Before the Warriors' first snap of the game, right tackle Keoni Steinhoff came out of his stance early and drew a penalty. Steinhoff knew what Georgia end Marcus Howard had in store for him. Howard, named the bowl's most outstanding player, sacked Brennan three times, twice forcing fumbles, the second of which he recovered in the third quarter for Georgia's fourth touchdown. He also deflected a pass that linebacker Dannell Ellerbe turned into Brennan's third interception of the game.
In short, Howard ran around Steinhoff as if he stood still. Come to think of it …
"The SEC is probably the fastest conference in the country," Brennan said. "We got a firsthand taste of that tonight. They are tough. They are a great football team. It is just really disappointing we didn't show up and at least play our type of football. We are such a better team than we showed tonight."
Steinhoff wasn't the only overmatched Warrior on the Hawaii offense. The Bulldogs applied that kind of pressure to Brennan without having to resort to blitzing.
"We wanted to force Colt to throw it faster than he wanted to," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "We really didn't think we could get that many sacks, to be honest. We knew when they completed passes we didn't want to give them yards after the catch. The guys tackled very well."
The Bulldogs played with the same characteristic good tackling and tight coverage that they showed all season. Brennan rarely had time to let his quartet of dangerous receivers get downfield, and when they caught the ball, they didn't get far.
Georgia came into the game having allowed only 26 plays from scrimmage of more than 25 yards all season, and they left the Superdome having allowed only one more, a 38-yard completion on the Bulldog backups in the fourth quarter.
"We all knew watching film they weren't going to be ready for our speed," said Georgia linebacker Rennie Curran, who had two sacks, "They played pretty well in the beginning, but over time, it showed."
Hawaii reached the red zone in the first quarter, when a pass interference call on Georgia corner Asher Allen gave the Warriors a first down at the Bulldog 18. On the next play, Curran sacked Brennan for a three-yard loss. Hawaii squeezed a 41-yard field goal by Dan Kelly out of the possession to close within 7-3.
The next time the Warriors reached the red zone, 11:23 remained in the fourth quarter, they trailed 41-3, and Tyler Graunke had replaced a battered Brennan. Graunke threw a 16-yard scoring pass to Ryan Grice-Mullen with 10:32 to play, saving Hawaii the embarrassment of losing by the biggest margin in BCS history (36 points: USC 55, Oklahoma 19, 2005 Orange Bowl).
The Georgia offense played well, if unspectacularly. Two Hawaii turnovers in the Warriors' territory went unconverted, and backup quarterback Joe Cox failed to take the Bulldogs into the end zone after Ramarcus Brown returned a fourth-quarter kickoff 90 yards to the Warriors' 6-yard-line. But that is nitpicking, dust on the dashboard of a Bentley.
Were this not the BCS era, Georgia could make its case for No. 1 and Hawaii never would have been subjected to this humiliation. It would be too harsh to say that Hawaii undid all that Boise State accomplished a year ago, but the Warriors didn't do the WAC any favors. This is one matchup that was no matchup at all.
Ivan Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Send your questions and comments to Ivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.