HONOLULU Michael Brewster's 8-yard touchdown run in the third overtime sent Hawaii to a 54-48 victory over Houston in a Hawaii Bowl game that ended with an ugly fight at midfield Thursday night.
Shortly after Hawaii stopped the Cougars on fourth down in the third OT, several scuffles broke out with some players swinging helmets at each other and throwing punches.
Coaches and police broke up the brawl after several minutes, and both teams finally headed to their locker rooms.
It was a wild ending to a thrilling game.
Houston (7-6) took advantage of a major clock management mistake by Hawaii (9-5) to tie it at 34 with 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
After the Warriors blew a chance to run out the clock and missed a short field-goal attempt, Houston's Vincent Marshall caught an 81-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Kolb to tie it.
College Bowl Games
Motor City Bowl At Detroit
Bowling Green (10-3) vs. Northwestern (6-6), 1 p.m. (ESPN)
Insight Bowl At Phoenix
California (7-6) vs. Virginia Tech (8-4), 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Continental Tire Bowl At Charlotte, N.C.
Pittsburgh (8-4) vs. Virginia (7-5), 7 a.m. (ESPN2)
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In the first overtime, Hawaii's Timmy Chang completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Britton Komine, and Houston tied it on Anthony Evans' 6-yard run.
Houston went up 48-41 in the second overtime on a 4-yard run by Jackie Battle, but Hawaii answered with an 18-yard pass from Chang to Jason Rivers.
The Cougars nearly got the victory when they partially blocked Hawaii's extra point, but the ball still went through the uprights.
It was the fifth straight bowl loss for the Cougars. Houston, making its first bowl appearance since 1996, hasn't won in the postseason since defeating Navy in the 1980 Garden State Bowl.
Chang, selected the game's MVP, was 26-of-42 passing for 475 yards and five touchdowns after coming off the bench. The junior moved into third place on the NCAA career passing list with 12,814 yards.
Rivers had seven receptions for 143 yards and three touchdowns for the Warriors. Jeremiah Cockheran added five catches for 162 yards.
Hawaii scored 17 straight points and took a 27-20 lead on a 7-yard pass from Chang to Rivers.
Chang entered early in the second quarter when starter Jason Whieldon was shaken up on a 5-yard run. On his first play, Chang tossed a 48-yard scoring pass to Herbert to tie it at 10.
Hawaii coach June Jones did not name his starting quarterback until gametime, then opted for Whieldon.
Chang started 11 regular-season games and threw for 3,724 yards and 24 TDs, but was benched late in the season for ineffectiveness.
Whieldon, a senior, was 3-of-5 for 52 yards before he was knocked out of the game.
The Cougars jumped out to a 10-0 lead before Hawaii got a first down. Kolb found Chad McCullar streaking down the right sideline for a 34-yard touchdown on Houston's opening drive.
Four plays later, McCullar returned Hawaii's punt 60 yards, setting up Dustin Bell's 21-yard field goal.
Houston drove 88 yards in nine plays and scored on Jackie Battle's 2-yard plunge over the pile that gave the Cougars a 17-10 first-half lead.
The Cougars went up by 10 on their next possession on a 35-yard field goal by Bell. Houston had a 20-13 lead at halftime.
Chang threw passes of 12 and 64 yards to Cockheran to set up Brewster's 1-yard scoring run that tied it at 20 on the opening series of the third quarter. The 5-play, 80-yard drive took just 1:37.
The Cougars had six sacks. The Warriors didn't allow a sack in their last three regular-season games.
The game was played on a balmy 80-degree Christmas Day in front of 25,551 fans, the smallest crowd at Aloha Stadium this season.
It was the third bowl appearance in five years for the Warriors. Hawaii lost to Tulane 36-28 last year in the inaugural Hawaii Bowl.
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