Brennan Sets TD Record in Hawaii Win
by Mike Mitchell
Hawaii rallied from a 10-3 halftime deficit to rout Arizona State 41-24 as Dirk Koetter finished his career as the Sun Devils' head coach and Hawaii's Colt Brennan set a new single-season touchdown passing record.
Brennan easily surpassed David Klingler's mark of 54 touchdown strikes by throwing five TD passes in the second half to give him 58 for the season. Arizona State was also the victim when the Houston Cougars' Klingler set the mark in a game played in Tokyo at the end of the 1990 season. It should be noted, not to take anything away from Brennan, that Klingler set the mark in an 11-game season and Brennan broke the record in 14 games.
Arizona State dismissed Koetter on November 26, even though the Sun Devils were bowl-bound for
the third straight season. However, the last two seasons produced records of 7-5 and 8-5 amid higher expectations. Koetter was 40-34 in six seasons, but just 21-28 against the PAC-10. Before taking the job with the Sun Devils, Koetter led Boise State to a 26-10 mark from 1998-2000.
Dennis Erickson was hired to replace him on December 9. He begins his tenure at Arizona State with an 18-year career record of 149-64-1.
This edition of the Hawai'i Bowl proved to be considerably more tame than the three previous affairs that each produce combined score totals of 97-104 points.
Last year's game was an overtime thriller won 49-48 by Nevada
over UCF when the Golden Knights missed an extra point.
In 2004, Hawaii prevailed 59-40 over UAB as Warrior quarterback Timmy Chang became the first collegiate player ever to end his career with over 17,000 passing yards, finishing with 17,072.
A year earlier, Chang came off the bench to throw for 475 yards and 5 TD's to lead Hawaii to a 54-48 win over Houston in triple overtime. That game was marred by a postgame melee, similar to the FIU-Miami game in the 2006 regular season, that took police intervention to halt.
This year, the Warriors erupted for 21 points in the third quarter to take a 24-10 lead only to see the Sun Devils score two touchdowns less than two minutes apart and get back to within three points at 27-24 with over 10 minutes left in the game. But, Arizona State couldn't hold Brennan & Co. down for long and the Warriors
closed out the game with two more touchdown passes.
Brennan's first and last TD passes of the game went to Jason Rivers who set another NCAA record with 308 yards receiving in a bowl game.