HONOLULU (Sports Network) - Bryant Moniz threw for three touchdowns and Hawaii took advantage of a crucial mistake by Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick to hold on for a 27-21 win over the 19th-ranked Wolf Pack.
Moniz completed 26-of-36 passes for 287 yards for the Warriors (5-2, 3-0 WAC), who won their fourth straight contest. Since Nevada joined the WAC in 2000, the Warriors have won all six games against the Wolf Pack at Aloha Stadium.
"We got more penalties than we normally do in the second half, and we're going to have to take a look at that and some breakdowns on special teams that made it an interesting ball game," Hawaii coach Greg McMackin said. "You got to make it exciting for people to keep coming back. But we won, and that's what I'm really pleased about. We've been taking these games one at a time, and now we can start focusing on Utah State and keep going."
Kaepernick ended 14-of-26 for 159 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions for the Wolf Pack (6-1, 1-1), who nearly rallied from a 17-0 deficit. Kaepernick also ran for a score, but carelessly fumbled the ball away as he was going into the end zone in the third quarter.
Nevada was behind 17-0 at the time of the fumble. Kaepernick raced to the left pylon, but held the ball with just one hand as it came loose and went to the end zone and out of bounds midway through the quarter.
"We lose 10 points in the second half, and in a game like this against a team like Hawaii, you can't give away points," Nevada coach Chris Ault said. "This is the third time we've had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter out here, and we didn't. Hawaii played well, they did an outstanding job."
Kaepernick did push the pile into the end zone from a yard out on fourth down later in the quarter, but Scott Enos' 31-yard field goal gave Hawaii a 20-7 edge early in the fourth.
An 18-yard TD pass from Kaepernick to Vai Taua had Nevada within six points again, this time with 9:24 left. That came after an 84-yard kickoff return by Mike Ball, but Moniz found Royce Pollard for an 11-yard score four minutes later.
Nevada still had some fight left, though, as Kaepernick hit Ball for a 10- yard TD with just over three minutes to go and a 27-21 margin. Zach Sudfeld recovered the ensuing onsides kick for Nevada, but five plays later Kaepernick's pass over the middle went off the fingers of wide receiver Brandon Wimberly and into the waiting hands of Hawaii's Mana Silva with under two minutes left to essentially seal the win.
Moniz threw two TD passes to Kealoha Pilares in the first quarter, from six and 16 yards. Enos hit a 24-yard field goal midway through the second.