Bulldogs Reign Supreme at the Rose Bowl
Sept. 27, 2008
In a game marked by rapid shifts in momentum, the Bulldogs (3-1) took final control after the Bruins' Derrick Coleman fumbled at the Fresno State 10 and the Bulldogs' Wilson Ramos recovered with 8:55 remaining.
With Mathews grinding out yards from there, Fresno State ran out the clock with a 17-play drive that ended on the UCLA 4 as time ran out.
Although they played much better than their last two games, the loss was the third in a row for the Bruins (1-3), who had opened coach Rick Neuheisel's first year at the helm with an upset of Tennessee.
The Bruins closed the gap against the Bulldogs on a rare 2-point defensive PAT conversion and Kevin Craft's 20-yard touchdown throw to Chane Moline.
Fresno State's victory was just its second in eight all-time meetings against UCLA, but the Bulldogs have won the last two because they beat the Bruins 17-9 in the 2003 Silicon Valley Bowl.
Terrence Austin was a standout for UCLA in the loss, accounting for 298 total yards--206 on kickoff returns, 44 on punt returns, 29 rushing and 19 receiving.
Craft went 11-of-20 for UCLA, and Khalil Bell, back after being sidelined by an ankle sprain, gained 73 yards on 20 carries and scored on runs of 7 and 1 yards. Coleman, who lost the critical fumble, led the Bruins' rushers with 86 yards on 10 carries.
Down 36-22 when Brandstater threw his second scoring pass of the third quarter, the Bruins got two points back when Bret Lockett returned a blocked PAT kick for a defensive PAT conversion. Early in the fourth quarter, Craft connected with Moline to narrow the gap to five points.
Goessling kicked a 35-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a 23-19 lead early in the third quarter.
Kai Forbath kicked field goals of 25, 46 and 35 yards for the Bruins. His kick as time expired in the first half pulled UCLA within 20-19. Starting 43 seconds before halftime, Craft completed throws of 32 and 13 yards on a drive from the Bruins' 22.
After the Bulldogs stacked up Bell for no gain on fourth-and-1 at the Fresno State 18 with 2:09 left in the second quarter, Brandstater went 5-of-5 for 60 yards on an 82-yard drive that ended with his short scoring pass to Pascoe for a 20-16 lead.
Mathews had swept into the open around the left side on a 49-yard run that put the Bulldogs on top 13-10 early in the second quarter.
Forbath kicked a 25-yard field to put the Bruins up 10-7 early in the second quarter.
After Fresno State took a 7-0 lead on Marlon Moore's 63-yard punt return in the opening minute, UCLA came back with a methodical 65-yard drive capped by Bell's 1-yard run.
Fresno State vs. UCLA
Rose Bowl Rarity
Mathews to the House Again, and Again
Moore came into the game ranked in the NCAA top 50 in punt return average, but give credit to his team mates who have the philosophy that "10 block so 1 can run" and opened a gaping hole in the middle of the UCLA punt return team so big a Mack truck could have gone through.
This marks the second straight week Fresno State has taken a 7-0 lead without the offense taking a snap. Moore's punt return came just 49 seconds into the game. Last week, the Dogs scored on a Ben Jacobs' fumble return for a touchdown just 34 seconds into the Toledo game.
Harris Gets a Sack
Big Stop Leads to Touchdown
The Dogs took the ball and had an impressive 82-yard drive in 1:42 seconds that ended with a Tom Brandstater to Bear Pascoe 4 -yard touchdown pass with 48 second left in the half and gave the Bulldogs a 20-16 lead.
On the drive Brandstater completed all five of his pass attempts for 60 yards, three of them to Seyi Ajirotutu.
Bear's Big Block
Most Blocked Kicks in the NCAA since 2002
Dogs on TV
Head Coach Pat Hill
"UCLA is a talented team, I don't care what they say. They don't have anyone on their two deep who would even take a recruiting visit to Fresno. Our guys played with a lot of heart and guts. We were missing some guys in the middle of the defense and playing with two true freshmen linemen out there. They battled and this was a big win for us."
"I thought Ryan Mathews had a good game. He's a heck of a back you could see that today. He's a special, special player."
"I'm very proud of our fans. I loved seeing that entire side of the stadium in red. They came out in force and stayed until the end. I'd love to see that sea of red in Bulldog Stadium for the rest of the year. It was great. I think it should show the rest of the Pac-10 schools that scheduling Fresno State is a good thing. We will bring fans and sell tickets and we have lot of to offer with a Top 25 program. What more could someone want for a non-conference game."
"Join the State - Fresno State!" - The nationally-ranked Dogs next home game is Saturday, October 4 as they battle defending WAC Champion Hawai'i at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, click on the tickets icon at the top of this page, call the Bulldog Ticket Office at (559) 278-DOGS, or stop by the Bulldog Ticket Office.