12:05 AM ET, October 12, 2003
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI
HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang's nearly flawless performance wowed a lot of people at Aloha Stadium on Saturday night, even Fresno State coach Pat Hill.
"He was awesome. The guy was really on it," Hill said. "He pitched a great game."
Chang threw for 353 yards and had three of his five touchdown passes in the decisive second quarter as Hawaii defeated Fresno State 55-28.
The junior also became the 25th quarterback in Division I-A history to pass for 10,000 yards in a career. Chang has thrown for 1,659 yards in his five starts this season and has 10,274 yards for his career.
"It was just a great effort by everyone," he said. "My O-line did a great job protecting me, our receivers did a good job getting open, the defense forced turnovers and special teams made something happen."
After trailing 14-10, the Warriors (3-3, 2-1 Western Athletic Conference) exploded for five straight touchdowns, including 28 points in the second quarter.
Hawaii's five scores were capped by a 5-yard TD pass from Chang to Chad Owens that gave the Warriors their largest advantage, 45-14 in the third quarter.
"We caught Fresno State on our night," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "We played hard and with lot of emotion and our defense rose to the occasion."
Chang looked sharp and confident. He was 40-of-60 with no interceptions. Besides finding Owens for two TDs, Chang also had scoring passes of 22 yards to Gerald Welch, 3 yards to Britton Komine and 1 yard to Michael Brewster.
Chang has been dominating against the Bulldogs. Last year, he had a career-best 462 passing yards in a 31-21 Hawaii victory at Fresno State.
West Keliikipi led Hawaii's rare ground game, which racked up 145 yards. He ran for 67 hard-earned yards on seven carries, including a 9-yard TD up the middle.
While Hawaii had 549 yards on offense, its defense ruined the first start of the season for Fresno State quarterback Paul Pinegar, last season's WAC freshman of the year.
Pinegar was 25-of-38 for 242 yards and three TDs, but he was harassed all night. He was hurried on several occasions and sacked five times.
The Bulldogs (3-4, 1-1 WAC) failed to pick up their first road victory of the year. They are 0-4 away from Bulldog Stadium, and 1-12 in Honolulu, dating back to 1967.
"It wasn't the trip or the stadium, they just outplayed us in all phases of the game," Hill said. "We're not built for a game like this. When it got out of hand, we tried to get in a scoring match. We couldn't. It's not our style."
Bernard Berrian had 177 all-purpose yards for Fresno State, including a 19-yard touchdown reception that gave the Bulldogs the lead early in the second quarter.
Hawaii took the lead for good a few plays later on a 9-yard toss from Chang to Owens, who returned from a two-game suspension. He had seven catches for 62 receiving yards.
Welch, a high school teammate of Chang's, led all receivers with nine receptions for 115 yards. He caught a 22-yard pass for Hawaii's first score of the night.
The Bulldogs had a chance to tie the game in the second quarter, but Brett Visintainer's 37-yard field goal attempt was blocked by a leaping 6-foot-7 Nkeruwem Akpan, a forward on the Hawaii basketball team.
Leading by 30 points with less than five minutes to go in the game, the Warriors faked a punt with linebacker Chad Kapanui throwing a short pass to defense back David Gilmore, who scrambled 43 yards for a touchdown.