Aloha: Chang leads Hawaii to bowl win

Posted: Sunday, December 26, 2004

HONOLULU — When Timmy Chang jogged off the field for the final time at Aloha Stadium, he left Hawaii with more than just a big lead in the Hawaii Bowl.

He also left behind a record-setting legacy.

Chang became the first college quarterback to pass for 17,000 yards, throwing four touchdown passes and running for another score to lead Hawaii to a 59-40 victory over Alabama-Birmingham on Friday night.

''If you would've told me it would've turned out like this, I would've probably called you a liar,'' he said.

The fifth-year senior from Honolulu went 31-of-46 for 405 yards with no interceptions, spoiling the Blazers' first trip to the postseason. Co-MVP Chad Owens caught eight passes for 114 yards and two TDs for Hawaii (8-5), which made its third straight appearance in the 3-year-old bowl.

''Their offense and those two guys drove us crazy,'' Blazers coach Watson Brown said.

Owens also scored on a 59-yard punt return in the decisive third quarter, and teammate Jason Rivers added 11 receptions for 148 yards and a TD.

''I don't think it's really hitting me yet that it's over,'' Owens said. ''But when it does, it's going to hurt.''

Clinging to a 2-point lead, Hawaii scored 17 straight points in the third to take a 45-26 lead over UAB (7-5). On Owens' spectacular return, he caught the ball at the Hawaii 41, broke a tackle near midfield and streaked down the left sideline for a touchdown. It was his fifth punt return for a score this season and his third TD of the game.

The senior also made an over-the-shoulder catch on a 15-yard pass from Chang, pushing Hawaii's lead to 35-26. With that pass, Chang became the first college quarterback to break the 17,000-yard mark for his career. He finished more than 2,000 yards ahead of Ty Detmer, who ranks second on the NCAA list.

Chang's 4-yard TD run in the fourth sealed the victory. He left to a standing ovation with 5:40 remaining and hugged coach June Jones.

''When Coach Jones told me to go in and take one last snap, it really made me sad,'' Chang said. ''I just really had an awesome time here. I'm going to miss it a lot.''

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