Hawaii finished the 2004 season with a 8–5 record, going 4–4 in WAC play. The Warriors made their third straight appearance in the Hawaiʻi Bowl, facing off against UAB. The Warriors would go on to defeat the Blazers and cap off their third straight winning season, the fifth in six seasons under head coach June Jones.
See also: 2004 UAB Blazers football team
The Blazers finished the 2004 season with a record of 7–5 (5–3 C-USA). The Blazers would also make their first ever bowl appearance.
UAB started the scoring with a 51-yard touchdown strike from quarterbackDarrell Hackney to wide receiverRoddy White. The extra point attempt was blocked, and UAB opened up a 6–0 lead. Hawaii came right back with a 74-yard touchdown pass from Timmy Chang to Jason Rivers to take a 7–6 lead. UAB's Dan Burks scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to make the score 13–7 UAB. However, the Warriors responded with a pair of touchdowns to take a 21–13 lead at the end of the first quarter. West Keliikipi scored first on a 4-yard run, and Chang threw a 29-yard pass to Gerald Welch for the second score.
In the second quarter, Nick Hayes opened the scoring with a 22-yard field goal to bring UAB within 21–16. Hawaii answered with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Chang to Chad Owens bringing the lead to 28–16. Norris Drinkard scored on a 10-yard touchdown run for UAB to cut the lead to 28–23. Hayes second field goal of the quarter from 36-yards out with three seconds remaining in the half trimmed the lead to 28–26.
Hawaii blew the game wide open in the third quarter. First, Chad Owens caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Timmy Chang, and then he scored on a 59-yard punt return. A Justin Ayat 43-yard field goal pushed the lead to 45–26. UAB's Hackney scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 45–33, but the Warriors would not fold.
In the fourth quarter, Timmy Chang drove Hawaii the length of the field, and capped a time consuming drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. Lance Rhodes caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Hackney, to bring the score to 52–40. But the ensuing onside kick was returned by Hawaii's Britton Komine 42-yards for a Hawaii touchdown. That provided the final score, 59–40.