No. 21 Utah Defeats Fresno State 45-24- Third Home Fall in 21 Home Games Print
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Written by Jason Clay - Fresno State   
Sunday, 20 September 2015 21:18

FRESNO - No. 21 Utah overcame three turnovers the Bulldogs forced to beat Fresno State 45-24 Saturday night at Bulldog Stadium.  The Utes (3-0), the second-consecutive ranked opponent for the `Dogs (1-2), opened up a 24-3 lead after three quarters and hung on during the fourth quarter when each team scored three touchdowns in the final 15 minutes.


"We played two top 25 teams and I thought our guys went toe-to-toe the last two weeks," head coach Tim DeRuyter said. "We gave up some big plays, our guys didn't quit, and I think they feel like we can compete with anybody in the Mountain West."


Fresno State made it a two-score game early in the fourth quarter on a Zack Greenlee touchdown pass to Josiah Blandin. However, Cory Butler-Byrd returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown for the Utes and then two minutes later Britain Covey brought back a punt 77 yards for another score.


That gave Utah a 38-10 lead, but the Bulldogs did not go away.


Greenlee, who came in for Chason Virgil when he went down with a shoulder injury in the fourth, hit Jamire Jordan on an 82-yard touchdown pass. After a successful onsides kick, Greenlee then found Da'Mari Scott for a 32-yard TD.


It was then 38-24 with seven minutes left, but as the story was for much of the game, the Utes ate the clock up the rest of the way with a 12-play, 75-yard drive that took the game clock down to 14 seconds.


"Our guys fought and clawed their way back into it and competed really hard," DeRuyter said.


Utah outgained the Bulldogs by just 15 total yards in the game (380-365), despite running 10 more plays and having a time-of-possession edge on the `Dogs by 16 minutes.


Fresno State's offense gained the most traction in the fourth, gaining 174 yards and scoring three touchdowns - the first time since Nov. 9, 2013 (vs. Wyoming) the `Dogs scored three TDs in a fourth quarter.


Greenlee was 6-for-10 passing in the game for 144 yards and three touchdowns - all in the fourth quarter. His 82-yard TD to Jamire Jordan is the longest TD pass since Derek Carr hit Davante Adams on an 89-yard TD on Oct. 27, 2012 at New Mexico.


True freshman Chason Virgil drew the start, becoming the first true freshman since 1973 to start a game at quarterback for the Bulldogs. He finished the day 11-for-25 passing for 97 yards while also rushing for 28 yards.


Josiah Blandin scored Fresno State's first offensive touchdown in the game on a five-yard pass from Greenlee early in the fourth. Blandin has scored a touchdown in each of the three Bulldogs' contests to start the 2015 season and joins Davante Adams (2013) as the only Bulldogs this century with a touchdown catch in each of the first three games of the season.


Ejiro Ederaine led the Bulldogs with a career-high 13 tackles, while Jeff Camilli (11) and Kyrie Wilson (10) both reached double-digit tackles in the game as well.


The three turnovers the Bulldogs created came on an interception by Tyquwan Glass in the end zone, a fumble recovery on the opening kickoff of the game that was forced by Scott and recovered by George Helmuth, and a fumble recovery by Claudell Louis.


Fresno State now heads to the road for the next two games to open Mountain West conference play. It starts on Saturday, Sept. 26 at San Jose State at 7:30 p.m.

"Be Bold" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes 1600 AM. Purchase your 2015 Bulldog football tickets by calling 559-278-DOGS.