Sun Devils Can't Stop High Powered Hawaii Offense, Fall 41-24
Dec. 24, 2006
HONOLULU (AP) -- Colt Brennan broke the NCAA single-season record for touchdown passes with 58, throwing five in the second half to lead Hawaii to a 41-24 victory over Arizona State on Sunday night in the Hawaii Bowl.
Brennan, 33-of-42 for 559 yards, threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Ryan Grice-Mullen on the Warriors' second series of the second half to break the previous mark of 54 set by Houston's David Klingler in 1990, also against the Sun Devils.
Grice-Mullen grabbed the ball with one hand, made a move and leaped across the goal line for the touchdown that gave Hawaii a 17-10 lead.
Brennan tied the record with his 54th TD pass on the previous series, throwing a 38-yard scoring pass to a wide open Jason Rivers.
Brennan and Rivers, selected the co-MVPs for Hawaii, also teamed on the final touchdown pass, a 79-yarder late in the fourth quarter. Rivers finished the game with 308 yards on 14 catches.
Hawaii (11-3) matched the school mark for most wins in a season, set in 1992 when the team went 11-2. The Sun Devils (7-6) concluded their season, unable to send coach Dirk Koetter out with a win.
Brennan finished the season with 5,549 yards to become just the third quarterback in college history with 5,000 yards and 50 TDs in a season, joining Klingler and Texas Tech's B.J. Symons.
Brennan and Grice-Mullen also connected on a 41-yard pass play down the middle for Brennan's 56th TD pass of the season with 2:14 left in the third quarter. Brennan then threw a 21-yard scoring pass to a crossing Davone Bess, giving Hawaii a 34-24 lead with 5:16 left in the fourth quarter.
Dan Kelly kicked a 43-yard field goal to put the Warriors up 27-10 early in the fourth quarter, but the Sun Devils trimmed the lead to 10 on Ryan Torain's 12-yard TD run. The score was set up by a 64-yard run by Torain, who finished with 160 yards on 18 carries and was honored as the game MVP for Arizona State.
Nate Ilaoa fumbled on the ensuing drive, giving Arizona the ball on Hawaii's 27. The Sun Devils scored two plays later on Rudy Carpenter's 4-yard TD pass to Mike Jones to draw within a field goal with 10:25 left in the game.
But Arizona State couldn't contain Hawaii's potent offense.
Carpenter was 13-of-26 for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
The Sun Devils appeared to be in control of the game, holding the nation's No. 1 offense to just three points in the first half using time-consuming drives and an attacking defense. Brennan's pass was intercepted by Josh Barrett and the quarterback was sacked three times in the half.
The Warriors entered the game averaging 47.3 points and 549.9 yards.
Arizona State stunned the crowd on Carpenter's 37-yard lob pass to freshman Brandon Smith to take a 10-3 lead.
The Sun Devils went for it on fourth-and-three from the Hawaii 17 the previous drive, but the gamble did not pay off.
Arizona State drove deep into Hawaii territory on its opening series, but came up empty when Torain fumbled at Hawaii's 11 while fighting for extra yards. He lost the ball again on Arizona State's next series, but the Sun Devils recovered and Jesse Ainsworth's 44-yard field goal put Arizona State up 3-0.