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Bulldogs Win Third-Straight, Down SDSU 24-13 Print E-mail
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Written by Jason Clay - Fresno State   
Monday, 06 October 2014 07:14

FRESNO - The Bulldog defense forced two key fourth-quarter turnovers and Fresno State held San Diego State to 270 yards in its 24-13 victory on Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.


Decked in its new navy uniforms and with former FSU Quarterback Derek Carr making a return visit, the Bulldogs (3-3, 2-0 Mountain West) have now won three-straight games after dropping their first three. Fresno State has an early leg-up in the West Division standings, beating SDSU (2-3, 1-1 MW) for the third-straight season under head coach Tim DeRuyter.


"Those first three games didn't show what this team was capable of," DeRuyter said. "San Diego State runs the ball and are very, very physical, but our defense rose to the occasion. We had to get two take-aways and our guys did it."


The Bulldog defense, which took their bumps in the first three games when they allowed 596 yards and 55 points per game in three loses, has now righted the ship over these last three wins. After holding the Aztecs under 300 yards and to only 84 yards passing, Fresno State has allowed just 340.1 yards and 17.7 points during its winning streak.


"The truth is, the first three games defensively we were not assignment sound and not disciplined enough. I feel like we are becoming a more disciplined team and assignment sound and it's showing," said senior linebacker Dpnavon Lewis, who had five tackles. "We have a three-game winning streak and it is showing that we are doing our jobs, and that's what it comes down to."


Lewis played a key role in both of those fourth quarter turnovers, the first of which came with 6:13 remaining when the Bulldogs had only a 17-13 lead.


After a punt by Fresno State gave SDSU the ball back to them on the Aztec 37-yard line, SDSU quarterback Nick Bawden moved San Diego State back into Bulldog territory with a pair of first-down passes.


On a first-and-10 at the Bulldog 34-yard line, he tried to thread a pass into his receiver but Bulldog senior safety Derron Smith jumped the route to break up the pass and knock it up into the air. The ball went in and out of Chris Riley's hands, off another Aztec receiver before Lewis came out and plucked it out of the air.


Fresno State was forced to punt again after Lewis' pick, but on the first play after that, Lewis deflected a Bawden pass at the line of scrimmage and cornerback Jamal Ellis was able to pick it off for his first career interception.


"We just kept going to the drawing board, back at practice every day trying to get better and it is starting to pay off and show on the field," Smith said.


The Bulldog offense had a season-low 315 total yards, but were 9-of-18 on third downs and made the plays when they needed to.


Senior wide receiver Josh Harper had five catches for 76 yards and was able to draw to key third-quarter pass interference penalties against SDSU that allowed Fresno State to open up a 17-6 lead on a touchdown run by Josh Queada.


In the fourth quarter, Marteze Waller had a five-yard rushing touchdown on a third-and-goal to put Fresno State up 24-13 with 3:26 remaining.


Waller led the Bulldogs with 67 yards on 16 carries. Quarterback Brian Burrell, who was 14-of-28 passing for 143 yards, added 51 yards on the grounds and Brandon Connette tacked on another 40 yards out of the quarterback position.


Connette scored a first-quarter touchdown on a fourth-and-goal that put the Bulldogs up 10-0. This came after Fresno State had only scored two points in the opening quarter all season in the first five games.


"We got some momentum now," DeRuyter said. "Depending on the week, this week we had to lean on the defense, some weeks it might have to be the special teams, last game the offense really shined. I think we got a team that is well rounded and depending on our matchups that week, can go on the road or at home and find ways to win and that's what I like about our team."


The Bulldogs now head to Las Vegas to face the UNLV Rebels next Friday, in the third of four-straight Friday-night games.

"Be Bold" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes 1600 AM.


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