Hawaii 27, No. 19 Nevada 21

Nevada may never want to return to the islands again after

losing its sixth straight at Hawaii. By bolting for the Mountain

West Conference next year, it may never have to.

Bryant Moniz threw three touchdowns, Mana Silva intercepted a

late pass and Hawaii held on to upset No. 19 Nevada 27-21 on

Saturday night, spoiling the Wolf Pack’s perfect season.

”We knew that they’ve never won here and we wanted to keep that

going,” Moniz said.

The surging Warriors (5-2, 3-0 Western Athletic Conference) have

won four straight to emerge as the top challenger to powerhouse

Boise State for the WAC title.

”This one’s sweet,” Moniz said. ”Nevada is ranked, undefeated

season, leaving the WAC, we lost to them last year. I could go on

and on.”

Moniz threw two scoring passes to Kealoha Pilares in the first

quarter and zipped an 11-yard TD strike to Royce Pollard with 5 1/2

minutes left. But Nevada answered with its own score to pull within

six with 3:06 left, then recovered an onside kick.

With Nevada driving, the crowd in a frenzy and the clock winding

down, Colin Kaepernick’s pass was tipped into the hands of Silva to

seal Hawaii’s win. It was Kaepernick’s second interception of the

night. He also fumbled twice, both forced by Corey Paredes.

”I single-handedly lost this football game tonight,”

Kaepernick said.

Kaepernick’s second fumble erased a touchdown from the

scoreboard. Kaepernick scrambled 10 yards to the left and tried to

reach across the goal line. After a review, officials ruled he

fumbled into the end zone for a touchback.

”I thought I was going to get in easy, but I just didn’t take

care of the ball,” said Kaepernick, who was 14 of 26 for 159 yards

and two TDs. He also carried the ball 11 times for 30 yards.

Nevada (6-1, 1-1) fell to 0-6 at Aloha Stadium and hasn’t won in

Honolulu since 1948. Its last loss also came at the 2009 Hawaii

Bowl when it was routed by SMU.

Hawaii coach Greg McMackin said the win was satisfying.”

”There’s a real personal satisfaction because they don’t want

to play with us anymore,” he said. ”They’re too good for us now

and they’re trying to do what’s good for their program, I

understand that, but the way it was done, I don’t know if that was

right or not.”

Moniz finished 26 of 36 for 287 yards. His final touchdown pass

capped a six-play, 57-yard drive that included a highlight-reel

play. Moniz escaped the arms of a defender, and scrambled around

until tossing a 37-yard pass to Greg Salas to the Nevada 14.

Salas finished with 11 catches for 153 yards.

”I just keep believing in my O-line, believing in my receivers

and we were never worried,” Moniz said. ”Whether we’re up 17 or

down 17, we’re going to believe in ourselves.”

The showdown of two of the nation’s top offenses that average a

combined 1,000 yards and 80 points turned out to be a defensive

duel.

”It was a lack of execution, we just didn’t play like ourselves

tonight,” Kaepernick said.

After a slow start, Nevada finally got on the scoreboard with

about a minute left in the third quarter on Kaepernick’s 1-yard

run. On fourth-and-goal, Kaepernick leaned across the goal line to

slice the lead to 10.

Nevada cut it to 20-14 with 9:30 left on Kaepernick’s swing pass

to Vai Taua, who rumbled 18 yards. The score was set up by Mike

Ball’s 84-yard kickoff return.

Ball also caught a 10-yard TD pass late in the game, Nevada’s

final score.

Hawaii took a 17-0 halftime lead behind its swarming defense

that plugged Nevada’s pistol.

”I was telling the defense that we need to lock it down and

play with our hearts,” Paredes said.

The Wolf Pack, who entered the game averaging 43 points and

545.3 total yards, were held to 107 yards in the first half and 293

overall.

”Our offense was kind of just hurting ourselves once again,”

said Taua, who ran24 times for 91 yards, snapping his string of

100-yard games at five.

Nevada failed to score on its seven possessions in the half,

going three-and-out four times and failing to convert on fourth

down.

Pilares caught two TD passes in the first quarter as Hawaii took

14-0 lead.

He caught a swing pass and weaved his way through three

defenders en route to the 16-yard score.

Earlier in the quarter, Moniz rolled right and found Pilares for

a 6-yard TD strike, giving Hawaii a 7-0 lead. It was the first time

Nevada had trailed all season.