By Fred Guzman
Moniz hit on just 1 of his first 7 passes, and finished completing 20 of 33 for a modest 178 yards and one score.
But it was his three touchdown dashes and 121 yards on the ground that proved to be the difference as Hawaii opened the college football season with a 34-17 win over Colorado on Saturday night before 35,645 fans at Aloha Stadium.
Moniz’ efforts earned him WAC Offensive Player of the Week honors, while his teammate, pass-rushing end Paipai Falemalu was recognized as the conference’s top defender.
Hawaii led 17-0 at the half as Moniz scored twice on runs of 53 and 14 yards in the second quarter. It was quite a departure in form for the senior from Leilehua High, who led the nation in passing yardage and touchdown passes last season.
UH’s defense played a decisive role in the victory by sacking Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen seven times in the second half and limiting the Buffaloes to 240 total yards. Hansen completed 16 of 30 attempts for 223 yards and two scores, but it wasn’t enough to offset the time he spent on his back.
Hawaii generated 343 yards – again, low by its standards – and didn’t do a very good job of protecting Moniz, who was sacked five times. So, all of the running he did wasn’t always by choice, but by necessity.
UH next embarks on a two-week road trip that includes games at Washington and UNLV. The Huskies struggled to 30-27 win over Eastern Washington, while UNLV was routed 51-17 by No. 11 Wisconsin.
SUSPENSIONS LIFTED: Linebacker Aaron Brown and wide receiver Darius Bright have been reinstated to the football team. Both starters were suspended from UH’s opening against Colorado because of Aug. 28 arrests following their alleged involvement in a Waikiki bar fight. Both are eligible to travel during the upcoming road trip. Allen Sampson started Saturday in place of Bright and had two catches for 21 yards. The UH defense was not affected by Brown’s absence. Hawaii limited the Buffaloes to 17 rushing yards and only two of 12 on third-down plays.