Trying to improve from a losing 3-9 record in 2012, the UH Rainbow Warrior football team began their 2013 season at Aloha Stadium versus the #24 USC Trojans.
The first play from scrimmage for the Rainbow Warriors offense resulted in a sack followed by a false start penalty.
Certainly an improvement from their 2012 opening game versus USC, where a screen pass by the Trojans resulted in a touchdown.
After punting the ball away, the Rainbow Warrior defense held the Trojan offense, just as the Troajns were beginning a methodical march down the field.
The following drive resulted in a turnover after UH quarterback Taylor Graham threw an interception to Trojan safety Su'a Cravens.
But the Rainbow Warrior defense showed some dexterity after a goal line stance, punctuated by a back field stop by #56 linebacker Brenden Daley, held the Trojans to a field goal.
After the 1st quarter UH trailed 3-0.
That quickly changed in the beginning of the 2nd quarter as a well placed punt by #29 Scott Harding (wide receiver and punter from Australia) pinned the Trojans on their 1-yard line. The Rainbow Warriors capitalized on that field position when #41 Art Luarel, linebacker, sacked the Trojan quarterback in the end zone for a safety. That put the Rainbow Warriors down a point, 3-2.
Following that safety, UH received the ball back and began their offensive drive with a bang as #9 wide receiver Chris Gant made a 35-yard return to put the Rainbow Warriors well into Trojan territory.
An excellent effort was made by #34 running back Aofaga Wiley to keep the drive alive with a 9-yard catch followed by a short run on 4th down to move the chains. That led to a 42-yard field goal by #27 Tyler Hadden to put UH ahead 5-3.
USC and UH then exchanged interceptions, Graham throwing for his second of the game.
However, USC was able to capitalize on their pick when USC quarterback #6 Cody Kessler tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to #15 wide receiver Nelson Agholor.
That was followed by another UH interception, this time a pick-6 by #26 safety Josh Shaw. That 35-yard run back represented Tyler Graham's third interception of the game. That plus the extra point made it 17-5.
UH had a chance late in the 2nd quarter after a fumbled punt by #9 wide receiver Marqise Lee gave the Rainbow Warriors excellent field position.
But USC was able to hold them off and march down the field to cap off the half with a 52-yard field goal from #48.
At the end of the half the Trojans led by the score of 20-5.
Scoring wise, the 3rd quarter saw no action.
In the 4th, ten points by USC furthered their lead with UH's only touchdown of the game coming with under a minute left in the game.
Graham's first TD as a Rainbow Warrior capped off a night when he threw for 208 yards on 16-41 passing. He chalked up four interceptions for the game as well.
On the ground UH delivered a combined 23 yards on 31 carries. The reason for the low yardage? Graham rolling out from the Trojan defense and getting caught behind the line.
In total, Graham was sacked 7 times.
The final score for the Rainbow Warrior season opener, 30-13 to the visitors.