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Updated: Friday, December 26, 2003 2:01 AM EST
NCAA FOOTBALL RECAP
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Hawaii 54, Houston 48 (3ot)
HOUSTON COUGARS
Houston Cougars
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HAWAII WARRIORS
Hawaii Warriors
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HONOLULU (Ticker) -- The Hawaii Bowl had a little bit of everything, minus the Christmas cheer.

In a wild shootout that featured snipers in the stadium, three overtimes and a helmet-throwing postgame brawl, Timmy Chang passed for 475 yards and five touchdowns, leading Hawaii to a 54-48 victory over Houston in the Hawaii Bowl.

The teams combined for 1,158 yards of offense, 81 improbable ones coming on a pass from Houston freshman Kevin Kolb to Vincent Marshall for a touchdown that tied the game at 34-34 with 22 seconds left in regulation.

After both clubs scored easily on each of their first two overtime possessions, Michael Brewster scored on an eight-yard run, giving Hawaii a 54-48 lead. The ensuing two-point conversion failed.

That gave the Cougars (7-6) a chance to win, but they failed to get into the end zone, sending the Warriors into hysterics when they were stopped on a 4th-and-5 from the 20-yard line.

"(There was) a lot of heartache but growth in some areas," Houston coach Art Briles said. "Very tough because we hadn't won a bowl game in 23 years."

The amount of security guards were doubled when a suspicious package arrived at Aloha Stadium, but they came in handy after the game when the teams met at midfield and a handful of players exchanged punches and threw helmets.

The incident soured an otherwise wild game that saw one of the most prolific passers in NCAA history at his best. Chang came off the bench early in the second quarter and led all seven of Hawaii's touchdown drives.

Benched two games ago, Chang entered when senior starter Jason Whieldon injured his non-throwing shoulder. A junior from Oahu, Chang completed 26-of-42 passes for 475 yards with just one interception.

The performance allowed Chang to jump four spots on the NCAA's all-time passing list, going from seventh to third. With 12,814 yards, he trails Phillip Rivers for second place by 195 and record-holder Ty Detmer by 2,217.

"I'm happy for Timmy," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "It's funny how things work out to come off the bench and to have a game like that on national TV is something I knew he could do. He's exactly where we thought he would be when he began the Heisman campaign."

Chang's TD passes were from 48, seven, four, 11 and 18 yards. Three of them went to Jason Rivers, his former high school teammate who grabbed seven passes for 143 yards. Jeremy Cockheran had five catches for 162 yards.

Even without standout receiver Chad Owens, Hawaii totaled 641 yards of offense.

"We overcame a lot of things," Jones said. "We fought through adversity and that's what you have to do to be a good football team."

With one of the most balanced offenses in the country, the Cougars weren't bad either. Bruising freshman Jackie Battle ran for 124 yards and three scores and Kolb passed for 332 yards and two TDs.

"We played hard," Briles said. "It was a good effort all night. Just came up short. Every game is an opportunity for someone to step up and make a play. I'm extremely proud of them."


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