Whieldon threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns in place of the suspended Timmy Chang as Hawaii opened its season with a 40-17 victory over Division I-AA Appalachian State.
Chang was suspended for one game due to his illegal participation in last year's Hawaii Bowl. He violated the Western Athletic Conference's academic policy of having to complete at least six credits in fall 2002.
In his first career start, Whieldon had no trouble operating coach June Jones' "Run and Shoot" offense. He completed 21-of-35 passes and helped the Warriors build a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.
Hawaii took the opening kickoff and drove 74 yards for a touchdown as John West ran it in from 13 yards. Whieldon hit Jeremiah Cockheran for a pair of scores to build a three-touchdown cushion.
Cockheran caught seven passes for 154 yards and three TDs. He hauled in a 35-yard scoring pass when he beat defensive back Jay Lyles to make it 34-10 with 6:20 left in the third quarter.
Ross Dickerson returned a kickoff 100 yards to cap the scoring. It was the third kickoff return of at least 100 yards in school history.
Appalachian State, ranked eighth in Division I-AA, got a strong game from Richie Williams, who was 11-of-20 for 132 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.