FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Cole McDonald led the Hawaii Warriors to their first win in Fort Collins since 1988, picking apart Colorado State's secondary in a 43-34 win over the Rams on Saturday night after nearly blowing a 30-point lead.
McDonald threw for 418 yards and three TDs, including a 55-yarder to Cedric Byrd that made it 37-7.
With his counterpart, University of Washington graduate transfer K.J. Carta-Samuels throwing for 537 yards and five touchdowns, McDonald and the Warriors had to fend off a furious Rams rally.
It included a four-play, 99-yard scoring drive and a 9-yard TD toss to Izzy Matthews that pulled CSU to 40-34 with 4:42 remaining.
The Rams didn't try an onside kick after that, and Tristin Kamaka's fair catch at the Hawaii 13 gave the Warriors the ball at their 25 thanks to a new NCAA kickoff rule.
Despite a delay of game call to start the game, the Warriors (1-0, 1-0 Mountain West) were nearly unstoppable, scoring on all but one of their first-half possessions in taking a 23-7 lead into the locker room on their way to their first win at CSU since Sept. 10, 1988.
The Rams (0-1, 0-1), coming off a third straight bowl appearance, figured to be ahead of the Warriors, coming off a 3-9 season, but missing coach Mike Bobo for much of the two weeks leading into their opener apparently took its toll in the first half.
Bobo spent 10 days in the hospital for peripheral neuropathy after experiencing numbness in his feet. He called offensive plays from the coaches' box.
Hawaii: Snapping a five-game road losing skid is just what coach Nick Rolovich needed to jump-start his program.
Colorado State: This was the last thing Bobo needed with the Rams heading into a brutal stretch that includes games against Colorado, Arkansas and Florida.
Hawaii: The Warriors host Navy (0-0) on Saturday when former Hawaii QBs Rolovich and Ken Niumatalolo square off.
Colorado State: The Rams have a short week before hosting the University of Colorado (0-0) in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at the Denver Broncos' stadium.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25
Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton
American team takes NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
Despite the loss, Slippery Rock's Wes Hills was selected the game MVP after running 78 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries for the National team.
Brett Rypien, Easton Stick help West beat East in Shrine Game
Brett Rypien and Easton Stick each threw a touchdown pass to help the West beat the East 21-17 in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday.
Presidents of Texas, Texas A&M support renewing rivalry
The university presidents for both Texas and Texas A&M told the Austin American-Statesman on Friday that they're "supportive" of renewing the rivalry between the two football teams.
UConn AD won't rule out cutting some sports amid $40M budget gap
Amid a $40 million athletic budget gap, UConn athletic airector David Benedict said the school could consider eliminating some sports.
Jury convicts former Utah State player Torrey Green of rape charges
A jury Friday found former Utah State University player Torrey Green guilty of sexually assaulting six women while he was in college. Sentencing is scheduled for March 27.
Former Georgia DB Deangelo Gibbs transferring to Tennessee
Former Georgia defensive back Deangelo Gibbs is transferring to Tennessee.