Brennan armed, ready for Spartans
Colt Brennan's arm makes him one of college football's top quarterbacks, but the way he moved on his feet at practice yesterday could be the most pleasing sight for Hawaii fans.
On the first play of team drills, Brennan took the snap and darted left around his offensive line. Once around the edge, he planted on his left foot and cut back into the middle. Feeling greedy, Brennan made one last cut, this time planting on his right, and made his way down the sideline.
There was no limp to his step and no hitch in his throw. All signs point toward Brennan being as close to 100 percent as he has been in nearly a month.
It's good news for the 16th-ranked Warriors (6-0, 3-0 WAC) as they start the second half of the season with a tough WAC road game at San Jose State (3-3, 2-0) tomorrow at 2 p.m. on ESPN. The Warriors arrived in the Silicon Valley last night, leaving the islands for their fourth road game of the year after yesterday morning's practice.
"I think he's the best the last three days that he's been since he hurt (the ankle)," Hawaii coach June Jones said of Brennan. "We've got a bye the following week, so hopefully he'll get in there and do his own thing."
Brennan hasn't played an entire game since Hawaii's WAC opener at Louisiana Tech five weeks ago. The ankle injury suffered just prior to the UNLV game has hurt Brennan's consistency as much as anything.
"It would help my rhythm if I could consistently stay in there and get back on track," Brennan said.
He's been able to do that all week, and it paid off yesterday, as Brennan not only looked good running with the ball, but he was deadly accurate on his long ball.
On three consecutive plays, he hit receivers between the numbers on passes of at least 40 yards.
"My ankle is feeling better now than ever," Brennan said. "With the bye week coming up I can really push it."
You can tell just by his voice that he's feeling good. Just like the extra step he showed in practice, he spoke to the media afterwards with an extra pep to his voice.
It's as if Brennan knows he's finally healthy and poised to deliver the big offensive numbers he did a season ago.
Hawaii already is playing one less game than last year, and the missed time almost assures that he won't have the same overall record-setting numbers as in '06, when he broke the NCAA record for touchdown passes with 58, among other marks.
Brennan has remained focused on UH's team goals.
"It's just impossible to think that the (individual) standard I set last year is what I'm looking for this year," Brennan said. "I said I'm coming back to win football games and I've been doing that and that's what we're going to continue to do. Whatever the stats are at the end of the year won't matter if we are undefeated."
That challenge starts tomorrow as Hawaii's strength of schedule cranks up a few notches.
The Spartans have won three in a row, and their three losses this season came against teams from the Pac-10 and Big 12.
They have played competition that Hawaii has yet to see, whereas the Warriors are just now starting to see a noticeable increase in their opponents' skill level.
"For us, we're excited because the last four, five, six weeks or so we've been having to get ready for opponents that we are supposed to really beat handily," Brennan said. "Well finally we can really get up and be really excited about an opponent that's good enough to beat us if we don't show up."