HONOLULU (Ticker) -- Star quarterback Timmy Chang suffered an injury and Hawaii never quite recovered.
Lynaris Elphepage returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown and quarterback J.P. Losman ran for two scores as Tulane rallied from 14 points down and held on for a 36-28 triumph over Hawaii in the inaugural Hawaii Bowl.
Hawaii owned a 14-3 lead when Chang, who directs the nation's top passing attack, left the game with less than five minutes left until halftime. The sophomore sustained a jammed thumb and, though X-rays were negative, it was too swollen for Chang to return.
Elphepage and Losman recorded TDs in the third and Mewelde Moore ran in for another score to give the Green Wave (8-5) a 26-14 lead.
Backup quarterback Shawn Withy-Allen connected with Justin Colbert for two touchdowns and the Warriors (10-4) pulled within 34-28 with 5:12 to go in the contest.
But Tulane got a safety when Withy-Allen fumbled the ball out of the end zone and the Green Wave ran out the clock.
Tulane improved to 2-0 in bowl games under coach Chris Scelfo, who received a two-year contract extension prior to the game, and raised its all-time bowl mark to 4-6.
The Green Wave were successful in their first bowl appearance since beating Brigham Young, 41-27, in the 1998 Liberty Bowl to complete the first 12-0 season in school history.
During the regular season, Chang completed 335-of-603 passes for 4,350 yards and 25 touchdowns in Hawaii's "Run-and-Shoot" offense. But the sophomore was limited to completing 14-of-21 passes for 124 yards and engineering a pair of touchdown drives before being sidelined.
Withy-Allen completed 18-of-31 passes for 239 yards with a pair of TDs and an interception. But Chang and his replacement were sacked a combined eight times.
Colbert was Hawaii's offensive star, making nine catches for 158 yards, and fellow receiver Jeremiah Cockheran also tallied nine receptions for 87 yards.
Tulane was trailing at halftime, 14-6, but Elphepage's punt return just 4:16 into the third quarter sliced the Green Waves' deficit to two points and provided momentum.
An All-Conference USA selection, Elphepage recorded four punt returns for 143 yards and a pair of kickoff returns for 57 yards.
Elphepage set up Tulane's go-ahead score, returning a punt 56 yards to the Hawaii 17. Losman had a one-yard TD run and made the two-point conversion on a quarterback draw to give the Green Wave a 20-14 advantage with 6:17 to go in the third.
Moore had 30 carries for 116 yards, including a 25-yard TD run with 21 seconds to go in the third that increased Tulane's lead to 12 points.
The junior running back also led the Green Wave with six catches for 80 yards.