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Honolulu • Ten years ago, Hawaii's superior team speed and special teams play led to one of the most humiliating losses in BYU football history.
Saturday night in front of an announced crowd of 34,446 at Aloha Stadium 30,765 through the turnstiles it was the Cougars who had the better athletes. They showed it with a resounding 41-20 win over the Warriors, racking up 530 yards while limiting Hawaii to just 299.
A far cry from that 72-45 beatdown in 2001.
BYU did it with a huge third quarter, roaring out of the locker room after blowing gaskets offensively in the first half.
"We knew what was going on, and we knew that once we got started we were going to put points in the board," said receiver Ross Apo, who caught four passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns, one in each half.
The Cougars' biggest producer offensively, though, was Cody Hoffman. He caught seven passes for 123 yards and a touchdown, a one-handed TD grab that coach Bronco Mendenhall promised would be played on sports highlights shows all around the country.
"Cody did a little razzle-dazzle with the one hand," said Riley Nelson, who looked tentative in the first half before finding his rhythm.
Nelson said he woke up after a chat via telephone with offensive coordinator Brandon Doman, who was up in the press box, in which the coach said Nelson was playing too tentatively. He also said the injuries didn't slow him down as much as jetlag did.
"Guys were making plays," Nelson said after throwing for a career-high 363 yards. "A lot of guys were making yards after the catch. Credit them."
The Cougars played turnover-free, while forcing the one that Joe Sampson returned for a 26-yard touchdown.
JD Falslev caught five passes for a career-high 80 yards, and Marcus Mathews had four receptions for 80 yards.
Mendenhall said it was nice to see seldom-used senior Spencer Hafoka pick up an 18-yard gain on a rushing play in front of dozens of his hometown fans.
"Everyone loves Spencer because he's completely devoted and unselfish," Mendenhall said. "... When he had the opportunity he gave it everything he had, and I think that's why [his teammates] reacted like they did."
BYU's receiving stars
Player Rec. Yards TD Long
Cody Hoffman 7 123 1 38
JD Falslev 5 80 0 27
Marcus Mathews 4 80 0 40
Ross Apo 4 55 2 22
Kaneakua Friel 3 17 0 8