Blake Decker finished with 258 yards and two long touchdown passes for the Rebels (3-6, 1-3 Mountain West), a 75-yard strike to Devonte Boyd and an 85-yard bomb to Aaron Criswell. Boyd finished with 5 catches 120 yards total.
UNLV never trailed, but the game remained close late into the third quarter when Decker found Boyd to push the Rebel lead to two possessions, 24-14.
A Melvin Davis 2-yard TD run for Hawaii cut the deficit to 27-21 with 11:46 remaining, but Thomas and Whitley each scored late in the fourth to put the game away.
Paul Harris had 190 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Rainbow Warriors (2-8, 0-6), who were playing their first game after firing head coach Norm Chow.