October 16, 2011

Fresno State gets rebound win against Utah State

The Fresno State Bulldogs used a great second half effort on defense and a fourth quarter offensive sprint to come form behind and win 31-21 over the Utah State Aggies Saturday night at Bulldog Stadium.

"We were making tackles and started adjusting. There was a lot of adjusting going on during that football game. In the second half we did a great job and Utah is one of the best offensive teams in the country and shutting them out in the second half is a great tribute to our defense. They are going to get their yards but that isn't what it's all about. There were a lot of great efforts out there tonight. I thought our defense played against their offense at a very high level."

Trailing 21-17 entering the fourth quarter Fresno State was facing the possibility of falling behind 24-17 as the Aggies were seeting up for a field goal to open the fourth quarter. That's when Marcel Jensen busted through the line and blocked a 31 yard field goal that was recovered by the Bullodgs with 14:55 left in the game.

From there Derek Carr led the Bulldogs down the field for a touchdown when he found Jalen Suanders for a 23-yard touchdown that put the Bulldogs up 24-21 with 11:48 remaining in the game.

After two straight incompletions on the Aggies ensuing drive, Bulldogs defensive linemen Tristan Okpalaug sacked Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton forcing a fumble at the Utah State 30 yard line. The ball was recoverd by Jeremiah Toma for Fresno State.

Eight plays later Robbie Rouse ran it in from nine yards out to give the Bulldogs a ten point lead with 8:05 to go in the game.

Rouse finished the game with 24 carries for 140 yards and a touchdown.

From there the Bulldogs defense who allowed no points to the Aggies in the seond half, stepped up and stopped the Aggies comeback attempt to seal the game.

"We came in at halftime and adjusted based on what they were doing on offense," senior defensive tackle Logan Harrell said. "They were sticking to their run game, sticking outside and throwing short passes. So we adjusted at halftime and came out and executed it."

Coach Hill was happy the Bulldog were able to pull out the victory against the Aggies who have played the Bulldogs tough over the past few years.

"That was a heck of an effort from our football team and I have said this many of times and it is a young football team that is growing up and like young people they have their ups and downs. Last week we were probably at our lowest point as a 2011 football team but I was really proud of the way they responded in a very, very tough game tonight. It was a veteran team that has both and offense and defense that can give you a lot of problems. The first half our youth showed up tremendously with the fumbles and lost about 20 yards on a snap. So we showed our youth there early but our defense kept us in the game. We really responded well at halftime. We had a really good talk with our team defensively and we did a pretty good job of controlling the game. Special teams was huge tonight once again. I thought our cover team did a really good job, our punt team, and we are still struggling with punt returns. From a standpoint of effort we played outstanding. It was a must win tonight and it is a must win next week and they are all must wins at Fresno State and I think that's good. We need to get started on next week and start focusing on Nevada. We need to get up to Reno and change the way we do things against the University of Nevada; they are a very good football team.

Fresno State moves to 3-4 overall and 2-0 in WAC play. They now travel to Reno to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack Saturday at 1:00 P.M.

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