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QB Colburn enhances Fresno State attack


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POSTED: Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fresno State's formula for success was pretty simple.

A healthy dose of Ryan Mathews and Robbie Rouse between the tackles spelled doom for Hawaii as the Bulldogs routed the Warriors 42-17 last night at Aloha Stadium.

But underneath Fresno State's dominance running the ball was the kind of performance from quarterback Ryan Colburn that coach Pat Hill was looking for.

After throwing seven interceptions in four games, turnovers that kept FSU from pulling off a marquee win over big-name schools, Colburn was nearly perfect. He completed 12 of 14 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns and, more importantly, kept drives alive.

“;We've had to ask him to do a lot against Wisconsin and Boise (State) and Cincinnati,”; FSU coach Pat Hill said. “;We were very efficient. I don't worry a lot about yards.

“;The bottom line is winning, and tonight we got a win.”;

Colburn especially stepped up on third down, completing five of five in those situations for first downs as Fresno State found the end zone on six of nine drives while Colburn was in the game.

“;It wasn't like all of a sudden we were up (big), it was pretty consistent,”; Colburn said. “;Coach Hill and I talked a lot about just letting the game come to me and he said it's not an easy thing to do, but you have to do that at my position.

“;Game manager is my job.”;

It can be an easy one when you have the talent the Bulldogs have at running back, led by Mathews, who has topped the 100-yard mark in every game this season.

Mathews said he was told he wouldn't start after missing a team bus earlier in the week, but was hardly fazed. The nation's second-leading rusher entering the weekend pounded away at Hawaii for 149 yards and a touchdown.

Rouse added 73 yards and two touchdowns as the Bulldogs snapped a three-game slide. It was one they needed to have.

“;It was a must win,”; Mathews said. “;Hawaii rarely gets beat on the island and we knew coming in it was a game that was going to be tough and physical and we made it a point to come in here and get (a win).”;

Last night capped a four-game stretch in which the Bulldogs had a home game sandwiched between road trips to Wisconsin and Cincinnati before making the trip to Hawaii. At 2-3 overall and 1-1 in Western Athletic Conference play, the Bulldogs have a much more favorable schedule ahead and can recover from a 1-3 start to end up with a solid season.

“;We've got a good team,”; Hill said. “;It's a young team. We're still going through a lot of growth and I think we can keep getting better.

“;If we can run the ball, we're a tough team to beat.”;

Just ask Hawaii.