Brandstater's Career Day Paces Bulldogs Past Wildcats, 45-29
Nov. 24, 2007
The Bulldogs, members of the Western Athletic Conference, snapped a seven-game losing streak to teams from Bowl Championship Series conferences, a skid that dated to the 2004 MPC Computers Bowl against Virginia. The win marks Fresno State's 11th win against BCS opponents.
Kansas State (5-7), which needed a victory to become bowl eligible, ended the season on a four-game losing streak under second-year coach Ron Prince.
Receiver Jordy Nelson led the Wildcats with 15 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown. Tailback James Johnson had 71 rushing yards, including a 67-yard score on the game's first drive.
Kansas State was making its first visit to California since 2001 when the Wildcats defeated Southern California.It was the two teams' second meeting and second Bulldog victory in the series.
Fresno State overcame an early deficit by scoring four straight touchdowns for a 31-21 halftime lead, then put the game away with two third-quarter touchdowns.
Miller's 4-yard touchdown run on the Bulldogs' first drive of the third quarter capped a 12-play, 91-yard march. Harding added a 7-yard score, putting Fresno State ahead 45-21.
Brandstater, who was not sacked and rarely pressured, completed 23 of 29 pass attempts. Moore led the Bulldogs with a career-high nine catches for 134 yards, continuously finding soft spots in Kansas State's secondary.
With Fresno State trailing 14-3 late in the first quarter, Brandstater found Moore for a 34-yard touchdown, then scored on a 1-yard sneak to put the Bulldogs ahead 17-14.
On the ensuing drive, Fresno State forced a quick turnover when Charles Tolbert swatted the ball away from Josh Freeman as the Kansas State quarterback dropped back to pass. Tyler Clutts recovered the fumble at the Wildcats 6.
Two plays later, Ryan Mathews ran off tackle for a 2-yard touchdown, giving the freshman tailback 13 touchdowns on the season.
Moore's second touchdown catch with 1:08 left in the second quarter put Fresno State ahead 31-14. Although replays indicated that Moore's hand appeared to touch out of bounds before he landed in the end zone, the ruling on the field was not overturned.
Brandstater played perhaps his best half of the season, finishing 15 of 18 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Fresno State also racked up 112 first-half rushing yards against a porous Wildcats defense.
Kansas State looked to be in control early. On the game's first drive, Johnson burst untouched through a huge hole on the left side of the line for a 67-yard touchdown.
Following a Bulldogs' field goal, Leon Patton's 45-yard touchdown run with 4:57 remaining in the first quarter gave the Wildcats a 14-3 lead.
Kansas State did not threaten again until Freeman led the Wildcats down the field just before halftime.
On third-and-goal, Freeman rolled right and found Nelson from 2 yards out. It was Nelson's 11th touchdown catch of the season.
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