Alabama vs.Hawai'i

  Date: 9/2/2006  
  Score: 25-17  
  Alabama vs. Hawai'i

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - John Parker Wilson threw for 253 yards and a touchdown in his first career start and the Alabama defense withheld a late Hawai'i comeback for a 25-17 win to open its 112th football season at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

With no time left on the clock Tide sophomore Lionel Mitchell stepped in front of a Colt Brennan pass in the end zone to end the Warrior threat and seal the win for the Tide. Brennan threw for 259 of his 350 passing yards in the second half, taking the Warriors down the field on consecutive drives late before throwing his first interception as time expired. He ended the night 30-of-44 with a pair of touchdowns. Hawaii and Alabama traded field goals in the first quarter, Dan Kelly booting a 42-yard field goal and Alabama's Leigh Tiffin tying the score at 3-3 with a 31-yard field goal.

Tiffin was one of 18 first-time players to play in the game for Alabama, which also used eight first-time starters. Alabama opened the second quarter with a 3-yard Tim Castille touchdown run to take a 10-3 lead. Jimmy Johns had five rushes for 38 yards on the drive. He ended the night with eight rushes for 58 yards. With 8:54 left in the half, a 55-yard Fitzgerald punt pinned the Warriors inside their one-yard line. Three minutes later, Hawaii punter Kurt Milne fumbled a low snap out of the back of the Hawaii end zone to award Alabama a safety to make the score 12-3.

The Tide started the second half with an eight play, 80-yard scoring drive capped off by a 35-yard touchdown catch by Brown to extend the lead to 22- 3. The catch put Brown over the 1,000-yard receiving mark for his career. Brown ended the night with six catches for 132 yards and a touchdown.

The Warriors capitalized on good field position with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Brennan to Reagan Mauia with 4:59 left in the third to pull Hawaii to within 12 of Alabama at 22-10. With just over seven minutes left, Hawaii's Ryan Grice-Mullen reeled in a 31-yard touchdown pass from Brennan to pull the Warriors to within eight of the Tide, at 25-17.

The Alabama win was the first in the newly expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium. With the additional seating added in the north end zone, the sellout crowd of 92,138 was the largest to ever witness a football game in the state of Alabama.