Sept. 5, 2009
DAVIS, Calif. - Three touchdowns, each covering at least 60 yards, helped spark Fresno State to a 35-0 halftime lead as the Bulldogs shut out UC Davis 51-0 for a season-opening nonconference football win before 37,267 fans at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs, the first of two Western Athletic Conference teams on the Aggies' schedule this season, used a 60-yard TD run from tailback Ryan Matthews, a 94-yard interception return by linebacker Nico Herron and a 92-yard pass play from Ryan Colburn to Marlon Moore, to help forge their large halftime advantage.
Quarterback Greg Denham threw for 188 yards, four of them to senior receiver Chris Carter who finished with a team-high 41 yards. Joe Trombetta added four receptions while rushing 12 times for 27 yards. Free safety Ramsey Moyer and linebacker Marshall Congdon each had seven tackles for the defense.
Mathews rushed for 106 yards - all in the first half - to pace Fresno State while Colburn threw for 161 yards and a score on five completions. The Bulldogs rushed the ball 52 times for 310 yards with four different players scoring on the ground. ' Fresno State led 7-0 midway during the first quarter before turning to Mathews' long TD scamper off the left side for a 14-0 lead. The Aggies then held strong for the remainder of the period and for the first half the second.
UC Davis received a break midway through the second quarter, recovering a Bulldogs fumble during a punt to get inside Fresno State's 30. Denham completed three passes to help the Aggies get to the 8 but Herron quickly turned momentum with his pick to make it 21-0.
"We were outmanned, quite frankly tonight," said Aggie coach Bob Biggs. "They were a better football team and it really didn't seem to matter what they did, they were going to beat us."
Colburn connected with Moore on the right sideline less than four minutes later for the third long score of the half while Ebahn Feathers' 20-yard jaunt with 36 seconds left in the second quarter capped the first-half scoring.
Touchdown runs of three yards in the third quarter by Lonyae Miller and five yards from Robbie Rouse pushed the lead to 49-0. The UC Davis defense put up a strong front early in the fourth quarter, turning the Bulldogs away four times from inside the 1 to get the ball, but Fresno State tackled Corbin Cutshaw in the end zone on the next play for a safety.
UC Davis was shut out for the first time since losing 19-0 to Cal Poly in 1990, ending a streak of 212 games in which it had scored. The 51-point difference was the fourth-largest in program history.
The Aggies played before its largest crowd ever, surpassing the 31,250 fans that witness their monumental 20-17 upset at Stanford in 2005.
UC Davis will return to action next Saturday when it hosts No. 3 Montana at Aggie Stadium at 7 p.m. The Grizzlies, who advanced to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision game last year, edged the visiting Aggies 29-24 in 2008.
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