November 14, 2010

Fresno State comes up one point short

On a night that was perfect for a football game 38,000 fans at Bulldog satdium left heart broken as their Bulldogs fell to the Nevada Wolfpack 35-34 Saturday night. The loss not only ended the night badly for Bulldog players and fans but also ended the title hope of the Bulldogs.

"The effort was excellent, but when you're playing against a team like Nevada you have to make a play almost every play," Bulldogs coach Pat Hill said. "There was a lot on the line tonight, and they gained the reward of winning that game and we didn't. But we have to move on."

Fresno State awnsered first, on the opening drive of the game the Bulldogs went 73 yards on six plays that eneded witha two yard touchdwon run by Robbie Rouse. Nevada would awnser back on their first possesion of the game when the Wolf Pack quarter Colin Kaepernick ran 47 yards for a touchdown. This capped a four play 69 yard drive. The Bulldogs would awnser back when Ryan Colburn found Robbie Rouse for a 12 yard touchdown pass to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead after the first quarter.

The Second quarter saw Fresno State extend their lead and then lose it. After a Kevin Goessling filed goal gave the Bulldogs a 17-7 lead with 4:14 to go in the half, Nevadas Vai Taua scored a four yard touchdown to cap a 10 play 79 yard drive that cut the Bulldog lead to 17-14 with 34 seconds left.

Nevada suprised the Bulldogs with an onside kick ont he kickoff which was recovered by the Wolf Pack who took the ball to the endzone again when Vai Taua ran it in from one yard away to give the Wolf Pack a 21-17 lead at Half.

The Second half would see more of the same scoring as the first half. The Bulldogs would strike first when Ryan Colburn found Isaiah Burse for a 26 yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs the 24-21 lead with 11:55 left in the third. Once again however the Wolf Pack would awnser back quickly when Colin Kaepernick ran it in from 19 yards away to give Nevada a 28-24 lead with 9:28 left in the third. The third quarter scoring ended when Robbie Rouse took the ball 44 yards for a go ahead touchdown that gave the Bulldogs a 31-28 lead going in to the fourth.

In the fourth the Bulldogs woul extend the lead when Kevin Goessling hit a 34 yard field goal to give Fresno a 34-28 lead with 14:55 left in game. From there the defense would step up. Nevada would start the ensuing posseion from their own 34 yard line with 14:46 to go. The Wolf Pack moved the ball down the field all the way to the Bulldogs eight yard line. On fourth and one from the Bulldogs eight yard line Nevadas Vai Taua was stuffed by defenders Desia Dunn and Kyle Knox for no gain to give the ball back to the Bulldogs with 8:37 left in the game.

Fresno State with a golden oppurtunity to ice the game were unable to do it, as they went three and out and had to punt the ball back to Nevada. The Wolf Pack would not waste another oppurtunity. With 7:54 left in the game Nevada starting from thei own 49 yard line took the ball to the Bulldogs 24 yard line. That's when Nevadas Vai Taua once again would run another touchdown in when he took the ball 24 yards up the middle which capped a seven play 54 yard drive that gave the Wolf Pack a 35-34 lead with 4:44 left in the game.

On the Bulldogs final stand of the game play calling would become an issue. Fresno State satrting from their own 28 yard line. After a nine yard pass to Jamel Hamler took the ball to the Fresno 37 yard line. After a three yard Rouse run advanced the ball to the 40, Rouse carried again for a loss of one to make it 2 and 11. Once again instead of throwing the football the Bulldogs ran with Rouse who gained only one to make it 3 and 10. From there Ryan Colburn found Rouse for a five yard gain to the Fresno 45 yard line. Now on fourth and five Colburn took the ball from center and was flushed out of the pocket, the ball slipped out of his hand when he tried to make a throw and fell incomplete with 1:27 left on the clock.

With only one time out remaining for the Bulldogs the Wolf Pack were able to run out the rest of the clock and get their ninth victory of the year.

"This is not an easy game to go through," Hill said. "We have to bury it tonight. Bury it and move on. Because if we don't, we will get embarrassed [against Boise State]."

-Robbie Rouse finished the game with 26 carries for 217 yards and two touchdowns. He became the first Bulldog in history to have to consecutive games of two hundred yards or more.

-Ryan Coburn finished the game 16-26 for 194 yards and two touchdowns.

-The Bulldogs held Nevadas high powered offense to 416 yards which is nearly 180 yards below thier average.

-Fresno State out gained Nevada 444 yards to 416 yards in the game.

-With the loss Fresno State falls to 6-3 on the season and 4-2 in the WAC. The loss also eliminated the Bulldogs from WAC title contention. Fresno State now has a short week as they must travel to fourth ranked Boise State for another Friday night national television game on ESPN.

Stay tuned to TheBulldogreport.com for more on the loss Saturday night.

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