WAC Has A New Champ
HONOLULU, Hi. - No. 15 Hawaii couldn't have picked a better night to shine. A nationally-televised audience, along with a sold-out Aloha Stadium, witnessed UH win their first-ever outright Western Athletic Conference title after defeating No. 19 Boise State 39-27. Highlighted by a series of records offensively and big hits defensively, the Warriors overcame a tight three quarters of play to comfortably take away the win and school's best record to date. The victory is Hawaii's first ever over Boise State since the Broncos joined the conference in 2001 and with it snapped their 18-game WAC win streak.
After playing neck-in-neck for almost three quarters of action, the Warriors were able to pull away from the Broncos in the final minutes of the third quarter on touchdowns from Colt Brennan to senior receivers Jason Rivers and C.J. Hawthorne. By the game's completion, the Hawaii offense had racked up numerous records to add to the collection, including Brennan's new NCAA record 126 touchdowns thrown-for.
With the win, the Warriors further the nation's longest winning streak and with it strengthen the program's hopes of a possible BCS bowl appearance. UH has had their aim on the WAC title since prior to the season's arrival and with the win, have one more accomplishment in mind, to go undefeated, and with that the BCS will take care of itself.
"Since the beginning of the season we've been saying 'WAC champions, WAC champions, WAC champions,'" said UH senior safety Jacob Patek. "Tonight we did that and it feels amazing."
Player of the game: UH wide receiver Davone Bess. The junior set a new school record by racking up 181 yards on 15 receptions for two touchdowns. He made multiple highlight-reel catches on passes that weren’t always on target. In addition to his ability to catch the ball, Bess displayed his speed, picking up a lot of yardage after his catches.
Play of the game: UH on the BSU seven yard line at 3-5 with just under three and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter. Colt Brennan found Jason Rivers for the touchdown and with it the momentum change for Hawaii.
Next up: UH hosts the University of Washington, the only other team Boise State has lost to this season, at Aloha Stadium in their final outing of the regular season. Should Hawaii win, they will finish the season at a perfect 12-0. Boise is officially done with the 2007 regular season and will await their postseason fate.