McDonald, Byrd help Hawaii cruise to 54-3 win over Nevada

  • Nevada running back Toa Taua (35) is grabbed by Hawaii’s Cortez Davis (18) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Reno, Nev., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes)

  • Hawaii running back Fred Holly III (21) is hit by Nevada’s Daylon Johnson (37) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Reno, Nev. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes)

  • Hawaii receiver JoJo Ward (9) is grabbed by Nevada’s Berdale Robins (1) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Reno, Nev. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes)

  • Hawaii wide receiver Cedric Byrd II (6) make the catch for a touchdown over Nevada’s Emany Johnson (5) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Reno, Nev. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes)

  • Hawaii receiver JoJo Ward (9) is chased by Nevada’s Lawson Hall (30) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Reno, Nev. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes)

  • Hawaii wide receiver Cedric Byrd II (6) reacts after scoring a touchdown against Nevada in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Reno, Nev. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes)

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RENO, Nev. — Cole McDonald threw four touchdown passes, including three to Cedric Byrd II, and Hawaii beat Nevada 54-3 on Saturday night in the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams.

McDonald completed 25 of 30 for 312 yards and Byrd had seven receptions for 87 yards. Jason Sharsh had nine catches for 123 yards — both career highs — and a score for Hawaii (4-1).

Byrd had TD receptions of 36 and 2 yards, Justice Augafa returned a punt blocked by Andrew Choi 2 yards for a score and Miles Reed scored on a 9-yard run to make it 28-0 with 5:33 left in the second quarter. After Brandon Talton’s 36-yard field goal got Nevada (3-2) on the board with 36 seconds left in the first half, Byrd ran 29 yards on a trick play and then had a 7-yard reception to set up a 44-yard field goal Ryan Meskell to give the Rainbow Warriors a 28-point halftime lead.

Hawaii, which had lost seven of its last eight against the Wolf Pack, won at Nevada for just the second time in 10 all-time tries. It was the second-highest margin of victory in series history; the Rainbow Warriors lost 73-12 in Honolulu on Dec. 17, 1948.

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