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Fresno State dominates Big 12 champs in shocking rout

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  • Fresno State dominates Big 12 champs in shocking rout

    Sept. 11, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports
    MANHATTAN, Kan. -- In 2001, Fresno State made a run at breaking into the Bowl Championship Series by beating big-name teams.

    The Bulldogs are at it again.

    Fresno State's 45-21 upset of No. 13 Kansas State was its second victory over a team from a BCS conference in seven days -- and their seventh since the BCS was established in 1999.

    With the big payday a BCS bowl guarantees, perhaps it's fitting that coach Pat Hill used a poker metaphor to describe his team's situation.

    "We are still at the main table," Hill said. "We were all in. We picked up all their chips, and now we've got a bigger pile -- and next week we'll go all in again."

    Fresno State (2-0) didn't have to catch many breaks against the Wildcats, either. After giving up an early touchdown on Bret Jones' 42-yard interception return, they dominated the defending Big 12 Conference champions the rest of the game.

    Bulldogs running back Dwayne Wright scored two touchdowns before tearing a tendon in his right knee in the fourth quarter, sidelining him for the season.

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    Bryson Sumlin was originally credited with Wright's second touchdown, but Kansas State officials gave the TD to Wright after reviewing the tape.

    Paul Pinegar threw two touchdown passes to Matt Rivera and ran for another score, and Sumlin added one TD run in Fresno State's biggest win over a ranked team -- and the Wildcats' worst regular-season nonconference loss in 13 years.

    "I've been here for 16 years," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. "You can remember some of the 1-10 and 5-6 (seasons). We never had a football team that just got beat up as badly as we did today."

    The Bulldogs' 45 points were the most given up by the Wildcats in a regular-season nonconference game since a 56-3 loss to Washington in 1991. Fresno State's previous most decisive win over a ranked team was a 44-24 defeat of Oregon State, then ranked 10th, in 2001.

    That season the Bulldogs, from the Western Athletic Conference, also knocked off Colorado and Wisconsin on the road.

    Kansas State (1-1) led 7-0 before it took a snap, but the Wildcats couldn't do much right after Jones' defensive touchdown less than 3 minutes into the game. They had only 2 yards of offense in the first quarter and trailed 31-14 at the half.

    Fresno State's defense, which scored three times in last Sunday's 35-16 win at Washington, held Kansas State star Darren Sproles to 37 yards on 11 carries and forced two key turnovers.

    "We realized that if we stopped him, it would be no contest," said cornerback Richard Marshall, who set up a touchdown with a third-quarter interception. "We knew the only person they have is Sproles. If we stop him, the game is ours."

    Even Kansas State's one second-half score contained a mistake. With just over a minute left in the game, Brian Casey fumbled into the end zone after catching a 13-yard pass, and Tony Madison fell on it for a touchdown.

    On offense, the Bulldogs gave up three interceptions -- two by Jones -- but otherwise exploited the Wildcats' shaky defense with a solid mix of running and passing.

    Wright ran for 74 yards and one touchdown and caught three passes for 65 yards before being hurt on a 61-yard swing pass play in the fourth quarter -- a play that set up Sumlin's 4-yard TD run for a 45-14 lead.

    Sumlin added 70 yards rushing, and Pinegar was 17-for-30 for 244 yards.

    "Our running game opened a lot of things up for our passing game," Pinegar said. "Once we got the run going, we were able to do a lot of play-action."

    Kansas State was awful on special teams, too -- especially in the second quarter.

    First, Jesse Martinez shanked a 14-yard punt to his own 34-yard line. Four plays later, Brett Visintainer hit a 45-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead.

    Dylan Meier, who replaced first-time starter Alan Webb at quarterback, answered with a 47-yard TD pass to Davin Dennis that got the Wildcats within 17-14. But after Kansas State lost 4 yards on its next possession and had to punt, a catch interference penalty against the Wildcats gave Fresno State the ball at Kansas State's 25.

    The Bulldogs converted with Pinegar's 10-yard touchdown pass to Rivera for a 24-14 lead. Then, after Adam Jennings' 40-yard punt return to Kansas State's 11, Pinegar stretched just inside the pylon from the 2 to make it 31-14.

