Ajirotutu Scores First, Second Career TDs
Oct. 12, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - Seyi Ajirotutu, a receiver known to make big plays for the Bulldogs, scored the first and second touchdowns of his career Saturday in the 45-32 win over Idaho.
But his first touchdown wasn't quite what the junior had visualized.
"It's not what I envisioned, but I'll take it," said Ajirotutu.
It was a quick reaction that earned Ajirotutu his first career touchdown.
Anthony Harding dashed toward the end zone from the 7 yard line on a third down and looked to be headed to a touchdown. But Harding's drive was stopped short on the two as Virdel Larkins of Idaho forced a fumble that fell into the end zone.
Ajirotutu sprang into action; falling on the ball inside the checkered end zone before any of the Vandals realized the ball had actually come free.
"Any way we get a touchdown, it's good," said Ajirotutu.
But that isn't the TD he considers to be his first at Fresno State.
With 22 seconds left in the first half, Ajirotutu scored on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Tom Brandstater.
"It's definitely how I envisioned my first touchdown," said Ajirotutu. "Not the fumble recovery, I'm talking about the pass [play]."
Three plays earlier, Brandstater called the play Ajirotutu would later score on.
"They called the same play three plays earlier and I dropped the ball," he explained. "I knew they were going to blitz, so I did a shot across the field and could see Tom as I ran. The first time we did that play, he threw it with a lot of velocity that time and it just went through my hands. This time he threw it gently so I could catch it - I could see him throwing so lightly I thought I would laugh halfway through my route."
Ajirotutu established himself as a big play-maker early in the season, grabbing a 77-yard pass from Brandstater in the win over Rutgers. Before Saturday, Ajirotutu crossed the goal line with ball in hand.
"It's just a bummer sometimes," he said. "Not having the sense of going across the goal line for myself. I'd get stopped at the one or the five, but all that goes away when the team scores."
Tonight Ajirotutu experienced the TD for himself.
"Any way the team can get the touchdown it's good. But getting the touchdown is a much better feeling."
Teammate Darren Newborne reached Ajirotutu for the celebration first.
"Darren's been saying, `This is going to be your week for a touchdown,' every week for more than a year," said Ajirotutu. "He might have been as excited as I was."
Even in his excitement, Ajirotutu was quick to point to others for making the play possible.
"I'm just glad everything went right. The snap, the protection, Tom's throw. Everything. I just had the easy part, catching it."