GAINESVILLE, Fla. Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow had one big play against Hawaii. That was enough. His teammates had the rest, a welcome change for No. 5 Florida and an early indication of just how potent the Gators could be this season.
Florida scored on offense, defense and special teams getting big plays from six different players and routed Hawaii 56-10 in the season opener for both teams Saturday.
Even without injured speedster Percy Harvin (heel) and linebacker Brandon Spikes (toe), the Gators dominated and handed Greg McMackin a lopsided loss in his debut as Hawaii's head coach.
"Big plays take the wind out of your sails," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "Can you expect that from us? I don't know. There's some guys that when they touch the ball and if you make a mistake, they can score on you. Fun to watch."
Not so much fun for opponents, though.
After getting shut out in the first quarter, the Gators exploded with 56 points in a span of 26 1/2 minutes. And big plays were the key.
Major Wright returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown. Brandon James returned a punt 74 yards for a score. Chris Rainey got loose for a 33-yard TD run. Jeff Demps followed with an even more impressive 62-yarder. Tebow hooked up with Louis Murphy for a 48-yard score. And Ahmad Black returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown.
Just like that, the Gators erased all those lingering memories of that 41-35 loss to Michigan in the Capital One Bowl and looked every bit ready to end a six-game losing streak against rival Miami next week.
And here's the most encouraging part for Florida: Tebow was just a supporting player. The bulky quarterback carried the offense much of last season, throwing 32 touchdowns passes, running for 23 more and becoming the first sophomore to win the Heisman.
He finished Saturday's game with the fewest completions, attempts and yards of his career. He was 9-of-14 passing for 137 yards and a touchdown. He ran nine times for 37 yards, most of them scrambles behind spotty protection. He also snapped his NCAA-record streak of having at least one touchdown rushing and one passing at 14 games.
"Aw, shucks," Tebow said. "I'm not too worried about that right now."
When the Gators got close to the goal line in the third quarter, Meyer even pulled Tebow in favor of backup Cam Newton a possible indication of how he plans to minimize potential pounding on his star.
"I'm hoping," Meyer said. "But it's going to be hard not to have (Tebow) carry the ball at certain times in the game. It's all to take the wear and tear off of Tim and not to lean on him too much. ... But we all know at the end of the day, No. 15 will carry the mail for us in critical situations."
Tebow didn't have to do much against Hawaii, which played a two-deep defense designed to double receivers and force the Gators to run.
That was fine with Meyer, who spent the last three weeks raving about his running backs.
Demps ran for 76 yards. Rainey added 58 yards on the ground. Starter Kestahn Moore finished with 33 yards on seven carries.
"It feels good," Demps said. "We have a little thing coach says. 'In practice, you put the money in the bank. In games, you get to take it out.' Today was payday for us. I knew we were going to come out do some big stuff. I just got paid today."
Demps' run was probably the best of the day. The freshman sliced through the line, cut left, broke a leg tackle and then found himself alone in the open field. Steve Stepter had one final chance at him. But facing the guy who owns the fastest 100-meter time of any high school athlete, Stepter really had no chance.
Demps raced by him and trotted into the end zone to make it 35-0 early in the third quarter.
"We've got a lot of weapons," Tebow said. "A key for us today was getting out there and using all those weapons."
Hawaii clearly missed its biggest weapon from last season: Heisman finalist Colt Brennan.
Greg Alexander got the start, filling in for Brent Rausch, who missed several recent practices because of a sore right throwing arm. Alexander threw two early interceptions that Florida turned into touchdowns and fumbled twice.
He got benched in the third quarter, but Rausch didn't last very long. He threw an interception and then gave way to Inoke Funaki.
Funaki led Hawaii to both of its scores Dan Kelly kicked a 31-yard field goal with 9:38 to play and Funaki found Greg Salas for a 13-yard score with 1:37 left but he also threw an interception that was the sixth turnover of the game for the Warriors.
The end result looked very much like Hawaii's last game, a 41-10 drubbing against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
"This won't define us," Salas said. "We're better than that. We're going to come back stronger."
BOISE STATE 49, IDAHO STATE 7: At Boise, Idaho, freshman Kellen Moore threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns, and Tyler Shoemaker caught two passes for two touchdowns as Boise State rolled past Idaho State on Saturday night.
Becoming the first freshman to start in the season opener for the Broncos, the left-handed Moore used his quick release and rifle arm to complete 14 of 19 passes and no interceptions. The two touchdown passes went for 80 and 56 yards.
For Idaho State, Russell Hill completed 15-of-22 passes for 74 yards, and Ken Cornist rushed 19 times for 98 yards.
