Five big plays from Hawaii's 41-24 win over Arizona State
1. Rare occurrence
Arizona State 3, Hawaii 3; 8:03 remaining, second quarter, Hawaii ball, first and 10 at Arizona State 44.
The Play: Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan throws to the left sideline for Jason Rivers, who appears to be wide-open. But Arizona State safety Josh Barrett reads it perfectly and steps in front of Rivers for an interception. Arizona State takes over at its own 29.
The Impact: Brennan finishes the season with just 12 interceptions in 559 passing attempts. But this is a costly one, as Arizona State mounts a touchdown drive and takes the lead with Rudy Carpenter's 37-yard scoring pass to Brandon Smith. The first half ended with Arizona State leading 10-3.
Hawaii coach June Jones: "I wasn't really worried. It was us more than them."
2. Great Dane
Arizona State 10, Hawaii 3; around 13:00 remaining, third quarter, Hawaii ball, first and 14 at Arizona State 36.
The Play: Brennan throws a short pass to Rivers, who fumbles when he is hit by linebacker Manutai. In the scramble for the loose ball, Hawaii right tackle Dane Uperesa -- called for holding on the previous play -- ends up with it.
The Impact: On the next play, Brennan finds Rivers wide open on the left sideline for a 38-yard touchdown. His first of five TD passes on the day ties David Klingler's NCAA record of 54 in one season. After Dan Kelly's extra point, Hawaii never trailed again.
Uperesa: "I didn't realize how big it was until people were telling me. Natural instinct."
3. Breaking the mark
Hawaii 10, Arizona State 10; Around 9:00 remaining, third quarter, Hawaii ball, first and goal at Arizona State 7.
The Play: Brennan swings a short pass out to Ryan Grice-Mullins. Grice-Mullins eludes a tackler and crosses the goal line for his first of two touchdown receptions on the day.
The Impact: Brennan breaks Klingler's record and Hawaii takes a lead it will not relinquish. With two receiving touchdowns, Grice-Mullins finishes the season with 11 -- making him one of four Hawaii receivers with 10 or more for the year.
Brennan: "I know I got the record, but if you watch Ryan Grice-Mullins or you watch Jason Rivers or Nate Ilaoa, you could see I've had good company this year."
4. Finally healthy
Hawaii 24, Arizona State 10; 1:16 remaining, third quarter, Arizona State ball, second and 20 at Hawaii 39.
The Play: Safety Leonard Peters blitzes and is unblocked. He crushes Carpenter and forces a fumble that is recovered by defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis at the Arizona State 48.
The Impact: Justin Tryon had returned a kickoff to the Hawaii 29 after three consecutive Hawaii touchdowns. But the Hawaii defense answered the call, and Kelly's 43-yard field goal makes it 27-10 with 13:04 left. Carpenter is sacked four times and hurried 12 times, twice by Peters who is also in on six tackles.
Hawaii defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville: "For 42 (Peters), maybe his best game since I've been here. He hadn't been healthy much. But when he's healthy, he can play."
5. Rivers runs through it
Hawaii 34, Arizona State 24; 2:12 remaining, fourth quarter, Hawaii ball, third and 8 at own 21.
The Play: Brennan throws a short pass to Rivers across the middle, catching the Arizona State defense bunched up near the line. Rivers accelerates past the safeties and there's no one left between him and the end zone.
The Impact: The score clinches the game after a spirited Arizona State comeback try. Rivers finishes his junior season with the greatest receiving performance in the history of the Hawaii program with 14 receptions for 308 yards (both school records) and two touchdowns. The 308 yards is also a national record for a bowl game.
Rivers: "308 yards? That is kind of crazy. The corners were playing us high in the second half. We were just hitting that play all night."