On this date in 2001, Chad Owens had many, many happy returns.
Owens broke two NCAA records as a return man in a 72-45 decimation of previously perfect No. 9 Brigham Young.
Owens claimed the record for single-game kickoff and punt return yardage with 372 and kickoff return yardage with 249. Both records were set in 1997, the former by Minnesota’s Tutu Atwell and the latter by Tyrone Watley of Iowa State.
He became the first UH player to have a kickoff and punt return touchdown in the same game.
Owens, a redshirt freshman, also won the post game press conference with his brash style.
“I knew we were going to win,” Owens said at the time. “Everyone said it was going to be a close game, but inside I knew we were going to kill these guys. We were going to tear them apart because you could tell today we wanted it more. They didn’t want to come down and play us. You could tell from the get-go. I’m just happy the seniors went out the way they did. When I’m a senior, it’s going to be the same for me.”
They say it’s not bragging if you can do it. Owens wrapped up his UH career with a victory just like he said, a 59-40 bowl win over Alabama-Birmingham.
He contributed three touchdowns in the game and elicited this response from UAB punter Parker Mullins: “I don’t think we’ve ever faced someone that dangerous. His feet are so quick. He can cut on a dime. He’s a great all-around player. I’ll be looking forward to seeing him at the next level.”
Owens hosts the “The CO2 RUN DWN,” the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook Live sports talk show.
Owens discusses the top local and national sports news and highlights Hawaii star athletes on the “The CO2 RUN DWN” every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1 p.m.