8:00 PM ET, October 12, 2007
SPARTAN STADIUM (CA), SAN JOSE, CA
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Colt Brennan's injured right ankle was healthy enough to lead a thrilling comeback that overcame his four-interception night and resuscitated any hopes Hawaii might have at a Bowl Championship Series bid.
Brennan rallied Hawaii from 14 points down in the final 4 minutes by scoring the tying touchdown on a 2-yard run with 31 seconds left in regulation, then threw an 8-yard scoring pass to Jason Rivers on the first possession of overtime to give the Warriors a 42-35 victory over San Jose State on Friday night.
"I didn't play the best game but at no point was I going to give up," Brennan said. "I made plenty of mistakes, but I knew if I did what I was supposed to do at the end of the game we could win and we did that."
The win for Hawaii (7-0, 4-0 Western Athletic Conference) wasn't sealed until Myron Newberry intercepted Adam Tafralis' pass in the end zone on the first drive of OT for the Spartans (3-4, 2-1). The Warriors poured on the field in a celebration that was put on hold until a replay review confirmed the call.
Brennan completed 44 of his WAC-record 75 passes for 545 yards and four touchdowns. He was able to overcome the four interceptions on a sloppy, wet night to help Hawaii get off to its best start since 1981.
"He showed what he's made of," coach June Jones said. "He's a very competitive kid. I felt bad for him because the conditions were so terrible. If he had better conditions, I don't think it would have been a close game. He has mud on balls, can't grip it real good, can't get in a stance to throw it. It was just one of those deals."
Two touchdown returns by Dwight Lowery and two TD passes from Tafralis to Kevin Jurovich helped San Jose State build a 35-21 lead late in the fourth quarter.
With representatives from the Fiesta Bowl on hand, Brennan orchestrated a 97-yard drive capped by an 11-yard TD pass to Davone Bess with 3:53 to go.
The Spartans tried to run the clock out, but James T. Callier fumbled on the second play of the drive and Adam Leonard recovered on the San Jose State 45. It was the Spartans' first lost fumble of the season and couldn't have come at a worse time.
"We have to learn how to play with a lead," Jurovich said. "We had a chance to put them away and we didn't get it done. It hurts to lose, but Hawaii made the plays when they needed to."
Brennan calmly moved the Warriors down the field before running it in on an option keeper to tie the game.
After rolling up six wins against mostly overmatched teams, the Warriors hoped to impress voters in their first appearance of the year on national television. Whether their second overtime win of the year did that remains to be seen. The first BCS standings will be released Sunday.
"I'm of the belief that winning these type of games does more for you than winning a game 70-0," Jones said.
Lowery's 86-yard punt return with 1:21 left in the first half got the Spartans on the board. He then returned an interception 24 yards for another score on the first play of the second half to tie the game. Tafralis and the once-sluggish offense took over to help San Jose State build the 14-point lead.
The Spartans scored touchdowns on three straight drives but were unable to hold on for their first win against a ranked team since ruining the BCS hopes of LaDanian Tomlinson and No. 9 TCU with a 27-24 victory on Nov. 4, 2000.
For the second straight season, San Jose State had a crushing home loss to a BCS hopeful. The Spartans blew a late eight-point lead against Boise State last year before falling 23-20 on a last-second field goal.
"It was disappointing to lose to Boise State and this was even more disappointing," coach Dick Tomey said. "We played our butts off and that's good for us. But we lost and that's not good for us."
After Brennan failed on a fourth-and-1 keeper from the San Jose State 35 midway through the third quarter, Tafralis completed a 23-yard pass to Brian Elledge on the next play. That started a 65-yard drive that ended with Jurovich's leaping 16-yard touchdown grab.
|ESPN GAME OF THE WEEK|
The ESPN Classic Game of the Week will feature Hawaii vs. San Jose State on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.|
After San Jose State forced a punt on Hawaii's next drive, Tafralis and Jurovich connected again for 68 yards with Jurovich outracing Newberry to the end zone.
Tafralis finished 27-for-47 for 302 yards and three interceptions. Jurovich had seven catches for 117 yards.
Hawaii took a 14-0 lead. Leonard intercepted a pass from Tafralis on the opening drive, setting up Kealoha Pilares' 6-yard run. Brennan then connected with Ryan Grice-Mullen on a 16-yard score, extending his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 32.
Grice-Mullen tied a school record with 14 catches for 175 yards. Bess added 12 catches for 140 yards and Rivers also had 12 for 138.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Hawaii DB Myron Newberry intercepted an Adam Tafralis pass in the end zone in overtime to seal the Rainbows' 42-35 win.
Gameball goes to... Colt Brennan. The Hawaii QB threw for 545 yards and 4 TDs. But it's the 4 INTs that will be the focus of his performance.
Stat of the game... 75. Brennan set a WAC record by attempting 75 passes. His previous high was 61 attempts in an OT win at La. Tech earlier this season.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||12-20||6-16|
|4th Down Conversions||1-4||0-0|
|TD||11:18||Kealoha Pilares 6 Yd Run (Daniel Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 7 plays, 35 yds, 1:53
|TD||08:23||Ryan Grice-Mullins 16 Yd Pass From Colt Brennan (Daniel Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 12 plays, 86 yds, 4:32
|TD||01:21||Dwight Lowery 84 Yd Punt Return (Will Johnson Kick)||14||7|
|TD||14:48||Dwight Lowery 24 Yd Interception Return (Will Johnson Kick)||14||14|
|TD||05:25||Kevin Jurovich 16 Yd Pass From Adam Tafralis (Will Johnson Kick) |
Drive: 5 plays, 65 yds, 1:59
|TD||02:32||Kevin Jurovich 68 Yd Pass From Adam Tafralis (Will Johnson Kick) |
Drive: 4 plays, 87 yds, 1:25
|TD||01:14||C.J. Hawthorne 34 Yd Pass From Colt Brennan (Daniel Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 5 plays, 67 yds, 1:17
|TD||12:33||James T. Callier 8 Yd Run (Will Johnson Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 65 yds, 3:42
|TD||03:53||Davone Bess 11 Yd Pass From Colt Brennan (Daniel Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 97 yds, 3:25
|TD||00:31||Colt Brennan 2 Yd Run (Daniel Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 45 yds, 2:25
|TD||Jason Rivers 9 Yd Pass From Colt Brennan (Daniel Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 0 yds, :31