Strong Defensive Efforts Leads 'Dogs Past CSU
Oct. 6, 2012
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
The Bulldogs (4-2, 2-0 Mountain West) were 42 seconds away from registering their first shutout since the 2009 season opener, but the Rams (1-5, 0-2 MW) scored in the final minute.
"Our defense did play well today," head coach Tim DeRuyter said. "We were getting off the field and had a couple of big third down and fourth down stops."
Fresno State held Colorado State to just 5-of-14 on third downs and 1-of-3 on fourth downs while forcing two turnovers in the game. The Rams only had 55 yards rushing, which is the second time this year the Bulldogs held their opponent to under 100 yards rushing.
"We're fast, physical and fanatical. We get after the ball and force turnovers," said senior safety Phillip Thomas, who led the Bulldogs with eight tackles, one sack, one interception and one forced fumble. "We're out there to force turnovers and make big plays. That's what this defense is all about and that's the type of players we have on this team."
Thomas' six picks on the year leads the nation and is already tied for the second-most in Mountain West single-season history.
Carr's four TDs on Saturday gives him 15 touchdown passes over the last four games.
"My offensive line is amazing and my receivers make me look a lot better than I am," said Carr, who was 25-of-39 passing for 217 yards and the four TDs. "We have so many weapons, so many guys that are good at what they do. [Our receivers] do a great job of winning on routes and all I got to do is throw it to them."
Senior running back Robbie Rouse had 124 yards rushing on 26 carries, recording his fifth 100-yard rushing game this year and 17th of his career. Rouse also caught a career-high nine passes for 50 yards in the win.
The Bulldogs struck first with a 10-yard Carr to Adams' touchdown pass. The play was set up by Thomas' sack that forced CSU quarterback M.J. McPeek to fumble, which Andy Jennings recovered for Fresno State at the CSU 26-yard line.
It wasn't until late in the second quarter when the Bulldogs scored again, and this TD was set up by a play on special teams.
Kyrie Wilson blocked a punt with 1:49 left in the half and the 'Dogs capitalized with a Carr 20-yard touchdown pass to Harper. That gave Fresno State a 14-0 lead heading into the locker room.
The Bulldog defense kept getting stops in the third quarter and fourth quarters, several on fourth downs that gave Fresno State the ball in CSU territory.
After a fourth-down stop by Thomas, Carr hit Burse on a 15-yard score early in the fourth. Then after Thomas' interception on CSU's next possession, Carr connected with Adams again to put the 'Dogs up 28-0.
Colorado State escaped the shutout with a McPeek 12-yard touchdown pass to Charles Lovett.
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