Aug. 27, 2005
Fresno, Calif. - One of the best teams in Fresno State history makes their return to Bulldog Stadium on Nov. 5, as the 1985 Fresno State football team is honored. Finishing the season 11-0-1, they were the last Fresno State team to go undefeated, and the only team in the nation to do so. In honor of the 20th anniversary of this team, Fresno State will be bringing attention to them as the 2005 Bulldogs play host to San Jose State, one of Fresno State's most enduring rivalries.
Led by head coach Jim Sweeney and his son, quarterback Kevin Sweeney, the Bulldogs swept through the competition in 1985, producing one of the highest scoring teams in both Fresno State and NCAA history. The Bulldogs outscored their opponents 481-209 over 12 games, which included the program's fifth bowl victory.
The team started off the season strong right out of the gate, defeating UNLV at Bulldog stadium 26-6, led by 157 rushing yards from tailback James Williams. The '85 squad then faced three non-conference opponents, and started the string extremely well, defeating Pac-10 opponent Oregon State 33-24 in Corvallis before whipping Cal Poly 59-10 at home. The only blemish in the season came in game four, when Hawai'i jumped out to a 24-14 lead against the Bulldogs in Fresno. The Bulldogs responded in the fourth quarter however, putting up 10 unanswered points to keep their undefeated season alive.
Entering the conference season, the Bulldogs reeled off four consecutive blowout victories over San Jose State, New Mexico State, Utah State and Cal State Fullerton before receiving another test, edging Pacific on the road 43-37, behind Sweeney's 346 yards passing and three total touchdowns. The Bulldogs got another close win over Long Beach State 33-31 before closing out the regular season with a 47-6 rout of Wichita State.
Receiving a final chance to play in front of the Red Wave, the Bulldogs accepted a bid to play in the California Bowl V against Bowling Green on Dec. 14. The Bulldogs made the most of one more opportunity to show off their offensive prowess, shelling the Falcons 51-7 in front of standing room only crowd of 32, 554 at Bulldog Stadium.
The 1985 squad was also recognized for their individual talent. The team had 10 members named first-team all-conference, including linemen David Lemma and Barry Grove and Chris Pacheco, cornerback Anthony Dollarhide, strong safety Michael Stewart, kicker Barry Belli and punter Mike Mancini.
The three stars of the offense were also named first-team all-conference. Tailback James Williams led the team with 1040 yards rushing on the season. Stephen Baker, "The Touchdown Maker," had 29 catches for 844, averaging a whopping 29.1 yards per catch. Finally, quarterback Kevin Sweeney had 2,604 yards passing with 14 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions on the season. Sweeney remains as one of only five members to have his number retired at Fresno State, leaving after his four years of college as the NCAA's all-time leading passer with 10,808 yards after finishing his career in 1986.
The team will be honored the weekend of the San Jose State game with a number of activities through the weekend, as well as a ceremony as part of the game. Season tickets for the 2005 Bulldog Football Season, including various Family Value Plans and student tickets, are available at the Bulldog Ticket Office, by calling (559) 278-DOGS or on-line at gobulldogs.com.
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