June Jones and Jerry Glanville say it all
. From Stephen Tsai's article:
"This is so unbelievable," said Jones, his voice reduced to a whisper. "For what these kids did this year, for what they did in this game, it's so awesome. I'm kind of speechless."
He then turned, spotting one of his closest friends in football, defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville.
"Jerry," Jones said, "they did it."
"I'm so proud of them," Glanville said, as the two embraced.
"This is just a great group of kids, just great," Jones said. "The staff did a great job, too. What happened this season ... it's just a real powerful time. I'll never forget this moment."
And then Colt Brennan says it all.
"It was national TV, not at midnight (Eastern time), like the Oregon State game, but in prime time," Brennan said. "We showed what we were all about. We gave all of the reporters their rough drafts in the first half to knock us off. Now they have to delete, and give us the love we've been waiting for."
In Dave Reardon's wrap-up, he highlights Jason Rivers' record breaking performance
with 14 catches for 308 yards
As for his favorite target yesterday, well, maybe they need to change the name of this game to the Jason Rivers Hawaii Bowl.
In three Hawaii bowls, Rivers has 32 receptions for 599 yards and six touchdowns.
"When the stage gets big, he gets big," Jones said.
The old record for receiving yardage in a bowl game was 299 by Fresno State's Rodney Wright in the 2001 Silicon Valley Classic. The previous UH mark was 285 by Ashley Lelie against Air Force, also in 2001. Also, the 14 catches tied the school single-game mark shared by Chad Owens and Davone Bess.
"Where's June hiding these receivers? No one was talking about him," Sun Devils coach Dirk Koetter said of Rivers. "(No.) 84's as good a receiver as we've seen."
The kind of performance Rivers turned in yesterday begs the question of whether he would consider turning pro early. He said he'll stick around for his senior season.
"It's always on my mind, but you know, I want that (WAC championship) ring on my finger," said Rivers said. "I wanted to leave as a champion."
Another reason for Colt, Jason, and everyone to come back! And as Ferd Lewis writes
If he ends up bypassing early entry into the NFL draft — as you would hope he might unless the NFL advisory panel certifies the prospect of a big-money first-round selection — then Brennan launched his 2007 Heisman Trophy candidacy with a flourish on ESPN.
Brennan's long-awaited arrival into the NCAA record book for single-season touchdown passes, shattering David Klingler's 16-year old record of 54 by four, came in a second half where the UH quarterback threw five of them and passed for a career high 559 yards overall. Two touchdowns each going to Ryan Grice-Mullins and Jason Rivers, who, by the way, are eligible to return and complement Brennan again next year just in case the thought has slipped his mind.
Excellent reminder, Ferd!
If Brennan does leave though, Kalani Simpson has a great column
about Brennan's perhaps final game.
And Brennan. Brennan, most of all. Brennan has always been excitable, emotional. This is a man who throws up at the drop of a hat. But this was different. You could feel it. This was a guy who was -- well, he usually leaves his guts on the field. But this was more. This was different. You could feel it.
He was sky high. He was losing his mind. He seemed to be almost floating, after big plays.
Jason Kaneshiro writes that Brennan will be keeping his options open
"I told everybody after the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl I'd answer that, the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl for me doesn't end for me until tomorrow," he said. "I'll talk to you guys sometime next week."
But in the next breath he continued, "I'm going to come back probably. It's just that there's things I have to do. I have to be smart and look at the best opportunity out there for me."
Good luck to Brennan in whatever decision he makes!
Stacy Kaneshiro highlights Brennan's performance. Senior Dane Uperesa has lots of praise
"He likes to give the credit to a lot of different people but he has a special talent that we haven't really seen here in a while," tackle Dane Uperesa said. "I'm just proud to say I blocked for him and can say I helped him get a record."
David Klingler offers congratulations to Colt
for breaking his season TD mark.
Klingler said he wasn't very familiar with Brennan until the end of this season. "I don't get to watch many games these days but I know what it takes to set a record like that," Klingler said. "I know how good of an offense you have to be to put up those kind of numbers. So, congratulations are certainly in order."
