45, Louisiana Tech 44
Oct. 12, 2007, at San Jose State — Hawaii 42, San Jose State 35
Oct. 4, 2008, at Fresno State — Hawaii 32, Fresno State 29
Nov. 21, 2009, at San Jose State — Hawaii 17, San Jose State 10
Nov. 16, 2013, at Hawaii — San Diego State 28, Hawaii 21
Nov. 23, 2013, at Wyoming — Wyoming 59, Hawaii 56
Oct. 22, 2016, at Air Force — Hawaii 34, Air Force 27 (2OT)
Sept. 23, 2017, at Wyoming — Wyoming 28, Hawaii 21
Sept. 29, 2018, at San Jose State — Hawaii 44, San Jose State 41 (5OT)

Hawaii players celebrated with fans in the stands following the quintuple-overtime 44-41 victory against San Jose State. / Photo by Tony Avelar, Special to the Star-Advertiser


  1. Spartan01 October 1, 2018 12:12 pm

    Ten years since I moved away from HI to fulfill my lifes calling, in the mid-west. Its been joyful, hard and uplifting to be a fan… I’ll probably catch my first uh road game(2018)at SDSU. Fun fact my last road game was at SDSU back in the late 80ish.. Good game and we won. Band wagon or not, I feel the teams mana and look forward to all things”student atheletes” achieve, for the U especially for the H. United they can…

  2. Chicken Grease October 1, 2018 2:13 pm

    Reardon. You certainly have the way smarter UH football blog here at Hawaii Warrior World. Thanks for your insight and keeping track of stuff like UH overtime over the ages. McGinnis’ blog is spot on and also intelligent. And also has intelligent commenters, like here.

  3. Dave Reardon October 1, 2018 3:36 pm

    Thanks … but In fairness to Stephen, I have more time to analyze numbers (not to say that he isn’t very good with numbers). He’s out there every day watching practice and interviewing players and coaches, covering the team on a daily basis. My job now involves a lot of research. Also, football is a tricky game when it comes to numbers … a lot of the stats are irrelevant because of the small sample size nature of the game, as well as how different styles of play and levels of opposition quality can skew the numbers … I try to keep that in mind.

  4. Savich October 1, 2018 9:08 pm

    September 8, 2007 Louisiana Tech, Hawai’i won by 1 point. I was thinking about another game. UNLV, 2014, 38-35 Hawai’i. OT i think. Only Hawai’i got the points. And not landing in the endzone to score a TD. (32-35) into the last 3 seconds of the game.

  5. Savich October 1, 2018 9:13 pm


  6. Savich October 1, 2018 9:31 pm

    I will look it up in the rule book now, and get back to it here again.

  7. Savich October 1, 2018 9:48 pm

    Ok. Got it. The rules says that if a player has possesion above or over the imaginary vertical plane, touchdown line, it is a touch down. It does not say he must have two or one foot in bounds endzone territory to beconsidered a touchdown. Call stands. Touchdown Hawai’i. Beat UNLV. Not landing in the endzone, but driven back by UNLV defenders inside the field instead, making it look like not a touchdown for Hawai’i.

  8. fan October 1, 2018 10:11 pm

    Nov. 22, 1997, at Hawaii — Northeast Louisiana 23, Hawaii 20
    Northeast had a hook and ladder in OT, FTW

  9. Savich October 1, 2018 10:47 pm

    Refs saw it. I never did see that touchdown. But there it is, in the rule book. November 22, 2014 Saturday night at Aloha stadium.

  10. Nelekona October 2, 2018 5:43 am

    Chicken Grease: This is in reference to Cole McDonald. “…Or doesn’t care anymore.” That’s probably the most ignorant comment I’ve seen you post to date. How could you say that? SMH.

  11. Chicken Grease October 2, 2018 6:39 am


    October 2, 2018 5:43 am
    Chicken Grease: This is in reference to Cole McDonald. “…Or doesn’t care anymore.” That’s probably the most ignorant comment I’ve seen you post to date. How could you say that? SMH.

    Gee, what other Star-Adveriser back issues are you reading? Got all the von Appen years issues right in front of you at your rate, no?

  12. A-House October 2, 2018 10:13 am

    once McDonald is done playing, it would be interesting to compare stats versus Brennan

    Colt was very accurate in his passing efficiency.

    did Byrd receive fewer chances at the ball against SJSU?

    those “shovel passes” for TD and PAT, scripted or not, were absolutely great!!!

  13. A-House October 2, 2018 10:15 am

    versus Wyoming — hope they bring the Paniolo Trophy with them because it will stay in Hawaii after Saturday!

    BTW, very nice article about Sailor Blue in the paper today { written by the other Tsai } — you go guy!!!

  14. bg October 2, 2018 5:47 pm

    @14 (A-House)

    Brother Mike’s (Tsai) piece in the morning paper was another of his poignant revelations of real life going on around us. He writes so beautifully! Jerry and Janice Boster (aka Sailor Blue and Mrs. SB) arrived in Hawaii with a full load of Aloha already packed. They then proceeded to fully embrace the islands, the culture, and the people. Mike writes of the multitude of places and activities/jobs that wove Jerry’s past…you have to read it but Mike missed one thing that tickles me to no end… Jerry and Janice, 100% haoles, belong to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce!!! Never doubt that they are 100% Hawaiian at heart and accepting of everyone. We are blessed to know them.

    I know it’s not 9pm yet and we should be sticking to sports. But, in retrospect, Jerry and Janice are all about sports!

  15. Boolakanaka October 3, 2018 3:38 pm

    No worries, da grease keeps on greasing, and den bumbye, moderated from this site too….

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