December 4, 2010
Fresno State gets huge 25-23 win over Illinois on senior night
In their last game inside of Bulldog stadium the Fresno State Bulldog seniors made sure that they left on a high note.
Senior quarterback Ryan Colburn had one of his best games of the season going 18-26 for 304 yards and threee touchdown passes.
His night started early when he led the Bulldogs on an opening drive eight play 72 yard drivce that ended with a 27 yard pass to running back A.J Ellis to give the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead.
"It was a good opening drive, we did get off to a really good fast start and I thought that was a really important for our confidence" said head coach Pat Hill.
After the Bulldogs defense held the Illini offense to a punt, Fresno State would strike again. The very first play Colburn dropped back and found freshman Jalen Saunders for a 78 yard touchdown pass that gave the Bullodg the 13-0 lead.
Fresno State would add another field goal to give themselves a 16-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Illinois would awnser in the second quarter when Derek Dimke hit a 18 yard field goal to cap off a eight play 74 yard drive and cut the Bulldogs lead to 16-3 with 11:52 left in the half. Fresno State would respond witha field goal of their own to go ahead 19-3. Illinois woul once again respond when running back Mikel Leshoure ran a 35 yard touchdown to cut the Bulldogs lead to 19-10 at halftime.
The thrid quarter scoring began when Illinois took the opening drive of the half 92 yards on 17 plays that took 8:06 seconds and saw quarterback Nathan Scheelhaasse hit A.J. Jenkins for a 18 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 19-17 with 6:56 to go in third quarter.
On Fresno States next possesion the Bulldogs would score a touchdwon of their own when Colburn found Rashad Evans for 21 yards togive the Bulldogs a 25-17 lead. Teh Bulldogs would go for to to try and extend the lead to 10 but fail.
On the first play of the fourth quarter Nathan Scheelhaasse ran for a 21 yard touchdown to cut the lead 25-23. Illinois would go for two to try and tie but Scheelhaasse's pass failed.
After a few posseions for both teams the Bulldogs would get the ball back with 9:31 left in the fourth quarter. From there the Bulldogs would convert three consecutive thrid downs to continue thier drive. Finnally on their own 46 yard line the Bullodgs were forced witha fourth and one with 3:17 left in the game.
A.J Ellis took the ball on fourth and One and gained what seemed to be one yard and three inches and converetd the biggest play of the game to extend the Bulldog drive and force the Illini to burn their last two timeouts.
" The fourth down call was a huge call and we made it by, its a game of inches and we made it by inches. Sometimes you live by the sword and die by the sword and that was a huge play in game." said Hill
The Bullodgs wuld run the clock down to 18 seconds before punting th ball back to Illinois.
The Illin would now have to go 91 yards to try and win the game. After an incomplete pass on theri first play Illinois quarter back Eddie McGee was sacked by Anthony Williams to end the game and give the Bullodgs a 25-23 win.
The Bulldogs defense ended up with four sacks in the game with Chris Carter, Logan Harrel, Travis Brown, and Anthony Willliams each recording one sack. They held the Illini offense to 81 ards thorugh the air but did give up 318 yards on the ground but most of those yards came on big runs.
" That was a heck of a win for this football team," said Hill. We just made some really big plays out there tonight."
With the win the Bulldogs finish their regualr season 8-4 and will wait to see where there bowl destination will be. Illinois finshes there season 6-6 and will also go to a bowl game.
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