Kyle Sakamoto's story about Jason Rivers' performance has another good quote
"I think (Colt) is a good quarterback, but I was more impressed watching the wide receiver. He gets open, makes plays and makes guys miss," Sun Devils quarterback Rudy Carpenter said.
Kalani Takase writes about the Warriors' amazing second half performance
ASU held the nation's highest- scoring offense (47.3 points per game) in check in the first half, and entering the game, the Sun Devils were statistically better in the second.
Arizona State (27 ppg) had only given up 26 third-quarter points in 12 games, and never more than seven.
Nobody told Colt Brennan. The junior quarterback tossed three third-quarter scores in leading the Warriors' offense while the UH defense shut out the Sun Devils in the period.
Takase also has this amazing fact:
Hawai'i ran only one play in the red zone (inside opponent's 20) — a 7-yard touchdown pass from Brennan to Grice-Mullins in the third quarter. Arizona State ran only three plays in the red zone.
That's amazing. As Arsenio would say, "Long distance!
Nick Abramo covers the second half from the other side of the field
. He talks to ASU safety Josh Barrett, who had a great performance despite illness.
Arizona State junior safety Josh Barrett was an up-close witness to the Warriors' third-quarter barrage that turned the seven-point lead into a 24-10 deficit and an eventual 41-24 loss at Aloha Stadium.
The Sun Devils recovered in the fourth quarter and got within three points, but that third-quarter lapse proved fatal. And despite his hustle and hard-hitting play, Barrett was powerless to stop the onslaught.
"That third quarter was bad in so many different ways," said Barrett, who had a first-half interception and finished with eight tackles, despite missing much of the second half with a stomach virus.
"I couldn't keep anything down for a while and was puking all over the place," he said. "I had to get IVs. It was a bad deal. I wasn't feeling much better, but I came back in."
Whether it was muscling down UH power back Nate Ilaoa or chasing down Rivers to save a possible touchdown on a sideline catch-and-run or making his team's only interception, Barrett was all over the field in the losing effort.
The Star-Bulletin staff highlight the performances of graduating defensive ends Ikaika Alama-Francis and Melila Purcell
The senior defensive ends combined for three sacks to spark the Warriors defense in their 41-24 win over Arizona State in yesterday's Hawaii Bowl.
"This was our last game playing at Aloha Stadium and we were just telling each other, 'every snap you just have to play 100 percent, play like it's our last snap and that's what we did," Purcell said.
Purcell closed his Hawaii career by recording six tackles, including two sacks of Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter. He was also credited with four quarterback hurries.
Alama-Francis also had a sack among his three tackles and recovered a fumble in the third quarter as the Warriors battled back from a 10-3 halftime deficit to end the season with the program's fifth bowl victory.
Congratulations again to them and to all the seniors!
And finally, Gene Park talked to several Warrior fans
about attending the Hawaii Bowl.
Yesterday gave Ed Kokubun an opportunity to have a gift exchange with his regular tailgate tag-alongs. The 56-year-old Mililani resident called the Warriors' performance this past season "their gift to us."
"The season has exceeded expectations," the season ticket holder said.
Waipahu resident Rick Santana, another season ticket holder, planned his holiday shopping and activities around the Hawaii Bowl.
"We got everything out of the way and done because we knew the game was coming," said Santana, father of four.
Usually he and about a dozen of his friends would get together and bring random foods for their tailgate parties, but they turned out to be a little more prepared. Every game, they camp out at the same spot at the back of the parking lot.
Richard Corpuz's usual holiday plan -- big dinner with the family -- was thrown out on account of the game. His family usually gets together for a Christmas Eve dinner, but everyone opted to go to the game instead.
What a great game for the fans. I'll be away from the computer for a couple of days doing family stuff and just relaxing. For continued UH football coverage, you can check out the newspapers, or The Warrior Beat
, and the amazing Sportshawaii.com, especially the football forum
. Be back on the 28th! Merry Christmas!