HONOLULU (AP) Tyler Graunke threw for 218 yards and three touchdowns in the second half to rally Hawaii to a 36-17 victory over Weber State on Saturday night.
The Warriors (1-1) avoided being upset by the Football Championship Subdivision Wildcats by scoring the final 29 points, including 22 points in the third quarter.
With Hawaii trailing 17-7 and struggling to do anything right, Graunke replaced starter Inoke Funaki to open the second half and provided the Warriors the spark they desperately needed.
Graunke backed up Colt Brennan for the past two seasons and was expected to be the starter when the Heisman Trophy finalist graduated to the NFL. But Graunke was held out of most of fall camp because of academic issues and was reinstated a couple weeks ago. He did not travel with the team to Florida for last week's season opener.
The senior was greeted with cheers and confidently completed his first pass, an 11-yarder to Malcolm Lane. He then capped a five-play, 88-yard drive with a pretty 42-yard TD toss to Lane down the right sideline to pull the Warriors within a field goal.
Graunke, who was 13-of-20, connected with Aaron Bain on two short scoring passes to push Hawaii's lead to 19 in the fourth quarter. Bain finished with four receptions for 35 yards and Michael Washington caught five passes for 109 yards.
It wasn't until 6:13 left in the third quarter that the Warriors were able to regain the lead, 21-17, on Kealoha Pilares' 2-yard TD plunge. Keao Monteilh's intercepted a tipped pass that gave Hawaii possession at the Weber State 35.
Cameron Higgins, who is from Honolulu, was 24-of-39 for 233 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for the Wildcats (1-1). Tim Toone had nine receptions for 135 yards.
Trevyn Smith had two TDs and rushed for 46 yards on 18 carries.
Weber State played aggressive and inspired in the first half, scoring 17 straight points and stunning the crowd. Hawaii, meanwhile, unraveled with sloppy play and penalties. Several fans booed as the Warriors jogged off the field at halftime.
Funaki fumbled on third-and-14 and defensive end Caldwell Taylor managed to claw the ball away on the Hawaii 3. On the next play, Higgins completed a pass to Smith, giving upset-minded Weber State a 17-7 lead.
Smith's 1-yard TD run about a minute earlier gave Weber State a 10-7 lead.