HONOLULU (AP) -- Chad Owens' hot hands helped keep Hawaii's bowl
hopes alive while ending Northwestern's postseason chances.
Owens caught four touchdown passes and scored on a punt return
as Hawaii defeated Northwestern 49-41 Saturday night.
After the game, Owens didn't want to talk about his
school-record-tying five TDs, but rather about beating a Big Ten
"You don't often get the chance to play those big teams, and I
put it on myself to come out and play and so did everyone else,"
said Owens, who finished with nine receptions for 155 yards for the
Warriors (6-6), who ended Northwestern's season at 6-6.
The Warriors need to beat another Big Ten opponent, Michigan
State, next weekend at Aloha Stadium to qualify for the Hawaii
Down 13-0, Hawaii erupted for four touchdowns in the second
quarter to take a 28-20 lead at halftime.
The fourth TD, a 35-yard dart from Timmy Chang to Owens, was
scored with six seconds left in the half. The pass capped a
three-play, 68-yard drive that took 19 seconds.
On Hawaii's previous series, West Keliikipi powered six yards
into the end zone to give the Warriors their first lead, 21-20.
Keliikipi, who led Hawaii with 43 yards rushing, added a 2-yard
score in the third quarter.
Chang was 31-of-56 for 405 yards. In the game, the fifth-year
senior broke the 16,000-yard career passing mark. The NCAA career
leading passer now has 16,251 yards.
"We knew the situation we put ourselves in," Chang said. "We
want to do our best and get into a bowl game. We're one step closer
Northwestern racked up 216 rushing yards on the nation's worst
rushing defense. Noah Herron, who averaged 117.4 yards coming into
the game, was held to 90 yards including 24 in the second half.
Wildcats quarterback Brett Basanez was 19-of-41 for 319 yards
and a touchdown.
T.J. Holt blocked Kurt Milne's punt and walked into the end zone
uncontested to cut Hawaii's lead to 49-41 with 6:55 left in the
The Wildcats took their final possession on their 20 with 2:12
left. Northwestern threatened to score, but Basanez's pass was
intercepted on Hawaii's 11 by Leonard Peters.
Hawaii took a 35-20 lead on Owens' 76-yard punt return. He shed
a couple of tacklers and broke free from a defender's bear hug to
find the open field.
It was Owens' fourth score of the day and his fourth punt return
for a touchdown this season.
Northwestern responded by scoring on a fake field goal attempt.
The holder, Eric Batis, took the snap and sprinted 21 yards for the
Chang had a horrible start, throwing two interceptions and six
incompletions in his first 10 pass attempts.
The second pick gave Northwestern possession deep in Hawaii
territory and led the Wildcats' first score, a 24-yard touchdown
pass from Basanez to freshman Kim Thompson.
Chang regained his composure in the second quarter after being
knocked into a metal bench on a late hit by linebacker John
"I didn't want to say that it did, but it kind of woke me up
because I wasn't playing very good until then," Chang said.
The hit also awoke the crowd.
After sitting out a play, Chang threw a 45-yard pass to Britton
Komine that set up an 11-yard touchdown pass to Owens, cutting
Northwestern's lead to 13-7.
"Timmy Chang is a great quarterback," Northwestern coach Randy
Walker said. "We let him get on a roll. Once he caught it and felt
it, there was no turning back."
The Wildcats went up 20-7 and got a big break on the Warriors' 1
when Basanez fumbled the handoff attempt to Herron, picked up the
ball and ran it into the endzone.
The score capped a six-play, 82-yard drive that included a
62-yard pass from Basanez to Shaun Herbert.
Northwestern finished their season going 1-5 on the road. Hawaii
is 6-1 at Aloha Stadium.
Walker laughed when asked how Hawaii would fare in the Big Ten.
"It's about 38 degrees in Chicago," Walker said. "I'd like to
play them there right now."
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