HONOLULU - Redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyrie Adams accounted for 377 yards of total offense including rushing for a career-best 107 yards, but miscues including four failed field goal attempts and three turnovers hurt Western Carolina's upset bid in a 41-18 loss to the Hawai'I Rainbow Warriors at Aloha Stadium.
WCU had three field goals blocked -- the third returned 89 yards for a Hawai'i touchdown -- and missed another kick wide in the season-opening road loss. The Catamounts only scored on three of its six red zone visits with two touchdowns and a field goal.
Adams completed 23-of-40 passes for 270 yards including a 16-yard scoring strike to Terryon Robinson in guiding the Catamount offense. Robinson, one of seven different players to record receptions, paced the Catamounts with nine grabs for 71 yards including his 10th career receiving score. Connell Young caught four passes for 43 yards while tight end Owen Cosenke (28 yds) and Steffon Hill (26 yds) both finished with three receptions apiece.
Adams led the way on the ground with 107 yards while redshirt junior Corey Holloway rushed for a career-high 76 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Detrez Newsome accounted for 125 all-purpose yards including 27 on the ground, 55 receiving, and 43 on kickoff returns. It is the 15th-consecutive game that the Raeford, N.C., native has eclipsed the century mark in all-purpose yards.
All told, Western Carolina outgained the Warriors, 482-to-453 in total yardage. Hawai'i edged the Catamounts with 299 rushing yards compared to 212 for WCU, while the roles were reversed through the air as WCU passed for 270 yards against 154 for Hawai'i.
Hawai'i (2-0) broke Saturday evening's scoreless deadlock late in the first quarter, turning a blocked field goal into points by moving 80 yards in seven plays as tailback Diocemy Saint Juste scored from a yard out. The Warriors would extend their lead by cashing in on a Catamount interception in plus yardage, moving 21 yards in six plays for the 14-0 advantage. Saint Juste rushed for a game-high 202 yards on 25 carries.
The Catamounts responded with an 11-play, 70-yard drive capped by Adams finding Robinson in the end zone for a 16-yard scoring strike to cut the deficit in half, 14-7. Trailing 21-7, the Catamounts drove into the red zone late in the first half but were forced to settle for an Ian Berryman 30-yard field goal to provide the halftime margin at 21-10.
Out of the halftime locker room, the Catamount mounted one of their best drives of the young season, again moving into the red zone in 11 plays before the drive stalled. Berryman was again called upon to attempt a field goal, but the boot was deflected at the line of scrimmage and landed squarely in the hands of Hawai'i defender, Travon Henderson. Behind a convoy of blockers, Henderson returned the blocked kick 89 yards for a score. The ensuing PAT was blocked by WCU's Keion Crossen who scooped the bouncing ball and returned it for two points to make it 27-12.
Hawai'i stretched its lead to 34-12 before Holloway split the defense for a two-yard scoring plunge to make it 34-18 after a failed PAT.
The Warriors capped scoring with a one-yard Ryan Tuiasoa run to provide the final tally, 41-18. Tuiasoa rushed for 82 yards and two scores for Hawai'i.
Western Carolina's defense forced a sack on the first play from scrimmage in 2017 and two plays later, came-up with the first takeaway of the year. Safety Marvin Tillman jumped a route over the middle for his second career interception. Tillman added another pass break-up and paced the Catamounts with a career-high matching 12 tackles in the road loss. Linebacker A.J. Newman recorded eight stops including two for loss, while Kendall White tallied an interception to accompany his seven tackles.
In addition to deflecting a PAT attempt and returning it for two points, Crossen matched White with seven tackles including a tackle for loss and a pass break-up.
Western Carolina (0-1) opens the home portion of its 2017 schedule next Saturday, Sept. 9 as it hosts the Davidson Wildcats at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. The Catamounts will wear special black uniforms as a part of the "Blackout" with fans encouraged to wear black and the first 5,000 fans receiving free "Blackout" T-shirts. Saturday's opener includes a special postgame fireworks display presented by Ingles and iHeartRadio partners, 99.9 Kiss Country and Star 104.3.