TONY AVELAR / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-BULLETIN
UH quarterback Colt Brennan threw four picks last night before leading Hawaii to victory.
Colt keeps coming back
The Hawaii quarterback kept believing his team would come out on top because it always has
SAN JOSE, Calif. » It was a familiar feeling for Colt Brennan.
By rallying his team from two 14-point deficits in the second half and tossing what would be the game-winning score to Jason Rivers in overtime, the Hawaii quarterback found redemption in a four-interception outing on national TV in the Warriors' 42-35 victory.
"This has kind of been my life the last four or five years, bouncing back from adversity," said Brennan, referring to his well-chronicled run-in with the law before coming to Hawaii. "I didn't play the best game, but at no point was I going to give up. I made plenty of mistakes, but I knew that if I did what I was supposed to do, and we had those opportunities we could win this game."
He finished with four passing touchdowns for 545 yards, and added the game-tying 2-yard rushing touchdown with 31 seconds left, inciting the approximately 7,500 Hawaii faithful into a frenzy.
That was despite inclement weather that turned sections of the Spartan Stadium field into soup early.
"He showed what he's made of," coach June Jones said. "He's a very competitive kid and I felt bad for him because the conditions were so terrible."
His 11-yard pass to Davone Bess with 3 minutes, 53 seconds left in the game brought Hawaii to within 35-28, and his 9-yard dart to Rivers in OT put the Warriors a stop away from victory.
Brennan credited his receivers, calling them "the best receiving corps in the nation."
The second half began about as bad as Brennan could imagine. Cornerback Dwight Lowery stepped in front of Rivers on Hawaii's first play, intercepting the ball and running it back for a 24-yard touchdown.
Even his final pick, to Christopher Owens with 8:54 left -- at the time severely hampering Hawaii's chances of a comeback, trailing 35-21 -- didn't daunt him.
"We kept saying, 'Believe. Just believe,' " Brennan said. "It's amazing, the character of this team. All of a sudden, a fumble, we got a chance to tie it up, and we knew once it got into overtime it'd be over.
"Obviously you want to clean up the interceptions and a lot of the negative stuff," he added, "but to overcome those adversities and come out with a win says a lot about this team."
He had no idea what the rousing performance would do to his Heisman Trophy chances when weighed with the interceptions and several strings of incompletions -- or his team's odds of remaining in the hunt for a BCS bowl game.
"I'm not sure. It's such a weird dynamic, the whole Top 25 and all that stuff," Brennan said. "You watch a (Southern California) team lose to a Stanford team, and you watch some of these quality teams that aren't as good as the team they're playing, but they get the upset."
Brennan set school records in pass attempts (75) and completions (44), both previously held by Tim Chang. The staggering number of passes also broke the WAC record, held by New Mexico State's Chase Holbrook at 73.
Lastly, he eclipsed the NCAA three-year total in touchdowns responsible for with 126.