HONOLULU -- Bryant Moniz ran for a career-best 121 yards and three touchdowns and Hawaii beat Colorado 34-17 in the season opener for both teams Saturday night, extending the Buffaloes' road woes and spoiling the coaching debut of Jon Embree.
Moniz, who had just 102 yards rushing in 2010 while leading the nation in passing, rushed for 120 yards and two TDs in the first half alone. He also threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Joey Iosefa in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory for the Warriors.
His scoring runs of 57 and 14 yards gave Hawaii a 17-0 halftime lead. He added a 1-yard TD in the third quarter, pushing the lead back to 17.
Meanwhile, the road losses keep mounting for the Buffaloes, who made their debut as a member of the Pac-12. It was Colorado's 18th straight loss on the road, 19 counting the 2007 Independence Bowl. Colorado hasn't won on the road since beating Texas Tech on Oct. 27, 2007.
It was a surprising performance for Moniz, who last year became just the 11th FBS quarterback to surpass 5,000 yards in a season. Moniz was 20 of 33 for 178 yards, far below his 360-yard average last year.
Moniz turned to the ground after having trouble finding his range. After completing a short swing pass to open the game, he failed to connect on his next six attempts.
But his legs were working. Moniz scrambled for a 22-yard gain in the first quarter and two plays later broke a 34-yard run, leading to a field goal. He then broke a career-long 57-yard TD run in the second quarter to put Hawaii up 10-0. Moniz faked a handoff, sidestepped a defender and sprinted untouched the rest of the way.
With 24 seconds left in the half, Moniz kept it on an option and scored on the 14-yarder.
Colorado made it interesting at the start of the fourth quarter, taking advantage of a Hawaii turnover and cutting the lead to 24-17 on Will Oliver's 34-yard field goal. Moniz fumbled as he was hit by Chidera Uzo-Diribe.
But the Buffaloes would get no closer, stymied by Hawaii's defense and trying to contain Moniz.
Colorado punted on all five of its first-half possessions. The Buffaloes finally woke up in the second half behind quarterback Tyler Hansen, who hadn't played a game since rupturing his spleen Oct. 23.
He connected with Richardson for two scores in the third quarter. One was a 21-yarder that cut the lead to 24-14. Earlier in the quarter, he caught a 6-yard pass to get Colorado on the scoreboard. The 73-yard scoring drive included a 52-yard pass play from Hansen to Stewart, who found an opening along the right sideline.
Hansen was 16 of 30 for 223 yards and two touchdowns. But he was sacked seven times and threw a late interception, ending any chance of a comeback.
Rodney Stewart had 52 yards rushing and caught four passes for 98 yards for Colorado.
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