    After Jones' interception return, Fresno State scored on its next three drives. Wright's 4-yard TD run tied it at 7 midway through the first quarter, and Sumlin scored from 2 yards out with 11 seconds left in the quarter to put the Bulldogs up 14-7.

    Meier threw an interception to Fresno State's James Sanders deep in Bulldogs' territory in the closing seconds of the first half.

    Webb replaced Meier to start the second half but was equally ineffective. He gave up Marshall's interception in the third quarter, and the Bulldogs capitalized with Pinegar's 29-yard swing pass play to Rivera for a 38-14 lead.

    "A lot of guys need to go home tonight and evaluate themselves," said Kansas State safety Jesse Tetuan, who had a career-high 11 tackles but was also beaten on several pass plays. "They need to see if they played the way they were supposed to."


    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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  • DJRamFan
    Northwestern ends 33-year losing streak vs. Ohio State
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 3, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports
    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Northwestern players piled on top of each other in the corner of the end zone while students rushed the field, turning it into a purple mosh pit.

    They partied into the night long after Noah Herron's 1-yard touchdown run gave Northwestern a 33-27 upset of No. 7 Ohio State on Saturday night, not even caring when the north goal post held firm. This party was 33 years in the making, and they weren't about to go home early.

    "It's hard to put into words," said safety Jeff Backes, an Ohio native. "I came here with a dream to beat the Buckeyes and it's been 33 years. This is one I will never forget."

    Herron scored three touchdowns, including the winner in overtime, and Northwestern (2-3, 1-1 Big Ten) backed up its pregame trash talk with its first victory over Ohio State (3-1, 0-1) since 1971. The win snapped the Buckeyes' 24-game winning streak in the series, and handed them their first loss in Evanston since 1958.

    "Thirty-three years was long enough," said Northwestern coach Randy Walker, an Ohio native.

    It also was Northwestern's first victory over a top-10 team since beating then-No. 7 Wisconsin in double overtime in Madison on Sept. 23, 2000.

    Ohio State has made it a habit of pulling out the close wins, winning 13 of its last 15 games that were decided by seven points or less. The Buckeyes beat Marshall earlier this season on Mike Nugent's field goal as time expired, and Nugent tied a school record with five field goals to beat North Carolina State two weeks ago.

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    It looked as if the Buckeyes' luck might hold again Saturday after they rallied to score 10 points in the final nine minutes and force overtime. But the normally automatic Nugent misfired, with his 40-yard field-goal attempt sailing wide right on the first overtime possession.

    "It was probably one of the best balls I hit tonight," Nugent said. "I thought it was going to be dead-center."

    Instead, the Wildcats got a second chance to put the Buckeyes away and they made the most of it. On the second play, quarterback Brett Basanez scrambled to the left and up the sideline for a 21-yard gain. Two plays later, Herron bulldozed his way into the end zone for the winning score, setting off pandemonium at the stadium.

    "I wouldn't have requested to be at the end of (the streak)," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "But we are. Unfortunately, that's the case. We have to start trying to get better, starting tomorrow."

    Herron ran for 113 yards, rushed for two 1-yard scores and also caught a 12-yard TD pass. Mark Philmore had 134 yards receiving and a touchdown, the first of his career. Brett Basanez was 24-of-44 for 278 yards, two touchdowns...
    -10-04-2004, 01:14 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Michigan State 49, No. 4 Wisconsin 14
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 13, 2004

    EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan State used a powerful rushing attack, a trick play and a key defensive stand to defeat No. 4 Wisconsin 49-14 Saturday and knock the Badgers out of the national championship race.

    The Spartans (5-5, 4-3 Big Ten) handed the Badgers their first loss and knocked Wisconsin (9-1, 6-1) into a second-place tie with Iowa in the Big Ten behind Michigan. The win keeps bowl hopes alive for Michigan State.

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    The Badgers entered the game ranked fifth in the Bowl Championship Series standings, primarily because of a dominating defense that had allowed 9.1 points a game - lowest in the nation. But Michigan State rolled up 551 yards of total offense, including 430 on the ground.

