28 - 26 Final
  for this game

Hawaii survives Nevada upset bid, remains perfect

Nov 17, 2007 - 9:20 AM RENO, Nevada (Ticker) -- With its record-setting quarterback limited due to injury, Hawaii remained vigilant in its quest for perfection.

Tyler Graunke threw two touchdowns and Dan Kelly hit a 45-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to lead the 13th-ranked Warriors past Nevada, 28-26, on Friday at Mackay Stadium.

Due to the concussion he sustained in Hawaii's 37-30 victory over Fresno State on Saturday, regular starter Colt Brennan was limited to two snaps and one pass attempt and, as a result, fell just one game short of matching former Brigham Young quarterback Ty Detmer for consecutive games with at least one TD pass at 34.

Brennan also remained one touchdown pass short of Detmer's NCAA career-record 122 TD passes and also saw his streak of 200-yard games end. Prior to Friday, Brennan had never thrown for less than 219 yards in a contest.

Graunke, who finished 33-of-46 for 358 yards, led the Warriors down the field on a 14-play, 61-yard drive in 2:01 with no timeouts.

"He plays well under pressure and he's a competitive kid and I'm just really proud of him," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "He did what he practiced to do. He's a winner."

Kelly, a candidate for the Lou Groza Award given to college football's top kicker but was only 10-of-18 from 40 yards or more in his career, hit his second 45-yard field goal of the contest to seal the win for the Warriors, who won for the first time in four tries all-time in Reno.

"That was a total team victory right there," Graunke said. "We never won in Reno, and I really wanted to step up and prove to my team and help them rally."

"I'm proud of the guys," Jones said. "We're a championship football team. We're going to show up next week and the week after."

Kelly overcame two attempts by Nevada coach Chris Ault to ice him, overcoming a timeout call on his first kick that was good with a even-more-convincing second kick for Hawaii, which is 10-0 for the first time since 1925.

"That was one heck of a ball game," Ault said. "Hats off to Hawaii, they played well, both offensively and defensively."

"Everybody thought it's just Colt Brennan," Jones said. "We have a lot of great players."

The Warriors (10-0, 7-0 WAC) jumped out to an early 12-0 on the first play of the second quarter when Graunke connected with Jason Rivers for a three-yard TD.

After Nevada (5-5, 3-3) answered with a touchdown of their own on the ensuing possession, the senior signal-caller converted a seven-yard score two drives later to re-establish a 12-point advantage at 19-7. The Wolfpack's Brett Jaekle nailed a 41-yard field goal with 53 seconds left to cut the lead to 19-10 going into intermission.

Nevada dominated play in the third quarter as it opened the second half with a 42-yard kick from Jaekle to close to within 19-13.

Following a three-and-out from the Warriors, Wolfpack quarterback Colin Kaepernick concluded a 17-play, 90-yard drive that took over eight minutes when he scored from three yards out to give Nevada its first lead at 20-19.

Kaepernick went 9-of-20 for 134 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Hawaii seized the lead back on the next drive early in the fourth quarter at 25-20 when Graunke hit Ryan Grice-Mullen from 22 yards out but gave back the lead on Luke Lippincott's two-yard rush with 8:27 left in the fourth quarter to trail 26-25.

Both teams' two-point conversions failed, and after two unsuccessful drives for both teams, Nevada pinned Hawaii at the 12-yard line with 2:10 remaining, setting the stage for the final drive.

"We had our chances, our offense just could not move the ball at the end when we needed it," Ault said. "They (Hawaii) were able to move the ball and convert."