11:00 PM ET, November 10, 2007
Aloha Stadium, HONOLULU, HI
HONOLULU (AP) -- Colt Brennan's record night was cut short.
Brennan tied the NCAA career mark for touchdown passes Saturday night, throwing his 121st before he was knocked out of the game with a concussion, as No. 14 Hawaii remained undefeated by holding off Fresno State 37-30.
Brennan was 28-of-39 for 396 yards and two touchdowns before he left in the fourth quarter. The Warriors (9-0, 6-0 Western Athletic Conference) are off to their best start since 1925 and kept their BCS hopes alive. They have won 10 straight, and 19 of their last 20 games.
With top-ranked Ohio State's loss earlier in the day, Hawaii and Kansas are the only remaining unbeaten teams.
The Warriors know what they need to do, with just three games remaining.
"It's NFL playoff time," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "You lose, you're out."
Brennan's 5-yard TD toss to Davone Bess gave Hawaii a 31-7 lead and matched the mark set by Brigham Young's Ty Detmer in 1991. With the score, Brennan also tied Detmer's record for most touchdowns responsible for with 135.
After throwing the touchdown, Brennan ran to the end zone and celebrated with teammates as flashbulbs sparkled.
The senior reached the milestone in his 34th game. It took Detmer 46 games to set the record.
Brennan later took a jarring, high hit from linebacker Marcus Riley while scrambling on third-and-7 and was knocked out of the game with 10:43 left.
The near-sellout crowd drew silent and teammates prayed on one knee as the game was halted for about 5 minutes. Brennan stood up, wincing in pain and was helped off the field into the locker room.
"He showed a lot of heart by getting to his feet because we all knew he was out of it," Warriors receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen said.
Grice-Mullen said it was a helmet-to-helmet hit, but not dirty. He admitted it was difficult to concentrate on the game because he was so concerned about his quarterback.
"I'm not going to lie. I'm not the only one that had Colt on my mind the next snap," he said.
Brennan was not available after the game, but said in a statement that he was "looking forward to getting back on the field for next week's game."
Jones said Brennan was "fine" and expected him to be ready when Hawaii faces Nevada next week.
"If you play football you're going to have concussions," he said. "I just talked to him. He's ready to play right now."
Brennan entered the game holding 22 other NCAA records, including the single-season record for TD passes of 58, which he set last year. He has now thrown a touchdown in 34 straight games, one shy of the mark also held by Detmer.
The Warriors had 406 yards of offense in their 34-point first half, but were held to a field goal and 141 yards in the second half.
Fresno State (6-4, 5-2) made a late rally with Tom Brandstater connecting with Marlon Moore for touchdowns of 31 and 20 yards to cut the lead to a touchdown with 1:31 left. But Hawaii recovered an onside kick with to seal the win.
"We just didn't get it done, but our guys are fighters," Bulldogs coach Pat Hill said. "Most teams would have folded. We grew some tonight. I just wish we could have started faster. Bottom line, we came out one touchdown short."
Jones said he was pleased with the win.
"It was a dogfight and I knew it was going to be," he said.
The loss dropped the Bulldogs out of contention for the WAC title. They were without starting running back Ryan Mathews, who sprained an ankle last week.
Clifton Smith filled in and rushed for 105 yards on 17 carries.
The nation's top-scoring team scored on its first five possessions and didn't take long to get on the scoreboard.
On the third play of the game, Brennan threw a long pass over the middle to a wide-open Jason Rivers for a 67-yard score. With the catch, Rivers tied the WAC record with a reception in 46 straight games.
Later in the first quarter, Brennan scored on a 3-yard run as the Warriors jumped to a 21-0 lead with less than 10 minutes elapsed in the game.
Grice-Mullen and Bess each had nine receptions. Grice-Mullen had 128 yards while Bess had 98.
Just as the Warriors were trying to put the Bulldogs away, A.J. Jefferson broke a 98-yard kickoff return for a score. Jefferson ran along the right sideline, cut back near the Fresno State 30 and found the open field.
Brennan had a huge first quarter, throwing 232 yards and a TD and running in another score.
The first quarter ended on a costly mistake by the Bulldogs. On third-and-11, Brennan was sacked near the Hawaii 10 by Chris Carter. But Carter ripped the quarterback's helmet off, drawing a 15-yard penalty that kept the Warriors' drive alive.
Hawaii easily marched down the field and scored on Brennan's record-tying pass to go up by 24.
Leon Wright-Jackson had 65 rushing yards on six carries for Hawaii, including a 33-yard TD run.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Hawaii recovered an onside kick with 1:10 remaining to seal the win. Fresno State had staged a furious late rally to cut the lead to a touchdown with 1:31 left.
Gameball goes to... Colt Brennan. Hawaii's senior QB added to his sterling reputation, equaling the NCAA career TD passing mark by throwing two touchdowns on 396 yards.
Stat of the game... 121. Brennan's second TD toss matched the mark set by BYU's Ty Detmer in 1991. With the score, Brennan also tied Detmer's record for most TDs responsible for with 135.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-11||2-8|
|4th Down Conversions||2-2||0-0|
|TD||13:34||Jason Rivers 67 Yd Pass From Colt Brennan (Daniel Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 3 plays, 77 yds, 1:26
|TD||07:50||Leon Wright-Jackson 33 Yd Run (Daniel Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 83 yds, 2:44
|TD||05:14||Colt Brennan 3 Yd Run (Daniel Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 5 plays, 51 yds, 1:02
|TD||05:01||A.J. Jefferson 98 Yd Kickoff Return (Clint Stitser Kick)||7||21|
|FG||03:27||Daniel Kelly 25 Yd |
Drive: 6 plays, 67 yds, 1:34
|TD||11:26||Davone Bess 5 Yd Pass From Colt Brennan (Daniel Kelly Kick) |
Drive: 10 plays, 80 yds, 4:38
|FG||04:33||Clint Stitser 28 Yd |
Drive: 13 plays, 69 yds, 6:53
|TD||00:41||Isaac Kinter 6 Yd Pass From Tom Brandstater (Pat Failed)||16||31|
|FG||00:00||Daniel Kelly 50 Yd||16||34|
|FG||14:16||Daniel Kelly 24 Yd||16||37|
|TD||11:49||Marlon Moore 31 Yd Pass From Tom Brandstater (Clint Stitser Kick)||23||37|
|TD||01:31||Marlon Moore 20 Yd Pass From Tom Brandstater (Clint Stitser Kick)||30||37|