    Jehuu Caulcrick had 146 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries for the Spartans. Jason Teague had 112 yards and a TD on 17 carries. He also caught a 30-yard touchdown pass on a trick play in the first half, with the ball thrown by wide receiver Aaron Alexander.

    Anthony Davis led Wisconsin with 128 yards on 21 carries, including a touchdown.

    Michigan State grabbed a 28-14 lead on the first drive of the second half, sparked by the recovery of a surprise onside kick. It set up a 54-yard drive capped by Caulcrick's 1-yard touchdown run.

    The Spartans had preserved their halftime lead by stopping Wisconsin on four straight plays from inside the 1 late in the second quarter. Davis was stopped short of the goal line on fourth-and-inches by linebacker David Herron Jr. and cornerback Roderick Maples.

    The play was reviewed by Big Ten officials, but the play stood as called on the field.

    Michigan State got a first-half touchdown on a blocked punt by Marshall Campbell, recovered by Travis Key in the end zone.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -11-13-2004, 06:15 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Pinegar's five TDs guide Fresno State's upset of No. 18 Virginia
    by DJRamFan
    Dec. 27, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports
    BOISE, Idaho -- Paul Pinegar shrugged off midseason criticism and kept throwing for touchdowns.

    Pinegar had five TD passes, including the game-winning 25-yarder to Stephen Spach in overtime, as Fresno State beat No. 18 Virginia 37-34 in the MPC Computers Bowl on Monday.

    "Winning feels great, especially against a Virginia team that has a great defense," Pinegar said.

    He was fabulous, completing 23 of 36 passes for 235 yards without an interception, helping the Bulldogs (9-3) erase a 21-7 second-quarter deficit and notch another win against a big-name team.

    Fresno State, the third-place team in the Western Athletic Conference, added the Cavaliers (8-4) of the Atlantic Coast Conference to a list of victims that has included Colorado, Oregon State, Wisconsin, Washington and Kansas State in recent years.

    "We've got a lot of great teams in the WAC: Boise State, Hawaii, UTEP," Pinegar said. "We've showed that we definitely can compete with some of the best teams in the nation."

    His five touchdown passes were a record for the game, formerly known as the Humanitarian Bowl.

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    Virginia got the first possession of overtime, taking a 34-31 lead on a 26-yard field goal by Connor Hughes.

    It didn't take Pinegar long to end it, though. He froze the defense with a play-action call and zipped a pass inside the 5 to Spach, who fought off a pair of would-be tacklers and dropped into the end zone.

    "We ought to be able to cover a post pass when we know it's a post pass situation," Virginia coach Al Groh said.

    The Bulldogs stormed off the sideline in celebration while the Cavaliers were left dazed.

    "When you catch the ball in that situation, you're just looking for the end zone," Spach said. "You just keep on running. I knew I was really close."

    Virginia had things in hand after Wali Lundy followed his big blockers and rumbled across the blue turf at Boise State's home field on a 20-yard TD run that put the Cavaliers up 31-24 with 6:20 remaining.

    But Pinegar wasn't finished. He started on the 17, turning to the ground game and working the clock to give Fresno State a chance to tie.

    Wendell Mathis ran 22 yards to Virginia's 25 and Bryson Sumlin reached the 15 on a 6-yard burst. On third-and-6 at the 10, Pinegar threaded a 7-yard pass into double coverage to tight end Duncan Reid, then spiked the ball to stop the clock at 28 seconds.

    That put the ball at the 3, but soon the Bulldogs faced fourth-and-goal. Pinegar rolled right and connected with Jaron Fairman for a TD with 11 seconds to go.

    "My last option was to tuck it and run, but that would have been...
    -12-28-2004, 10:42 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Bulldogs Win WAC Opener Against Aggies, 37-7
    by DJRamFan
    Fresno State hosts Utah State on homecoming next Saturday.

    Oct. 9, 2005




    LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Paul Pinegar threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter and later ran for another score, leading Fresno State to a 37-7 win over New Mexico State on Saturday night.

