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.