Mathews Leads Bulldogs to Fourth Straight Win
Oct. 20, 2007
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Ryan Mathews had a 58-yard touchdown run while rushing for 144 yards and two scores, and surging Fresno State remained perfect in conference play with a 30-0 victory over rival San Jose State on Saturday.
The shut-out victory is Fresno State's first shut out of its rival San Jose State since the 1942 season. It is also the Bulldogs' second shut out in their last seven WAC games.
After trouncing their instate WAC rivals, the Bulldogs have four straight wins - and road losses to Oregon and Texas A&M are their only blemishes heading into Friday night's home showdown with Boise State.
Mathews, the Bulldogs' promising freshman tailback, made another long scoring run to cap Fresno State's three TDs in a 10-minute stretch of the third quarter.
With a defense that repeatedly made fourth-down stops, Fresno State avenged last season's 24-14 loss to San Jose State.
Adam Tafralis passed for 254 yards and rushed for 97 more for the Spartans (3-5, 2-2), who had won three straight before last week's overtime loss to Hawaii. San Jose State's last chance to avoid its second shutout loss of the season ended at the Fresno State 7 with 5:50 to play.
San Jose State outgained Fresno State 201-165 in the first half, but went to the locker room trailing 6-0 because of a baffling string of ineptitude by its kickers.
Will Johnson missed two field goals in the first half, stretching the Spartans' streak of missed field goals to nine straight by two kickers. Coach Dick Tomey abandoned his kicking game from then on, but the Spartans failed to convert on four straight fourth downs in Fresno State territory - including a third-quarter TD pass negated by a penalty.
A.J. Jefferson opened the second half with a 61-yard kickoff return, and Fresno State capped the drive with Mathews' 14-yard TD run. After Lonyae Miller made a 2-yard scoring run on the Bulldogs' next drive, Mathews ran straight through the line and beat the San Jose State secondary for his long TD dash with 4:05 left in the third.
Mathews, a top recruit from Bakersfield, already had TD runs of 67 and 54 yards earlier this season. He leads the Bulldogs with nine touchdowns, including seven in the last three games.