ON THIS DATE IN 1995: Officials irk Matt Harding and Rainbows in loss to Lobos

Matthew Harding made many big plays in his UH career but was left scratching his head after missing out on one against New Mexico.

On this date in 1995, Hawaii tried its level best to not blame a 24-10 loss to New Mexico on officiating.

Matthew Harding tackled New Mexico punter Coby Mansell in the end zone and Robby Blakeney scooped it up for a huge momentum shift with 10 minutes to play. The excitement was short-lived for the road team, though, as officials said Mansell tried to throw a shovel pass rather than fumble and the result of the play was an incomplete pass.

Hawaii got the ball 13 yards away from the end zone, but failed to turn it into a score. They lost three yards in four plays.

“That was the biggest play,” Harding said. “It would have been (a touchdown) and we would have kicked off with momentum and nine minutes left … We got totally screwed calls.”

Hawaii was whistled for nine penalties for 75 yards in the contest while New Mexico was hit with three penalties for 20 yards. Among the infractions, UH linebacker Danny Katoa was hit for unsportsmanlike conduct after punting the football following a UNM first down, Harding cursed too close to an official and Randall Okimoto (all 5-6, 175 pounds of him) squared up and took a swing at 225-pound UNM linebacker Daniel Johnson.