HONOLULU (AP) -- Colt Brennan wanted nothing more this season
than to send out Hawaii's seniors as winners.
Brennan threw for 326 yards and five touchdowns as Hawaii put on
an offensive show and defeated San Diego State 49-38 on Saturday
night in the season finale for both teams.
Freshman Ryan Grice-Mullen had 10 catches for 167 yards and
three TDs for the Warriors (5-7) who racked up 588 total yards of
offense and ended their season on a winning note, but failed to
reach the postseason for the first time in four years.
"This was by far the game that meant the most," said Brennan,
who was 25-of-37 passing and finished his first season with the
Warriors throwing for 4,301 yards and 35 TDs. "Everyone was real
nervous before the game because we wanted to win so badly."
Down 21-7, the Warriors scored three touchdowns in the final
2:50 of the first half, including two scores in 13 seconds, to take
a 28-21 lead at the break. The last two TDs, catches of 13 and 10
yards by Grice-Mullen, came off of San Diego State turnovers.
"When we started off kind of slow, it was eating up everyone,"
Brennan said. "But once we got rolling, we got motivation and it
just kept rolling."
With San Diego State driving and looking to pad its lead just
before the half, Ryan Keomaka intercepted an errant pass by Kevin
O'Connell at Hawaii's goal line. He then scrambled 14 yards before
pitching it to fellow cornerback Kenny Patton who fought his way to
the Aztecs' 49.
The Warriors tied the game at 21 with 28 seconds left in the
half on Grice-Mullen's second TD catch of the day, a 13 yarder. He
scored again 13 seconds later after Hawaii took possession on
SDSU's 10 on a botched handoff from O'Connell to Hamilton.
Grice-Mullen, who finished the season with 85 receptions for
1,228 yards, had five receptions for 114 yards and all three TDs in
the first half. His first score was a 63-yard catch, tying the game
The Aztecs (5-7) not only had a difficult time keeping up with
Hawaii's short and speedy receivers, but also Hawaii's running
Nate Ilaoa rushed 15 times for 151 yards and became the first
player this season to break 100 yards rushing for Hawaii. He caught
an 11-yard touchdown pass and ran 25 yards for another score to
give the Warriors a 49-24 lead in the fourth quarter.
The 6-foot, 351-pound Reagan Mauia ran for 56 yards, including a
bulldozing 10-yard TD run that put Hawaii up 35-14. He entered the
game with just 3 rushing yards.
SDSU scored two TDs in the fourth quarter, but couldn't get any
O'Connell was 33-of-51 passing for 421 yards and three TDs.
Jeff Webb had 13 catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns,
giving him 92 receptions for 1,109 yards and 10 TDs for the year.
His 16-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter cut Hawaii's lead to 18
On Hawaii's opening possession, Brennan mishandled the snap and
San Diego State pounced on the ball on the Warriors' 19. O'Connell
then connected on a 19-yard touchdown pass to Chaze Schilens who
had eight catches for 119 yards.
Lynell Hamilton led SDSU's running game with 110 yards and a
San Diego State took a 21-7 lead on a 14-yard run by O'Connell,
who faked a handoff to Hamilton, made a couple nice moves and
jogged into the end zone.
Besides the 18 seniors for the Aztecs, the loss may have been
the final game for embattled San Diego State coach Tom Craft, who
is now 19-29 in four seasons with the Aztecs and has a year left on
"It's been fun," he said. "It has been a real rebuilding
process. I don't discuss my job status with the media."
SDSU athletic director Jeff Schemmel has said he'll wait until
the season is completed before making a decision on Craft's future.
O'Connell said he wants to see Craft return next season.
"He's a great coach and he cares about his players," he said.
"I always said coach Craft is the reason why I came to this