This item originally appeared in the November 11, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By Josh Milton
Halfback Ryan Moats ran for 228 yards and two touchdowns and became Tech's single-season rushing record holder against Hawaii, but the Warriors rampaged past the Bulldogs for a 34-23 win at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu last Saturday.
Moats broke the previous single season record of 1,351 yards set by Jason Davis in 1991 and now has 1,441 yards with three games to boot, and Tech's head coach Jack Bicknell knew his running back would perform well against Hawaii.
"We ran the ball effectively all game," Bicknell said. "Our offensive line played great, and Ryan (Moats) had a wonderful game. I feel like he got tired late in the game, and he needed more rest. The game was just too close, and we couldn't take him out."
However, the Bulldogs (4-5, 3-2 WAC) rode their one-horse offense too hard, and Hawaii's offense caught fire in an offensive onslaught led by senior quarterback Timmy Chang.
Hawaii (4-4, 4-3) received the opening kick off and looked to ignite their 32,879 boisterous fans, but the Bulldogs' defense smothered the Warriors for a quick three-and-out on the opening drive.
Tech composed a six-play 61-yard drive capped off by Moats' two-yard touchdown scamper to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard first at 7-0.
Then, the Warriors responded with an open-air attack, as Chang connected with Jason Rivers for a seven-yard touchdown.
Chang had been chasing the NCAA's career passing yardage record, set by Ty Detmer in 1991 with 15,031 yards, but after 48 games and 2,174 pass attempts, the seven-yard completion to Rivers made him the most prolific quarterback in college football history.
After the completion, the crowd erupted in a deafening roar, as the referees paused the game and the Warriors mauled Chang in the middle of the field with appreciation.
The standing ovation strengthened as Chang held the ball in the air to acknowledge the crowd and then trotted across the field to hand the treasured recorded-breaking football to his dad on the sideline.
Chang finished 26-of-42 for 285 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. He has three more games to increase his record 15,303 career-passing yards.
Hawaii missed the point after following the touchdown toss, but adrenaline and momentum sparked the Warriors to click on all cylinders. Both teams clashed for hard hitting defensively, but it was Hawaii that made the big defensive play in the first quarter, when Abraham Elimimian recovered a Moats' fumble and dashed 21 yards into the end zone.
Chang then hit Gerald Welch for a 17-yard touchdown pass, and the Warriors' failed two-point conversion made the score 19-7. Moats' 15-yard touchdown run closed the gap to 19-13 after Danny Horwedel's blocked point after attempt, but Chang tacked on another touchdown pass to give Hawaii a 27-13 advantage at halftime.
The Bulldogs clawed back to a 34-23 deficit with 1:45 on the clock and the ball on Hawaii's two-yard line, threatening to score. It was fourth-and-goal when Kubik dropped back to pass with Moats open near the sideline, but Kubik dumped the ball into traffic in the end zone. A Hawaii defender dashed Tech's comeback hopes and batted the ball down.
Kubik completed 12 of 26 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown, and Bicknell commended his quarterback for performing well in the tough environment.
"Matt (Kubik) has improved over the season, and I like the fact that he doesn't make many mistakes," Bicknell said. "He manages our offense well, and we'll need to open our offense up and pass the ball more."