Hawai’i bids aloha to its seniors and the 2005 campaign in the season finale against the Aztecs of San Diego State. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:05 pm on Saturday, Dec. 3 at Aloha Stadium.
The Warriors are 8-15-2 against the Aztecs and are 5-8-2 when competing in Honolulu. The last meeting between the teams was on Dec. 7, 2002 in Honolulu. Hawai’i managed to pull out a 41-40 victory.
This will mark the 27th time Hawai’i faces off with former WAC foe San Diego State.
The Warriors (4-7, 4-4 WAC) suffered a 41-24 loss to No. 24 Wisconsin last week at Aloha Stadium. Warrior quarterback Colt Brennan passed for 403 yards (33-of-53) and three touch-downs against the Badgers while receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen stepped up and led all Warriors with a career-high 11 catches for 139 yards. Fellow receiver Davone Bess left the game with a bruised lower back, but not before making four catches for 34 yards and two touchdowns.
Bess and Grice-Mullen became the first in UH football history to catch for over 1,000 yards each in one season. Bess (averaging 98.4 yards per game) has managed to record 85 grabs for 1,082 yards and 14 touch-downs in just his first year.
Bess was recently named first-team Freshman All-America by Rivals.com. Grice-Mullen (averaging 96.5 yards per game) enters his final game of his rookie campaign with 75 catches for 1,061 yards and nine scores.
Brennan, who is 4-6 as the Warrior starter, has passed for 3,975 yards (478-of-325) and 30 touchdowns on the season. In only his rookie year at the Division I-A level, Brennan leads the WAC and ranks second nationally in total offense averaging 371.0 yards per game.
He also leads the WAC averaging 361.4 passing yards per game and ranks ninth nationally in passing efficiency (153.5).
Linebackers Brad Kalilimoku and Kila Kamakawiwo’ole and safety Lamar Broadway led the Warriors with 10 tackles each last week against Wisconsin. Kalilimoku (66 total tackles, 39 solo) and Kamakawiwo’ole (70 total tackles, 42 solo), along with fellow linebacker Solomon Elimimian (73 total tackles, 51 solo) have led the Warrior defense for most of the season.
San Diego State (5-6, 4-4 Mountain West Conference) brings a two-game win streak into Saturday night’s game. The Aztecs, coming off a 34-21 victory over Wyoming, scored 20 fourth-quarter points and picked-off two Wyoming passes to earn the win. SDSU head coach Tom Craft is 19-28 in his fourth season at his alma mater.
Quarterback Kevin O’Connell heads into Saturday’s game 200-of-324 passing for 2,242 yards with 16 touchdowns against 11 interceptions, and has rushed for 391 yards on 134 attempts. The sophomore completed 16-of-27 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown last week against Wyoming.
O’Connell’s main target is receiver Jeff Webb. The veteran leads the team in receptions (79) for 967 yards and eight touchdowns this season. Webb recorded 115 yards on seven catches last week against the Cowboys.
Running back Lynel Hamilton leads the Aztec rushing attack The sophomore gained 154 yards and a touch-down last week against Wyoming. Hamilton leads the team in rushing this season with 709 yards and eight touchdowns on 164 carries.
The Aztec defense is led by line-backers Freddy Keiaho and Joe Martin, and safety Reggie Grigsby. Keiaho, a senior, leads the team this season with 99 total tackles (60 solo), while Martin, a junior, has 77 total tackles (36 solo). Grigsby, a senior, has managed to rack up 86 total tackles (55 solo) in 2005.
The efficient leg of place-kicker Garret Palmer has also helped the Aztecs this season. The sophomore has converted 14-of-16 field goal attempts (88 percent) and 31-of-33 PAT attempts. Palmer, who kicked field goals of 32 and 27 yards against Wyoming last week, leads the Aztecs in scoring with 73 points.