Thanks to a supersonic, Greg-to-Greg connection that easily sped past a plodding defense, Hawaii looked like it was still in paradise - not starting its longest stretch of games off the islands in 45 years.

Greg Alexander threw for a career-high 453 yards and three touchdowns, Greg Salas caught seven of Alexander's 26 completions, and Hawaii won a road game over a team from a BCS conference for the first time in seven tries, 38-20 over bumbling, defenseless Washington State on Saturday night.

"We just hit the ground rolling today," said Alexander, who looked Colt Brennan-like in his second season replacing Hawaii's record-holding former Heisman Trophy candidate.

The much faster Warriors (2-0) began the first of three consecutive road games, for the first time since 1964, by speeding to a 35-0 lead early in the second quarter and gaining 626 yards in all. It was Hawaii's most yardage since Brennan led it to 680 in the 2006 Hawaii Bowl against Arizona State.

And it could have been much worse for Washington State (0-2).

The Cougars were scheduled to welcome Ohio State, but the Buckeyes paid WSU $450,000 to get out of the game and lost a showdown Saturday night against Southern California instead.

The Cougars were left humbled by Hawaii, which last week needed 17 unanswered points to squeak by lower-division Central Arkansas.

"We had enough mistakes to probably lose by 40 or 50, to be honest," said coach Paul Wulff, who sunk to 2-13 since taking over at his alma mater.

The teams combined for 11 turnovers - seven by Washington State. The Cougars were led by James Montgomery's career high 118 yards rushing on 17 carries.

The Warriors, who also beat WSU 24-10 last November in Honolulu, flew to Las Vegas late Saturday to prepare for next weekend's game at UNLV. They are in the middle of 36 days between games at Aloha Stadium, the second-longest away stretch in the nation this year.

They can only dream they all go as well as this one.

"The best thing is getting away from school for a couple weeks," Alexander said, with a shy shrug and his voice trailing off, as if he hoped no one heard him. "It's like a second camp."

It was like Groundhog Day for Washington State.

This game and next weekend's against Southern Methodist back home in Pullman were seen as WSU's best chances for a win early this season.

Or perhaps all season, the way Saturday went. One week after allowing Stanford 481 yards in a 39-13 loss at home, the Cougars were throttled by Hawaii's run-and-shoot offense. Alexander's yards passing were the most against Washington State since Arizona State's Paul Justin threw for 537 yards in 1989.

Salas has 14 catches for 375 yards in two games.

Alexander had 263 yards passing by halftime. Rodney Bradley, a junior-college transfer from Texas whose touchdown last week with 1:22 left beat Central Arkansas, had six catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns through two quarters.

Hawaii had averaged 15 points in those six previous road losses to the BCS big boys. It led 35-6 at the break.

Washington State committed five turnovers in the first half, as Alexander played an easy game of pitch-and-catch across the middle of the Cougars' soft, slower man-to-man defense.

"Man-to-man? Playing off? It's a great feeling," Salas said. "Some people get out of it. They stayed in it. It was great."

Even Hawaii's linemen were faster than Washington State's defensive backs. When Chima Nwachukwu picked up a fumble by Alexander at the Cougars 1 midway through the second quarter - 1 yard from Hawaii going up 42-0 - he briefly appeared free for a 99-yard score down the sideline. Then Warriors right tackle Laupepa Letuli ran out of bounds at the WSU 31.

"I should have made a play for the team on that one," Nwachukwu said.

WSU linebacker Andy Mattingly and wide receiver Gino Simone sustained concussions, and backup safety LeAndre Daniels broke his leg.