FRESNO, Calif. – In a game that saw Fresno State climb back from an early deficit, Colorado State scored the final 10 points to spoil Homecoming on Saturday at Bulldog Stadium with a 41-31 win.
Colorado State’s fast start came with 227 yards of offense in the first quarter as they outgained Fresno State by 112 yards in the game. In total, CSU recorded 500 yards, the most surrendered by a Bulldog team since September of 2016.
Ronnie Rivers led Fresno State with 215 all-purpose yards, rushing for a season-high 146 yards. The running back also led the ‘Dogs in receiving with 42 yards on four catches. Rivers and Josh Hokit accounted for two rushing touchdowns apiece.
Justin Rice recorded double-digit tackles for the sixth time this season, posting 11 stops, nine of which were solo. Juju Hughes grabbed his second interception in as many weeks.
Colorado State’s Patrick O’Brien connected with Trey McBride for a 69-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage 44 seconds into the game. After holding the Bulldogs to -5 yards on their first two possessions, the Rams doubled their lead at the 8:21 mark in the first quarter. A 27-yard run from Marcus McElroy and a 32-yard pass from O’Brien to Warren Jackson set CSU up at the Fresno State one-yard line which O’Brien snuck into the end zone.
Fresno State cut the deficit in half, 14-7, shortly before the end of the first quarter through a six-play drive. A one-yard plunge from Hokit was set up by a 37-yard reception from Cam Sutton on a fourth-and-1.
The Rams’ offense answered back, increasing their lead back to 14 with a 12-play drive that ended with a nine-yard touchdown run from McElroy with 11:59 remaining in the half.
Fresno State used their best field position of the first half to manufacture its second touchdown of the night. A drive starting at the CSU 37-yard line, Rivers capped a five-play scoring drive with a seven-yard TD run at the 7:23 mark of the second quarter.
The Bulldogs knotted the game up on the opening possession of the second half, putting the ball in Rivers’ hands four times to the tune of 68 yards. After Jalen Cropper got to the one-yard line on a seven-yard toss, Hokit punched in his second touchdown of the night with 11:31 left on clock. The Rams regained the lead on the ensuing possession using a 39-yard field goal from Max Poduska to give the visitors a 24-21 advantage.
Following a three-and-out that saw the Rams forced to punt from their own seven-yard line late in the third quarter, Rivers put Fresno State back in plus territory with an 18-yard return. Five plays later, the junior tailback scored his second touchdown of the game from seven yards out to give the ‘Dogs their first lead of the night, 28-24, with 2:18 on the clock.
The lead was short-lived as Colorado State answered three minutes later. Aided by a 40-yard pitch-and-catch to Jackson that set the Rams up at the four-yard line, McElroy ran the next play up the middle to the regain the lead, 31-28, just minutes into the fourth quarter. Rivers again put the Bulldogs back in the red zone with a 45-yard run up the middle down to the CSU eight-yard line. Fresno State would settle for a 35-yard field goal from Cesar Silva to tie the game at 31-31 with 12:10 remaining in the game.
That score stood until late in the fourth quarter. Facing a third-and-10 from his own 20-yard line, Reyna saw his throw go off the hands of Emoryie Edwards and into the hands of Colorado State’s Logan Stewart who returned it 25 yards down to the Fresno State 13-yard line. Two plays later, O’Brien connected with Jackson from 11 yards out for the go-ahead score with 3:29 left in the game. CSU tacked on three more points with less than a minute remaining in the contest.
Fresno State Media Relations