Lucky Win No. 7 - 'Dogs Beat Aztecs in OT
Oct. 26, 2013
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
The miraculous win now pushes Fresno State's record up to 7-0, the programs best start since 1991. With the conference win, the Bulldogs now sit at 4-0 in Mountain West play, handing San Diego State (3-4, 2-1 MW) its first league loss and ending the Aztecs' three-game winning streak.
"This is a resilient group," head coach Tim DeRuyter said. "We got guys that are going to find a way and it's fun coaching them. I love them."
The Bulldogs, who struggled offensively in the first half, were able to build a 28-14 lead after a Derek Carr to Davante Adams touchdown pass and then a 78-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Ejiro Ederaine - the longest in school history.
But after SDSU's Aaron Boesch cut the lead down to seven on a one-yard TD run at 8:54, Aztec head coach Rocky Long's team successfully pulled off an onsides kick to get the ball back. SDSU then scored in just a little under three minutes to tie the game at 28.
Fresno State was unable to move the ball and had to punt it away to the Aztecs. San Diego State used 12 plays to get into field goal range and a 37-yard try from kicker Seamu McMorrow, but Jensen, standing at 6-6, blocked the game-winning try to force overtime.
"They called my number, had me go out for the field goal block," said Jensen. "I kept my head in the game and once my number was called I just went out there and did what I could to help the team win."
Fresno State overcame an uncharacteristic slow start where they only had seven points and 111 yards in the first half, the fewest first-half yardage in the DeRuyter era.
The Bulldogs came out of halftime and were able to figure out how to pick away at the SDSU defense, which applied heavy pressure on Carr in the first half.
The Aztecs actually took a 14-7 lead on a 1-yard TD run from Adam Muema at 5:45 of the third quarter. That was the first time Fresno State had trailed in a game since inside of the final two minutes in the win over Boise State back on Sept. 20.
After that, Carr and the Bulldogs found success. They answered SDSU's score by driving 85 yards on 11 plays and Carr found Adams on an 11-yard TD pass to tie the game at 14. Following a defensive stop, the Bulldogs then drove 91 yards and Carr hit Adams again on a TD pass to go up 21-14.
Then Ederaine was able to make the big play of stripping the ball and returning it 78-yards for the Bulldog touchdown that gave Fresno State a 28-14 lead.
"I was pretty certain I got it out, I just wasn't really sure if [the official] called it down," Ederaine said of the fumble. "Once I picked it up I looked to the side official and he threw down the beanie, but I thought he was blowing the whistle, it was kind of loud out there. Then he was just looking at me and I was looking at him, it was awkward, and my teammates just starting yelling go, go, so I just started running."
Ederaine had quite the game. He had a career-high 10 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and the big fumble return for the touchdown. Donavon Lewis also picked off a pass, giving the Bulldogs two take-aways while the 'Dogs did not turn the ball over themselves.
The Bulldogs were outgained 507-341, but recovered offensively in the second half to get the win.
The resilancy of the team showed again in overtime. On the first play of overtime, the Bulldogs were called for a 15-yard chop-block penalty to make it a first-and-25.
Fresno State got the penalty yardage back when Carr hit a check down pass to Waller, who made several defenders miss to pick up 26 yards and a first down on the first play after the penalty. Waller then capped off the possession with the touchdown run.
"This team is resilient, this team has a faith that transcends all understanding," Carr said. "We're a very faithful bunch, we believe in each other and we believe in our God. We know if we love each other and play for each other, it doesn't matter what the clock says, where they are at, chip-shot field goals, we always think we can win."
Carr was 35-of-57 passing for 298 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Adams caught 12 passes for 87 yards and the two scores. Both players set new school records in the game.
Carr became the all-time leader in total offense with 10,470 yards. Adams has set a new school record with 27 career touchdown receptions, which has come in just 20 games. He now has caught nine TDs in his last three games.
"Catch the Wave" - 2013 Fresno State football 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.