Updated at 10:06 p.m., Saturday, November 10, 2007
Warriors stop Fresno State, 37-30, improve to 9-0
By JAYMES SONG
AP Sports Writer
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, Hawai'i and Kansas (10-0) are the only remaining unbeaten teams.
Brennan's 5-yard TD toss to Davone Bess gave Hawai'i 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 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.
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.
Fresno State (6-4, 5-2) made a late rally with Tom Brandstater connecting with Marlon Moore for two touchdowns to cut the lead to a touchdown. But Hawai'i recovered an onside kick with to seal the win.
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.
Ryan Grice-Mullins and Bess each had nine receptions. Grice-Mullins 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 Hawai'i 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.
Fresno State stripped Brennan of the ball on the Hawai'i 21 to set up its first offensive TD. Brandstater hit Issac Kinter on a 6-yard TD pass to cut Hawaii's lead to 31-16 with 41 seconds in the half.
Hawai'i's Dan Kelly nailed a 50-yard field goal to close the wild first half. He also kicked a 24 yarder early in the fourth to push Hawai'i's lead to three touchdowns.
Leon Wright-Jackson had 65 rushing yards on six carries for Hawai'i, including a 33-yard TD run.