PROVO, Utah — Freshman Zach Wilson threw for three touchdowns and was one of four BYU players to run for a score to help the Cougars beat Hawaii 49-23 on Saturday night.
Wilson, the youngest starting (19 years, 2 months) in program history, was 16-of-24 passing with one interception and his 23-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter gave BYU (4-3) a 14-0 lead. Matt Hadley had nine carries for 91 yards and a score, Lopini Katoa ran for 83 yards and a touchdown and Burt Riley added 59 yards rushing and a score on nine carries for the Cougars.
BYU scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and on three of its first five. Katoa’s 12-yard scoring run capped 12-play, 87-yard drive to open the scoring. After Hawaii failed to convert a fourth-and-6 from near midfield, Hadley’s 21-yard touchdown run made it 21-0 midway through the second quarter. Hawaii answered with a 33-yard field goal by Ryan Meskell about three minutes later, but Austin Lee intercepted a pass from Cole McDonald and returned it 36 yards to the 13 and, on the next play, Wilson hit Dallin Holker for a TD that pushed the lead to 25 at the break.
Hawaii (6-2), which came in averaging more than 468 yards per game, was limited to 311 against BYU. The Rainbow Warriors had just 63 yards rushing on 28 carries.