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'Dogs have their day


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POSTED: Sunday, October 11, 2009

The threatening skies over Halawa finally opened midway through the second quarter.

By then, the flood of Fresno State points had done enough to dampen the mood in Hawaii's return to Aloha Stadium.

Fresno State unloaded three years of frustration against Hawaii in rolling to a 42-17 win last night as the Bulldogs controlled all three phases to turn the Warriors' first home game in more than a month into their third straight loss.

While Ryan Colburn and Ryan Mathews powered the Bulldogs (2-3, 1-1 Western Athletic Conference) to a 28-3 halftime lead, the Warriors' touchdown drought reached seven quarters.

By the time the Warriors (2-3, 0-2 WAC) broke through for two fourth-quarter scores, Fresno State was well on its way to celebrating its first victory over Hawaii since 2005.

Breakdowns in special teams in the first half contributed to two Fresno State touchdowns. Mathews, the nation's second-leading rusher entering the game, reached his average with 149 yards and a touchdown.

He was complemented by Colburn's 12-for-14 passing performance for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

The lopsided outcome left the Warriors clinging to the positives they could glean out of the loss as they continue to search for their first WAC win with a road trip to Idaho up next.

“;We knew they were going to come at us. I thought we stuck in there,”; linebacker Blaze Soares said.

“;They got a couple of big plays, but we didn't give up those long gashes like last week (in a loss at Louisiana Tech). I felt like our defense had fire. We didn't roll over. That's all you can ask for. When the score's like that all you can do is play for pride and we had pride.”;

Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz went 24-for-52 for 283 yards and threw two interceptions in his first career start with Greg Alexander recovering from season-ending knee surgery.

He threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, though Fresno State had the game well in hand.

“;I felt we had a good week of practice and we just had to carry that over into the game,”; Moniz said. “;They did exactly what we thought they would do on film, scouted them well. We just didn't capitalize.”;

Facing a new quarterback behind center, the Bulldogs pressured Moniz for much of the evening, though they were credited with just one sack.

“;(The Fresno State secondary) held their guys up and gave us time to get some pass rush on him and we were able to affect the throws a lot today,”; Bulldogs defensive end Chris Carter said.

Hawaii entered the game looking to mix up the offense and got a spark from running back Leon Wright-Jackson on the game's second play when he ripped off a 45-yard run.

But the drive stalled and the Fresno State deluge began when linebacker Ben Jacobs blocked a Scott Enos field-goal attempt, scooped up the loose ball and rumbled to the UH 8. Lonyae Miller scored two plays later to trigger the rout.

“;We just couldn't put drives together. We were moving the ball and we'd just fizzle out,”; said UH receiver Greg Salas, who finished with 79 yards on six receptions. “;It was on us. We couldn't get anything going. When we did, penalties, something would always go wrong to set us back. We couldn't put a whole drive together.”;

Mathews—who missed the Hawaii game the last two years due to injuries—made his debut against the Warriors on Fresno State's second possession and juked through the UH defense for a 19-yard score.

The Warriors' lone stop of the first quarter came when the ball squirted out of Miller's grasp and Fetaiagogo Fonoti recovered for UH.

The Warriors drove to the Fresno State 10 when a Moniz pass was intercepted by Moses Harris in the end zone to end the threat.

“;It was on me, just a misread,”; Moniz said. “;I didn't see the guy out there. Kealoha (Pilares) beat his man and that was the spot he was going to be. I threw it out there, but they had another guy out there.”;

Fresno State turned that turnover and a muffed punt by UH returner Ryan Henry into scores. The last fumble led to a 17-yard connection from Colburn to Chastin West with 11 seconds left in the second quarter, pushing Fresno State's lead to 28-3.

“;It put a lot more pressure on our quarterback,”; UH head coach Greg McMackin said of the special teams miscues. “;We opened up by letting him throw it, give the ball to our running backs and run some screens. Down 14-0 it turns into a different kind of game plan.”;

Fresno State padded its lead with two Robbie Rouse touchdown runs in the third quarter, a 34-yarder on the first drive after intermission and a 16-yard scamper late in the period.

“;We've played hard all year and we needed this win,”; Fresno State head coach Pat Hill said after the Bulldogs ended their three-game skid.

“;Any time you come over here and win on this island, it's tough.”;