SUGAR BOWL: GEORGIA VS. HAWAII
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan struggled to find time to throw last night because of Georgia's defensive pressure.
Dawgs harassed Colt all night
NEW ORLEANS » This time Colt Brennan didn't play the fourth quarter for a different reason.
Hawaii's record-setting quarterback and third-place finisher in the Heisman voting was intercepted three times and sacked eight last night at the Superdome as Georgia pounded Hawaii 41-10 in the Sugar Bowl.
On the final sack, Brennan was shaken up and left the game with the score 41-3 with 13 minutes left.
"We didn't protect him very well," UH coach June Jones said. "We didn't help him a whole lot."
He lobbied to return to the game, but coaches and medical personnel kept him out.
"Physically it was a tough beating," Brennan said. "I just wanted to prove I can take it. They were asking me some questions and they said I had trouble with them. I was destroyed that I couldn't go back in there."
He finished with a career low (for games he started) of 169 yards passing. It was the first time in his 38 Warrior games over three seasons that he did not throw a touchdown pass -- other than the Nevada game this season, in which he was in just two plays.
When backup Tyler Graunke replaced Brennan the past two seasons, it was usually because the Warriors held a huge lead.
But this time it was the other way around, as UH suffered its most lopsided loss since losing 46-14 at Louisiana Tech in the 2006 season.
Graunke came in and engineered UH's only touchdown drive, completing a 16-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Grice-Mullins.
"I saw a lot of guys with their heads down," Graunke said. "I wanted them to show some spirit because I know we can play with them. I feel so bad for Colt, but he'll be just fine."
UH got the ball back and Graunke started another drive with a 38-yard pass to C.J. Hawthorne, but Asher Allen's second interception ended that drive.
Graunke completed 13 of 19 passes for 142 yards and the one TD and one pick.
His next opportunity will also be against an SEC powerhouse, as the Warriors open next year at Florida.
"Next year's my year and I'm not going to get psyched out by SEC teams. We'll beat anyone," Graunke said. "We're not going to get any love going into next season in the rankings, but we will quickly. We're going to try to go undefeated and have another special year."
Despite the uncharacteristic outing, Brennan still finished his career as the NCAA leader in passing accuracy, at 70 percent. His 131 touchdown passes is also an NCAA record.