JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan was riding high atop fans' shoulders at Aloha Stadium after last week's victory over Boise State, which gave the Warriors the 2007 WAC title.
Hawaii aims to end its dream season with a bcs invitation and big payday
Washington has the tradition and the brand name.
Hawaii has just about everything else going in its favor, including a five-hour flight delay for the opponents arriving from Seattle last night.
University of Hawaii Warriors (11-0) host University of Washington Huskies (4-8):
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. today at Aloha Stadium
Radio: KKEA 1420-AM
On the cusp of completing a dream regular season, the Warriors host the Huskies tonight at sold-out Aloha Stadium.
Washington's history is full of All-Americans, Rose Bowls and a national championship. But barring a major upset, this is unheralded -- and unbeaten -- Hawaii's night. The Warriors are 14-point favorites to beat the Huskies, run their record to 12-0 and be selected to a Bowl Championship Series game that will net the strapped UH athletic department $4 to $5 million.
With Heisman Trophy candidate Colt Brennan at the controls, UH leads the nation in scoring. And its defense and kicking game have stepped up to do their part in keeping the 11th-ranked upstarts undefeated.
Washington (4-8) is battle-hardened by a tough schedule. But the Huskies' pass defense is vulnerable, and this is the third losing season under coach Tyrone Willingham.
UH players, coaches and fans anticipate the biggest win in school history but are afraid to jinx, or bachi, the outcome.
After all, the last time these teams played in 1973, a 50-point underdog UH team knocked off the Huskies in Seattle. Payback is a ...
"Everyone is real excited about the possibilities in front of us, but everyone, the whole state, needs to focus on Washington right now because we have got to win this football game," said Brennan, one of 24 seniors who will be feted after the game.
As for coach June Jones, he said the Huskies "are the best team on our schedule."
Game security, transit and parking enhanced
Aloha Stadium will have extra security on duty and open parking gates early to make sure things go smoothly when the University of Hawaii faces Washington tonight in the Warriors' last game of the season.
"We had a few incidents with unruly guests last Friday, but nothing out of the ordinary," said Aloha Stadium Manager Scott Chan. "Hopefully, we can have the same type of success as we had last week and celebrate the seniors who will be playing in their final regular season home game."
The Lower Halawa Parking Lot gates (Nos. 3 and 4) will open at 1:30 p.m., with other gates following at 2:30 p.m. in preparation for the game, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Aloha Stadium's turnstiles open at 3 p.m.
Police did not arrest anyone at last week's game, but 12 people were escorted to the security office for unruly behavior. Anyone who throws things or acts inappropriately will be removed from the stadium, and visitors will not be allowed to remain in the parking lot after kickoff, officials said.
The Honolulu Police Department will have 130 officers on duty, 14 more than usual for a UH game, and the Liquor Commission will send all its enforcement investigators to the stadium to assist.
TheBus will run 39 UH Football Express trips to the stadium, about a third more than last week. Ridership for last week's game reached a record, with 4,100 fans traveling on the Football Express.
Drivers are encouraged to tune in to ESPN 1420 AM for traffic updates as they approach the stadium. Vehicles will be directed to alternate parking sites as regular lots fill up.