Field Goal Lifts Fresno State Over LA Tech 30-28
Nov. 21, 2009
FRESNO - Kevin Goessling's 35-yard field goal on the final play of the game lifted Fresno State to a 30-28 win over Louisiana Tech Saturday evening at Bulldog Stadium.
LA Tech dropped its fifth game in a row, with all five losses coming by a total combined total of 23 points. Four of the five losses were by one possession and three of them were by two points or less.
"We never had a better opportunity to win than this one," said Tech head coach Derek Dooley. "We had them in a fourth and long to win the game. We brought pressure and we didn't do a good job in coverage and they got the first down. We had a lot of opportunities and didn't get it done. We dropped an interception to win the game. You never get what you want in life, but you always get what you deserve."
Goessling's third field goal of the game capped a game-winning drive that saw Fresno State dodge a couple of bullets while driving 68 yards on 16 plays over the final 2:21 of the contest.
After LA Tech punter Cade Glasgow pinned Fresno State on its 14-yard line with 2:21 to play, Colburn and Co. began the drive. Following a Colburn two-yard run that gave the Bulldogs a first down on their own 25-yard line, the signal caller made a poor decision and threw into coverage where Tech cornerback Terry Carter stepped in front of the pass.
However, Carter was unable to pull down the interception, keeping Fresno State's drive and hopes alive. The Bulldogs eventually moved the ball to the Tech 46-yard line where three straight Colburn incompletions set up a fourth-down and 10 play with less than a minute to play in the game.
Tech brought a blitz but under pressure Colburn found an open Chastin West for 19-yards and a Fresno State first down. West had beaten Tech defensive back Olajawon Paige, giving Fresno State the ball on the LA Tech 27 yard line.
A two-yard Robbie Rouse run and a nine-yard completion to Jamel Hamler set up the 35-yard Goessling game-winner.
"We played hard," Dooley said. "You take the fourth quarter at Utah State where we had a chance to win. We played our tails off at Idaho. We played our tails off against Boise State and gave up a long pass play late. We played our tails off at LSU and didn't have enough. We played our tails off today. Playing your tails off isn't the objective. You have to find a way to win the game."
The loss overshadowed an impressive offensive day by a trio of Bulldogs as quarterback Ross Jenkins passed for 206 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, including a trio of scoring strikes to tight end Dennis Morris who finished the day with a career-high seven catches for a career-high 131 yards and the three scores.
The Jenkins to Morris combination struck early as they teamed up for a 50-yard touchdown pass on just the second play of the game as Morris ran wide open down the middle of the field for the score. After Fresno State took a 14-7 lead, Jenkins found Morris again for a 12-yard score to tie the game at 14-14 late in the first quarter.
The duo hooked up for the third and final time with 10:44 to play in the second quarter as Jenkins found Morris running wide open down the middle of the field for a 39-yard score and a 21-21 tie.
"We saw coming in that (Fresno State's) safeties like to play close to the line," Dooley said. "We have the kind of tight end who can exploit that. He made some great plays. They started covering it in the second half. At the end of the day, we have to be able to throw and catch on third down, and we have to be able to stop the pass."
Senior running back Daniel Porter also made his mark during the game, rushing 22 times for 137 yards to come the second leading rusher in Tech history moving past former Bulldog Ryan Moats. He needs 190 yards in the season finale against San Jose State to pass Jason Cooper for first place in the record books.
After Tech took a 7-0 lead on Morris' first touchdown grab, Fresno State came back and tied the game on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Colburn to Seyi Ajirotutu with 7:04 to play in the first quarter. Less than 20 seconds later, Fresno State capitalized on the first of three LA Tech turnovers as Ben Jacobs picked up a Porter fumble and raced 21-yards untouched to the endzone as the California-based Bulldogs led 14-7.
"We had four fumbles today," Dooley said. "That hasn't been our nature this year. You can't win games if you are minus three in the turnover ratio. (Without those turnovers), we could have scored more points and pulled away possibly."
Tech responded on its next possession, driving 72 yards on seven plays and tying the game at 14-14 on the 12-yard toss from Jenkins to Morris with 3:07 to play in the opening quarter.
A Lonyae Miller five-yard touchdown run gave Fresno State a 21-14 lead early in the second quarter before Morris struck again with a 39-yard reception with 10:44 to play as the two teams were tied at 21-21.
Tech appeared ready to possibly position itself for a field goal before the half but Jenkins fumbled the ball away on the Fresno State 45-yard line with 17 seconds to play as the two teams entered the halftime locker room tied.
Goessling gave Fresno State a 24-21 lead early in the third quarter on a 24-yard field goal before LA Tech struck back, driving 72 yards on nine plays and taking a 28-24 advantage on a 36-yard pass play from Jenkins to freshman Cruz Williams with 4:44 to play in the third stanza.
For the game Jenkins completed 14-of-22 passes for 206 yards and four scores with no interceptions.
Goessling added a 23-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to cut the LA Tech advantage to 28-27. Tech's offense had three possessions to extend the advantage out but two punts and the third lost fumble of the game prevented the Bulldogs from pulling away, setting up the late Fresno State heroics.
Tech will play its final game of the year Dec. 5 when the Bulldogs host San Jose State at Joe Aillet Stadium at 1 p.m.
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