11:00 PM ET, November 27, 2004
Aloha Stadium, HONOLULU, HI
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 school.
"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 Bowl.
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 now."
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 game.
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 score.
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 Pickens.
"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."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-17||11-17|
|4th Down Conversions||2-3||0-0|
|TD||11:47||KIM THOMPSON 24 YD PASS FROM BRETT BASANEZ (JOEL HOWELLS KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 26 yards.
|FG||3:56||JOEL HOWELLS 43 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 50 yards.
|FG||2:16||JOEL HOWELLS 46 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, -5 yards.
|TD||10:54||CHAD OWENS 11 YD PASS FROM TIMMY CHANG (JUSTIN AYAT KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 68 yards.
|TD||7:41||BRETT BASANEZ 1 YD RUN (JOEL HOWELLS KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 82 yards.
|TD||6:26||CHAD OWENS 40 YD PASS FROM TIMMY CHANG (JUSTIN AYAT KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 65 yards.
|TD||2:20||WEST KELIIKIPI 6 YD RUN (JUSTIN AYAT KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 57 yards.
|TD||0:07||CHAD OWENS 35 YD PASS FROM TIMMY CHANG (JUSTIN AYAT KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 68 yards.
|TD||12:43||CHAD OWENS 76 YD PUNT RETURN (JUSTIN AYAT KICK)||20||35|
|TD||10:29||ERIC BATIS 21 YD RUN (JOEL HOWELLS KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||6:29||WEST KELIIKIPI 2 YD RUN (JUSTIN AYAT KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||3:48||BRETT BASANEZ 6 YD RUN (BLOCKED XP)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||0:29||CHAD OWENS 16 YD PASS FROM TIMMY CHANG (JUSTIN AYAT KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 70 yards.
|TD||6:55||TONJUA (T.J.) JONES 18 YD BLOCKED PUNT RETURN (BRANDON HORN 2PT PASS FROM BRETT BASANEZ)||41||49|