The crowd of 73,654 marked only the third time the Warriors have ever played in front of more than 70,000 in the program's history and was the second largest in school history.
The Trojan defense, known as the "Wild Bunch II," got the rally started when cornerback Ronald Nunn picked up a UH fumble and returned it 38 yards for the game's first touchdown early in the second quarter. The pass looked to be incomplete from Warrior quarterback Timmy Chang to Gerald Welch, but officials ruled it a fumble, and seemingly sparked the Trojan attack.
Three more Trojan touchdowns followed in the second quarter, including one on a 33-yard catch and run from wide receiver Mike Williams. USC held a 31-6 lead at the half and came out of the locker room with three straight scores to lead by as many as 46 points.
The USC offense gained 418 total yards, 164 rushing and 264 passing, and kept the Warrior offense out of the end zone for close to three quarters. UH ended with 462 yards, 44 more than USC, and also held a 26-21 first down edge, but most of those numbers came after the game was well in hand for the Trojans.
Hawai`i's Justin Ayat kicked two field goals in the first half. The Warriors finally got in the endzone at the 1:25 mark in the third quarter with the game out of reach. Chang capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 5-yard pass to Chad Owens, his first of the 2003 season.
Hawai`i kept the game close early, and ended the first quarter deadlocked with the Trojans, 3-3. The Warriors gambled early on and a failed on a fake punt resulting in a pass interference "no call" by the officials.
Chang was sacked twice by the Trojans, including once for a safety, but still finished 32-of-54 for 306 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Warrior will stay in Ontario, Calif., to prepare for UNLV on Sept. 19, in Las Vegas, Nev. Kickoff for that game is 3 p.m. HST.
You can hear the game live on KKEA 1420 AM beginning at 2 p.m. with the Warrior warmup show. You may also tune into the internet at: www.kkea1420am.com