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Brennan passes Hawaii to brink of BCS berth

Nov 24, 2007 - 8:16 AM HONOLULU (Ticker) -- Colt Brennan and Hawaii moved one step closer to a spot in the Bowl Championship Series on Friday and took out last season's BCS darlings in the process.

Brennan threw five touchdown passes and the 14th-ranked Warriors clinched the Western Athletic Conference championship in a 39-27 victory over No. 17 Boise State.

Now that Hawaii has the WAC title, it now needs one more win and it will have a legitimate shot at playing in a BCS bowl. Currently 15th in the BCS ratings, the Warriors need to be 12th in order to automatically secure a BCS berth.

"I think we proved something tonight with all of the so-called experts who picked Boise to beat us," Brennan said. "It was a great win for us, the school, and the state. The faith on this team is huge. We believe in ourselves."

Brennan entered Friday with 121 career touchdown passes, tying him with Ty Detmer for the NCAA record. He eclipsed Detmer with a first-quarter TD pass to Ryan Grice-Mullen to forge a 7-7 tie.

He added four more TD passes and ran for a score to help the Warriors (11-0, 8-0 WAC) unseat the five-time conference champions.

"I'm very proud of the kids," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "They battled through a lot of adversity and hung in there." I'm very happy for the state of Hawaii."

The Broncos (10-2, 7-1) had won the conference each season since joining in 2002. Even more impressive is their 46-1 record within the conference. Last season, Boise State earned a trip to the Fiesta Bowl and beat Big 12 Conference champ Oklahoma.

Now Hawaii is on the verge of a major bowl and is likely just a win over Washington away.

Recovering from a concussion, Brennan attempted just two passes in last week's 28-26 win at Nevada. He threw 53 times on Friday, completing 40 for 495 yards with two interceptions.

Brennan threw three of his TD passes in the third quarter to give Hawaii a 39-27 lead.

Davone Bess had a school-record 14 catches receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns and Jason Rivers had 12 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown for the Warriors, who have won 21 of their last 22 games.

"I told everyone that after eight games, the final four would be the determining factor," Jones said. "We got three, we need one more."