HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It had been a while since the Rainbow Warriors could say they were 1-0. Four years to be exact. The last time Hawaii opened the season with a win came in 2011 against, coincidentally, Colorado.
With no timeouts and the officials struggling to place the ball in the final seconds, the clock ran out on a Colorado comeback. Hawaii, which was a touchdown underdog, defeated the Buffaloes 28-20.
Making his UH debut, senior quarterback Max Wittek finished the game 19 of 38 for 202 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. It took the USC-transfer less than three minutes to throw his first touchdown, after a Keelan Ewaliko blocked punt set the 'Bows up at the Colorado 16-yard-line. Three plays later, Wittek connected with Quinton Pedroza on an 11-yard fade, and then again on the two point conversion to put Hawaii up 8-0.
A Michael Adkins five-yard rushing touchdown cut UH's lead to 8-7 with 9:21 left in the second quarter. The Rainbow Warriors responded less than two minutes later when Wittek hit Marcus Kemp on a post route for a 79-yard touchdown. Kemp finished the game with six catches for a career-high 116 yards.
Hawaii led 18-14 at halftime, and the two teams traded field goals in the second half. The lone touchdown came late in the third quarter courtesy of an Isaiah Bernard one-yard reception.
The Rainbow Warriors defense held Colorado All-American wide receiver Nelson Spruce to 69 yards on eight catches. Buffaloes quarterback Sefo Liufau failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in his career, ending a streak of 20 straight games. Liufau was under pressure all night from the 'Bows front seven which sacked him four times. Senior defensive end Luke Shawley led UH with 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Next up for Hawaii, #1 Ohio State in Columbus on September 12th.