JOE JASZEWSKI / IDAHO STATESMAN
Hawaii's Ryan Grice-Mullins made a catch on a Colt Brennan pass in the first half. Grice-Mullins sprained an ankle in the game and is expected to miss a couple of weeks.
Grice-Mullins sprains his ankle
BOISE, Idaho » Hawaii lost one of its top receivers to injury in last night's 41-34 loss at Boise State, as sophomore Ryan Grice-Mullins left with a sprained ankle in the first half.
"They told me it's an inside sprain," Grice-Mullins said. "I don't think it's that bad."
Coach June Jones said Grice-Mullins -- who entered last night's game as the team leader in receiving yardage and touchdowns -- would likely miss "a couple of weeks," which would include the next two games against Eastern Illinois and Nevada.
"Obviously losing a good player hurts us," Jones said.
Grice-Mullins caught two passes for 40 yards. On the second reception, he was tackled by Austin Smith after a 6-yard gain, and he rolled his ankle.
Sophomore Aaron Bain replaced Grice-Mullins and caught two passes for 14 yards.
Noa emerges: UH lost another starter to a sprained ankle last night, before the game even started. Outside linebacker Tyson Kafentzis was the victim.
"I never lost a guy in pregame warm-ups before," defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville said. "He twisted his ankle on a real spongy spot warming up."
Kafentzis started the game but ended up on crutches and was replaced by Karl Noa.
Noa responded with 10 tackles, three more than in the 17 previous games of his UH career.
"My role has been backing up other guys," said Noa, a former defensive end who was moved to outside linebacker in fall camp. "I guess tonight my role was to step in and step up. I don't know, I guess I did a good job based on what everybody's telling me, but it's kind of hard, we did lose. It's bittersweet. If we came out with that W... I feel like I should've been able to do at least one more thing to make that swing."
Jones said Noa earned more playing time.
"He's worked hard in practice and finally got a chance," the coach said. "I would say you'll probably see him a lot more."
Noa was impressed by Boise State's Ian Johnson, who rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.
"He's downhill and he gives 110 percent," Noa said. "He's going to be a load for other teams."
Laeli hurt: In addition to Grice-Mullins and Kafentzis, second-team defensive lineman Fale Laeli was also on crutches. The extent and nature of his injury were unknown last night.
He was credited with one assisted tackle.
Three TDs for Rivers: Junior wide receiver Jason Rivers was hobbling after the game. He said he suffered a mild ankle sprain on the first play of the game. But it didn't stop him from making three touchdown catches. He totaled six grabs for 81 yards.
Davone Bess grabbed two touchdown passes. He caught six for 104 yards.
Nate Ilaoa combined for 164 yards (68 rushing, 96 receiving).
Elimimian sits: Starting inside linebacker Solomon Elimimian remained out for a second game with a knee sprain.
He said he may remain out for the Eastern Illinois game in order to be at full strength for the conference game against Nevada.
Zabransky 3-0: BSU quarterback Jared Zabransky made it three wins in a row as a starter against UH.
Last night he passed for 273 yards and three touchdowns and rushed nine times for 38 yards.
"We knew this could definitely be a shootout coming in with their high-powered offense and Colt Brennan throwing the ball the way he has," Zabransky said. "We definitely wanted to blow them out, but that doesn't always happen."
Another longtime Warriors nemesis, linebacker Korey Hall, had a big game with 12 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Short yardage: UH nominated safety Leonard Peters (13 tackles) and Rivers for WAC Player of the Week. ... The Warriors were scheduled to return home by charter early this morning.