Bulldogs Battle No. 14 Bearcats Tough
Mathews carried a career-high 38 times for 145 yards.
Mathews carried a career-high 38 times for 145 yards.

Sept. 26, 2009

Box Score

Cincinnati (AP) - The Fresno State football team wanted to keep one of the nations leading offenses off the field. The strategy nearly was successful as the Fresno State offense was on the football field for 43:42 compared to 16:18 for No. 14 Cincinnati (4-0). Despite the time of possession difference the Bearcats still pulled out a 28-20 victory on Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium.

Ryan Mathews carried the ball a career-high 38 times for 145 yards, topping the 100-yard mark for the fourth straight game. He was the Bowl Subdivision's leading rusher coming in, averaging 149 yards per game. His ability to find holes behind 270-pound fullback Reynard Camp kept Cincinnati on the defensive all game.

Fresno State had the fourth-best running game in the nation, and showed it wouldn't be pushed around by churning out a 17-play drive that took more than eight minutes in the second quarter. Ryan Colburn's 21-yard touchdown pass to Jamel Hamler - uncovered in the middle of the field - cut it to 21-17 with 7 seconds left before halftime.

The Bulldogs had 443 yards of total offense to 357 for Cincinnati. Fresno State grounded out 290 yards on the ground. Colburn passed for 153 yards, one touchdown and had one interception.

The Bulldogs had a chance to take the lead in the third quarter as they had the ball on the Cincinnati six-yard line but on a fourth-and-two from the Bearcat six-yardline, quarterback Ryan Colburn was intercepted, ending a 14 play. 59 yard and 7:34 drive.

Cincinnati's offense had the ball for only one minute in the third quarter - a three-and-out drive that put the whole burden on the defense. Linebacker Craig Carey's first career interception on Fresno State's pivotal fourth-down pass helped the Bearcats improve to 25-0 under coach Brian Kelly when they open the fourth quarter with a lead.




Mardy Gilyard also caught an 11-yard touchdown pass in another career day. The senior receiver and returner had nine catches for a career-best 177 yards, giving him eight touchdowns in four games.

.The Bearcats' no-huddle offense needed only 2:12, 1:43, 2:53 and 1:45 to zip down the field for its touchdowns, giving the defense little rest. The game was in the hands of that tired crew after Fresno State got the ball back at its 7-yard line following a punt with 3:55 to go.

Fresno State had one last shot to tie the game as they drove to the Cincinnati 38-yard line thanks to a Lonyae Miller 33-yard run. But the hopes for an upset victory ended when Colburn's fourth-down pass from the Cincinnati 37 was broken up by safety Aaron Webster with 39 seconds left, clinching it.


HEAD COACH Pat Hill: "This was a tough loss. We came in here with a good game plan and for the most part were pretty successful at doing what we wanted. We kept their offense off the field. They are a heck of a team and really are explosive on offense. We gave up a few big plays, but for the most part we did a good job. To hold a team like that to 28 points at home and350 total yards is a good effort by our defense."

"We had our chances like we have the last two games. I feel so bad for the guys in that locker room. They have worked hard and played hard and deserve to have some success."

"This has been a tough stretch. Nobody else has played two games on the east coast, and we are playing against some really good teams. The break comes at a good time for us. We can get some rest and get ready for another tough road trip to Hawaii."


  • The Dogs made their 27th appearance in a BCS Conference stadium, second in as many years in a Big East venue.

  • Ryan Mathew's second quarter rushing touchdown was his 25th in his brilliant career, which ties Dale Messer for 10th all-time in Bulldog history. Mathews wears No. 21, which is the same number Messer wore and was retired follow his career in 1960. After meeting Mathews, he granted him permission to wear the number.

  • Mathews surpassed the 2,000-yard rushing mark in his career. He has 2,081 yards for his career.

  • Mathews had a career-high 38 carries in the game, one shy of the school record. He entered the game leading the NCAA in rushing yards, 149.0 yards per game. After the Cincinnati game, he has 592 yards for an average of 148.0 and 6.8 yards per carry.

  • Jamel Hamler scored his first career touchdown with a 21-yard reception from Ryan Colburn with 7 seconds remaining in the second quarter. That capped a 17-play drive of 80-yards and lasted 8:48. It was the longest scoring drive of the season as far as number of plays and time consumed. He finished with a career-high 47 yards on four catches.

  • The Dogs wore solid red uniforms on the road for the first time in the Pat Hill era, as Cincinnati as the home team had the option and chose to wear all white uniforms to coincide with the WHITEOUT at Nippert Stadium.

  • Sophomore kicker Kevin Goessling made a 49-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, the seventh of his career of 40-yards or more. It was his second-longest in his short career. He made a school-record 58-yard kick against Utah State as a freshman. He made two field goals in the game and has made five of six this season, and 12 of his last 14 dating back to the 2008 season.

  • The Bulldogs held possession of the ball today for 43:42 in today's game, the first time they had a 40-plus minute game since beating Kansas State (Nov. 24, 2007).

  • The Dogs are now 6-19 against Top 25-ranked teams this decade, having played 18 of those games on the road.

  • The Dogs three losses this season are to teams that are a combined 11-0, with two ranked in the Top 15 nationally.

  • The Dogs have played nationally-ranked teams in back to back game for the first time since 2007.

    "We Are Your Team" - The Bulldogs travel to Hawai'i to take on the WAC rival Warriors on Saturday, October 10th at 8 p.m. The game can be seen on the Bulldog Sports Network on KAIL MY53 (Comcast Cable, Channel 13). The Bulldogs return to Bulldog Stadium on Saturday, October 17 as they host San Jose State in the annual Homecoming game. The Community Food Bank along with the Bulldog Pantry will be hosting a canned food drive so bring canned food to help feed the Central Valley's hungry. Tickets can be purchased at the Bulldog Ticket Office, by calling 278-DOGS or online at GoBulldogs.com.

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