    The Bulldogs (3-1, 1-0 Western Athletic) built an early 17-0 lead and coasted the rest of the way on a soggy night, keeping the Aggies (0-6, 0-2) winless under first-year coach Hal Mumme.

    A steady rain began 10 minutes before kickoff and continued much of the night. A crowd of only 8,312 fans showed up, but many left at halftime when Fresno State led 20-7 and only a few hundred watched the second half.

    With the turf slippery, the Bulldogs relied on the legs of running backs Bryson Sumlin and Wendell Mathis, who each rushed for 105 yards, and the right foot of kicker Clint Stitser, who made three field goals.

    Pinegar added a 1-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter. He finished with 112 yards passing, completing 10 of 19 passes.

    The Aggies managed only 195 total yards, including 105 on the ground, and for another week New Mexico State struggled.

    Fresno State's Emanuel Sanchez hit NMSU's Joey Vincent to force an early fumble that was recovered by Awan Diles, setting up the Bulldogs' first TD. Four plays later, Pinegar threw a TD pass to Adam Jennings.







    Pinegar added a 19-yard TD pass to Jaron Fairman with 13 seconds remaining in the first quarter. In between the scoring plays, Stitser made a 38-yard field goal.

    The Aggies trimmed the margin to 17-7 when Royal Gill threw a 3-yard TD pass to freshman A.J. Harris on a crossing pattern in the second period. That play capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive.

    But the Bulldogs led 20-7 after Stitser's 28-yard field goal just before halftime.

    Mathis added the final score, darting untouched into the end zone on a 6-yard run with 5:56 remaining.
    -10-09-2005, 01:56 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Blocked FG helps save Boise State's perfect season in 2OT win
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 13, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports
    SAN JOSE, Calif. -- When San Jose State lined up for a 30-yard field goal that probably would have ended Boise State's winning streak, Gerald Alexander figured the Broncos had used up all their lucky breaks.

    He would have to do something extraordinary -- and the cornerback's block was the biggest of several plays that barely kept Boise State unbeaten.

    Jon Helmandollar scored his third touchdown in the second overtime, and the 14th-ranked Broncos extended the nation's longest winning streak to 20 games with a wild 56-49 victory Saturday.

    Jared Zabransky passed for 200 yards and scored one of eight rushing touchdowns by the Broncos (9-0, 6-0 WAC), whose Bowl Championship Series dreams got a reality check when they were mostly outplayed by one of their league's worst teams.

    The Spartans (2-7, 1-5) probably would have won it with that final boot from their solid kicker, Jeff Carr, with 1:07 left in regulation -- but Alexander still believed.

    "I have great confidence that I can get up and get a ball in a situation like that," Alexander said. "I was out the previous play, so I had time to rest up. I had a feeling I was going to try to block it."

    Boise State's defensive line, after getting dominated for much of the afternoon, got a strong push up front -- and Alexander got his hand on the ball, sending the game to overtime with that last defensive stand.

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    "I totally had faith our guys would figure it out," said coach Dan Hawkins, whose team committed 14 penalties for 118 yards. "I totally believe in our special teams, and I thought they would come up with a play."

    Lance Martin's 1-yard dive capped San Jose State's tying drive with 4:42 left in regulation, and they rallied for another lengthy drive. But the Spartans couldn't believe Carr's kick was blocked.

    "I just knew we had it," Martin said. "Carr, he's money. You just knew it was going to be time to tear down the goalposts. When it got blocked, I was just shattered."

    Martin rushed for 112 yards, including a 16-yard score on San Jose State's first overtime possession. Lee Marks, who finished with 140 yards rushing, replied with a 12-yard TD run for Boise State.

    After Helmandollar's 1-yard scoring rush in the second overtime, cornerback Gabe Franklin drove San Jose State quarterback Adam Tafralis out of bounds at the 4 on a fourth-down option play. The Broncos celebrated with the orange-clad fans behind their bench.

    The jubilation probably won't last long: Boise State rushed for 280 yards, but also revealed significant flaws in its defense, special teams and discipline that couldn't be blamed on a 9 a.m. start.

    "We just made some...
    -11-13-2004, 06:17 PM
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