Washington Falls Victim To Furious Hawaii Comeback, 35-28
Dec. 2, 2007
HONOLULU (AP) -- Colt Brennan threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Grice-Mullen with 44 seconds left and No. 11 Hawaii overcame a 21-point deficit to beat Washington 35-28 on Saturday night to finish the regular season 12-0 and virtually assure a BCS berth.
Brennan was near perfect with a Heisman Trophy night, throwing two fourth-quarter touchdown passes. He was 42-of-50, including 6-of-6 on the winning 76-yard drive.
He threw for 442 yards and five TDs with no interceptions.
Grice-Mullen caught a slant pass from Brennan for the score that put the sellout crowd in a frenzy, chanting 'BCS! BCS!'
Washington (4-9) took over with 38 seconds and drove all the way to the Hawaii 4, but Jake Locker's pass was intercepted by Ryan Mouton in the end zone with 3 seconds left, sealing the win and the Warriors' perfect season.
Thousands of fans charged the field and flashes sparkled in Hawaii's biggest win in school history.
Hawaii entered the game 12th in the Bowl Championship Series standings. It will need to finish in the top 12 when the final standings are released Sunday to land in one of the choice bowl games.
The Warriors might play in the Sugar Bowl against LSU. It would be their first postseason appearance outside the Aloha State since the 1992 Holiday Bowl.
Hawaii has won a national-best 13 straight games, dating to its victory over Arizona State in the Hawaii Bowl, and 22 of its last 23 games.
The Warriors tied it at 28 with 8:01 left, on Brennan's 40-yard rainbow to Rivers. It was their fourth TD hookup of the game.
Rivers finished with 14 catches for 167 yards. Grice-Mullen added 10 catches for 121 yards.
Hawaii caught a major break when the Huskies appeared to have converted a third-and-15 near to put the ball deep in Hawaii territory. Locker was flagged for crossing the line of scrimmage, even though he appeared to be right on the line.
The Warriors took over on their 24 with 4:15 left and marched down the field for their winning score.
Hawaii's high-powered offense, which averages nearly 50 points a game, got going in the second quarter with Brennan completing all 16 of his pass attempts for 179 yards and Rivers catching three TD passes.
With 1:27 left in the half, Brennan drove the Warriors 64 yards amid a passing downpour and tossed a 13-yard TD toss to Rivers to pull Hawaii to 28-21. The catch was initially ruled incomplete, but was reversed after a challenge.
Rivers also caught a 7-yard TD pass that got Hawaii on the scoreboard and capped an 83-yard drive with Brennan completing seven straight passes. Brennan was 5-of-5 on Hawaii's next drive, including a 3-yard dart to Rivers for a score.
On a day of upsets, Washington stunned the green-clad crowd of 49,566 by jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first 9 1/2 minutes of the game. The Huskies forced three fumbles and took advantage of strong field position in the one-sided first quarter.
It was the first time Hawaii had been shutout in the opening quarter this year.
Louis Rankin led the Huskies with 145 yards on 21 carries.
Locker rushed for 76 yards, giving him 986 for the season, just missing becoming the first quarterback in Pac-10 history to rush for 1,000 yards.
The freshman scored on an 8-yard run on the game's opening series, which was kept alive by a Hawaii penalty on fourth down.
On Hawaii's ensuing drive, Nate Williams stripped Brennan that gave Washington possession at the Hawaii 21. Four plays later, Luke Kravitz punched it in on fourth down from the 1. Kravitz also scored on another 1-yard run to give the Huskies a 21-0 lead.
The Huskies tried to pad their lead late in the quarter, but a 38-yard field goal attempt by Ryan Perkins was blocked by Joshua Leonard.