HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The match-up was one old school football fans always remember, and today’s contest displayed offensive fireworks that local fans today, will never forget.
Hawaii and BYU met for the 32nd time in their storied rivalry, and provided an instant classic to end their respective seasons.
The Warriors and Cougars both came out of the locker rooms ready to light up the scoreboard, and it was Hawaii that got the party started.
Cole McDonald connected with Wide Receiver Jared Smart for a seven yard score to break the ice an the Warriors jumped out to a 14 point lead in the first half.
The teams combined for over 500 yards and 55 points, as Cole McDonald tossed for 331 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Warrior to a 31-24 lead at intermission.
McDonald, who garnered Most Valuable Player honors – finished with five total touchdowns – four passing and one rushing – and threw for a career-high 493 yards on 28-of-46 passing.
The defense relied heavily on the big play making ability of defensive back Koury Bethley.
Bethley tallied a career-high 10 tackles along with two interceptions, including the game winner with just seconds remaining on the clock.
The Rainbow Warriors (10-5) finished with 10 wins for the first time since 2010 and for just the seventh time in school history.
The Warriors also snapped a five-game losing skid against BYU while posting their first back-to-back winning seasons since 2006-07.
In the victory 'Bows, receivers Jojo Ward and Jared Smart each went over 1,000-yards on the season as UH became just the sixth team in FBS history with three 1,000-yard receivers.
McDonald also became the fourth UH quarterback to surpass 4,000 passing yards in a season.
After an explosive first half UH went scoreless as the Cougars mounted a comeback with 10 unanswered points in the second half.
BYU’s Jake Oldroyd’s 20-yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter gave the Cougars their first lead of the game. However with just 2:07 left in the game McDonald threw a 24 yard strike to receiver Nick Mardner touchdown for the 38-34 lead to win the shootout.