It was the third consecutive year Boise State, of the Western Athletic Conference, opened the season at home against a team from a lower division, and for the third straight year, they routed their opponent.
But it didn't start out that way. The Broncos did not score their first touchdown until a little more than a minute was left in the first quarter. It was the first of four touchdowns in the span of 8 minutes to go up 28-0 with 7:48 left in the half.
It started with an 11-play, 76-yard drive, with Moore completing four straight passes for 49 yards and capped by Richie Brockel's 2-yard run.
After a Bengals punt, Moore found Chris O'Neill for 22 yards and Julian Hawkins for another 9. Running back Ian Johnson was stopped from the 3-yard-line for no gain twice before he finding the end zone on a third try, making it 14-0, after the kick, with 12:11 left in the half.
After gaining only 2 yards, the Bengals were forced to punt. When he got the ball back, Moore found wide receiver Titus Young behind the Idaho State defense for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive, pushing the lead to 21-0.
Three plays later, the Bengals had to punt again. But Johnson, in on special teams, blocked it and Ellis Powers recovered to give the Broncos the ball at the Idaho State 12-yard mark. Brockel powered in from 3 yards out to make it 28-0 with 7:48 left in the half.
Idaho State showed life with an 80-yard drive that included running back Ken Cornist's 18-yard pass to Isaiah Burel at the 2-yard line. Clint Knickrehm then ran in to make it 28-7 just before the end of the half.
But that was all the offense the Bengals could muster.
Boise State scored twice in the third quarter, the first a 24-yard run by Young on a reverse, and the second a 56-yard pass from Moore to Shoemaker to cap a 99-yard drive, making it 42-7.
LOUISIANA TECH 22, MISSISSIPPI STATE 14: At Ruston, La., Brad Oestriecher made a career-best three field goals and Louisiana Tech took advantage of three Mississippi State turnovers in the third quarter in an upset on Saturday.
Tech's win was the first by a Western Athletic Conference team over a BCS conference squad in five years (at Michigan State in 2003) and first against an SEC team since an upset of No. 18 Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 1999.
The last time a current member of the SEC played in Ruston was 1908 when visitor LSU beat Tech 22-0.
Mississippi State (0-1) held a 14-9 lead at halftime, but had three turnovers in the third quarter.
Running back Patrick Jackson threw a first-half interception on a trick play, but also scored twice, including a 6-yard scamper to give Tech a 16-14 the lead for good midway through the third quarter.
Oestriecher made field goals from 48, 28 and 50 yards away for Tech. Jackson ran for 62 yards on 17 carries.
Anthony Dixon rushed for 91 yards on 18 carries for the Mississippi State. Wesley Carroll threw for 172 yards and a touchdown along with three interceptions.
SAN JOSE STATE 13, UC DAVIS 10: At San Jose, Calif., transfer Kyle Reed threw two touchdowns in the second half, including one with eight seconds left to play, to lift San Jose State to a victory on Saturday over UC Davis in the season-opener for both teams.
Reed, who came over from California, was the third quarterback used by Spartans' coach Dick Tomey. He finished with 132 yards on 14-of-18 passing.
The Spartans got the ball back with just over a minute to play on their own 31 and no timeouts. Reed scrambled for nine yards and completed a 37-yard pass to Kevin Jurovich. Later on the drive, Stephen Wulff sacked Reed to force a fourth down.
Reed calmly sat in the pocket until Jurovich came clear in the end zone and fired it to his senior receiver, who caught 11 passes for 99 yards.
The Aggies' Daniel Alfaro threw his first college pass for a 54-yard touchdown. The junior quarterback, making his first career start because of an injury to sophomore Greg Denham, finished the game with 193 yards and a pair of interceptions. Bakari Grant caught eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Reed got the Spartans moving in the third quarter as he completed 11 of his first 12 passes, including three-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams to make it 10-6 with 2:07 left in the quarter.
Aggies' senior defensive lineman John Faletoese blocked the extra point try, the sixth of his career.
The Aggies nearly doubled San Jose State's offensive output in the first quarter, gaining 132 yards and scoring twice.
San Jose State, using two quarterbacks in the early going, lost a fumble and threw an interception.
After the Spartans opening drive ended in a missed field goal, UC Davis needed four plays and less than two minutes to take the early lead, with Alfaro finding Grant on a screen pass that went 54 yards for a 7-0 Aggies lead.
Jordan La Secla, the Spartans' second quarterback of the day, completed two passes and was then intercepted by Wulff and returned 23 yards to the San Jose State 18-yard line. That led to Sean Kelley's 20-yard field goal with under a minute to play in the first period.
Myles Eden started for the Spartans, throwing for 86 yards on 10-of-13 passing.