Alabama vs.Hawai'i

 
  Date: 11/29/2003  
  Score: 29-37  
  Alabama vs. Hawai'i

For the second straight season the Crimson Tide finished off its regular season with a trip to Hawaii to take on the Warriors but this season the outcome was much different with the Tide being defeated 37-29 and finishing off the 3rd losing season in 7 years. The 4-9 record also marked the worst season in Tuscaloosa since the pre-Bryant era. Alabama came storming out of the gates early in the game scoring the first 2 touchdowns. Shaud Williams scored the first on a 1-yard run that was set up by his 55 yard run earlier in the drive. Brodie Croyle hit his tight end Clint Johnston early in the second quarter for the second touchdown of the day on a 2-yard pass. However Hawaii scored the next two touchdowns after starting quarterback Timmy Chang was replaced by Jason Whieldon to tie the teams at 14 going into halftime. The third quarter saw points scored in unorthodox ways when Hawaii took the lead with a safety and Alabama retook the lead with a 73 yard blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. Alabama led 21-16 heading into the final quarter of play. It was early in the quarter that Hawaii took the lead and never gave it up on a controversial touchdown. Whieldon hit a 47-yard touchdown pass but the play was reviewed because the receiver stepped out of bounds and was the first player to touch the ball after coming back inbounds. However NCAA rules state that if, in the determination of the officials, the player is forced out of bounds by the defender and he makes every effort to quickly come back in play he may touch the ball and it was ruled that the Alabama defender pushed him out of balls so the call stood and Alabama never recovered. Hawaiis next touchdown was also of the controversial variety as the ball appeared to be dropped and then trapped but it was still ruled a touchdown. Hawaii added another score later in the quarter to put them up 37-21. Alabama gave it one last chance with 30 seconds remaining as Lance Taylor caught a 5 yard pass from Croyle and with the 2-point conversion brought the game to within 8 points. For the second week in a row Alabama attempted an onside kick but Thurman Ward was unable to hold on to the ball and Hawaii recovered and ran out the clock ending what was dismal season for the Crimson Tide nation. The Crimson Tide finished the season 4-9 for head coach Mike Shula in his first season at the Capstone.