12:05 AM ET, October 10, 2004
Aloha Stadium, HONOLULU, HI
HONOLULU (AP) -- It was supposed to be Nevada that possessed a potent ground game, but it was Hawaii showing off its newfound rushing ability.
Michael Brewster became Hawaii's first 100-yard rusher in three years and Chad Owens scored on a punt return for the second straight week as the Warriors defeated the Wolf Pack 48-26 on Saturday night.
Brewster had 150 yards on nine carries to become the first Warrior to break 100 yards since Mike Bass did it against Texas-El Paso on Oct. 13, 2001 -- a streak of 38 games.
The Warriors (2-2, 2-1 Western Athletic Conference) carried the ball 31 fewer times, but outrushed the Wolf Pack 251-233.
Timmy Chang also threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns and Britton Komine caught six passes for 147 yards for Hawaii.
"I think everybody's anticipating Timmy to throw the ball," Brewster said. "So if we run the ball, it's open."
Brewster said he wouldn't call Hawaii a rushing team just yet.
"We're more of a balanced team now," he said.
Chang, who celebrated his 23rd birthday Saturday, is quickly closing in on becoming the NCAA's career passing leader.
"It's the best gift I could've asked for," Chang said.
The fifth-year senior from Honolulu needs 853 yards to break the 13-year-old NCAA mark of 15,031 yards set by Brigham Young's Ty Detmer from 1988-91.
The Wolf Pack (2-4, 0-2) were led by Chance Kretschmer's season-high 178 rushing yards on 34 carries.
With a 24-13 lead at the half, Hawaii scored 17 unanswered points in the third quarter.
After Justin Ayat's 43-yard field goal, Owens ran back a punt 75 yards for a touchdown. He slipped past several defenders and streaked down the right sideline to make it 34-13. Owens also had touchdown catches of 12 and 13 yards in the first quarter and finished with seven catches for 80 yards.
"It was a hell of a punt return. It shouldn't have happened," Nevada coach Chris Ault said. "You got 11 guys closing in on him. He's a hell of a football player.
"Even if there was a block in the back, you've got 10 other guys that should've made the tackle."
Owens returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown last week.
"I can't imagine a better punt returner in the country than Chad Owens," Hawaii coach June Jones said.
The third quarter scoring came to a close after Brewster caught a shovel pass and ran 22 yards before fumbling on Nevada's 1-yard line. Hawaii offensive tackle Uriah Moenoa dropped on the ball in the end zone to give Hawaii a 41-13 lead.
Nevada had a chance to cut Hawaii's lead to 27-20 in the third quarter, but Kretschmer fumbled the ball inches from Hawaii's goal line when he was hit by linebacker Tanuvasa Moe.
In the game, Moe had an interception, 11 tackles and a sack.
"The fumble on the 1-yard line turned turned the whole thing around," Ault said.
Talib Wise scored a couple of touchdowns in the fourth, but the Wolf Pack couldn't overcome Hawaii's big lead. Wise finished with 10 receptions for 104 yards.
Hawaii third-string running back Bryan Maneafaiga scored on a 6-yard touchdown run for Hawaii's final points.
Nevada and Hawaii traded scores to open the game with neither defense being very effective.
After the Warriors opened with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Chang to Owens, the Wolf Pack responded with a 1-yard touchdown run by Kretschmer.
Kretschmer had seven carries for 63 yards on the Wolf Pack's 89-yard opening drive. Kretschmer, who averages 81.2 rushing yards per game, had 109 rushing yards at halftime.
Chang and Owens hooked up again on a 13-yard scoring pass to put Hawaii up 14-7. Owens caught the ball at Nevada's 5, juked a defender to the FieldTurf and danced into the end zone.
The Warriors threatened to score again in the first quarter, but Ross Dickerson fumbled the ball on Nevada's 10. The fumble, recovered by Wolf Pack safety Keone Kauo, was Hawaii's first turnover this year.
After Damon Fine's 23-yard field goal, Kauo intercepted Chang's overthrown pass, giving Nevada the ball at Hawaii's 25.
The pick snapped Chang's school record of 178 attempts in a season without an interception.