No. 25/23 Fresno State Holds Off Hawai'i
Sept. 28, 2013
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
Fresno State is off to its first 4-0 start since 2001 and the 'Dogs also improve to 2-0 in Mountain West play. Fresno State has won seven-straight MW games dating back to last season.
"We're 1-0 this week, that's our ultimate goal and we'll take ugly wins as long as they are wins," head coach Tim DeRuyter said. "Sometimes you got to win ugly. You look all over the country, teams that are favored don't win. We found a way to win and that's how we'll take it."
A 56-yard interception return for a touchdown by L.J. Jones at 6:15 of the third quarter gave the Bulldogs that 42-3 lead. However, the Bulldogs proceeded to turn the ball over on four-straight possessions starting at the 2:02 mark of the third quarter and that allowed Hawai'i to reel off 34 unanswered points to cut Fresno State's lead down to 42-37 with 7:51 left in the game.
Down five, Hawai'i had two cracks at the Bulldogs to try to win the game. Fresno State forced a three-and-out on their first drive that started with 3:41 left on the clock. After the Bulldogs were unable to run out the clock, UH got another shot with the ball starting at its own 10-yard line and 1:57 left on the clock.
The Rainbow Warriors drove all the way to the Bulldog 40-yard line and on the last play of the game Jones picked off a Sean Schroeder pass at the three-yard line to seal the win.
"Anything can happen, so we just know that as long as we keep playing as 11 on defense and we play as one unit, anything is possible and we can come up with anything," Jones said of the Bulldogs ability to make the clutch play at the end of games.
Quarterback Derek Carr was 33-of-47 passing for 324 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. His 300-yard game was the 13th of his career, which tied his brother David for the most in school history. Carr had his streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception snapped at 180 in the game, which was three shy of the MW record of 183, but he did extend his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 24 and that is the longest active streak in the nation.
"I've been a part of a 4-9 season, so I know how a lot of losing feels. Anytime you win you celebrate it because it doesn't matter how you do, how it looks, a win is a win and that's all that matters," Carr said. "Coach DeRuyter teaches us to fight on, no matter what with adversity and we just continue to fight and find ways to win."
Both of Carr's touchdown passes went to Josh Harper, who has now caught two TDs in three of the four games this year. Harper finished with nine catches for 123 yards - his third career 100-yard game.
Fresno State's defense held Hawai'i to 4-of-17 on third-down attempts and posted a season-high seven sacks, its most since Sept. 4, 2008 at Cincinnati when the 'Dogs had eight sacks. Outside linebackers Ejiro Ederaine and Donavon Lewis each had two sacks in the game and Kyrie Wilson had a team-high 11 tackles.
Fresno State's running game had its best outing this season. Marteze Waller ran for 95 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns, Josh Quezada added 78 yards on 13 carries and Carr scored a third touchdown on the ground. Fresno State finished with 206 yards rushing and the offensive line only gave up one sack.
Fresno State improved to 12-0 when scoring 30 or more points and the 'Dogs have now scored 40 or more points in nine out of its last 10 games.
"Catch the Wave" - 2013 Fresno State football season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at gobulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647). The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.