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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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Fresno State football blows out Power Five opponent to stay undefeated in the season

Valentina Saldaña
Fresno State defensive back Kosi Agina celebrates after making a stop on defense against Eastern Washington at Valley Children’s Stadium, on Sept. 9

The Fresno State football team blew out yet another Power Five opponent, this time in Tempe, Arizona. The ‘Dogs traveled to face the Arizona State Sun Devils and beat them 29-0 on Sept. 16. 

These two teams last met in the 2018 at the Las Vegas Bowl, when Fresno State came out victorious 31-20. 

Arizona State hasn’t been shut out at home since Nov. 12, 1988 — a streak of 219 games snapped by Fresno State. 

The Sun Devils were playing without their starting quarterback, Jaden Rashada, who was dealing with an undisclosed injury. Trenton Bourguet was the starter for the evening. 

The ‘Dogs scored on their first drive of the game when Mikey Keene connected with Jalen Moss for a 19 yard touchdown reception, making it 7-0 for the ‘Dogs early in the first quarter. 

Fresno State capitalized on the turnover with a Dylan Lynch 39 yard field goal. Making it 10-0 for the ‘Dogs in the first quarter. 

Bourguet was injured with 5:50 left in the first quarter and was replaced by Drew Pyne. On his first play of the game, Pyne fumbled, and the Bulldogs scooped up the fumble recovery. 

The ‘Dogs again took advantage of the turnover, with Lynch making a 30 yard field goal to give Fresno State the lead at 13-0 with 12:23 to go in the second quarter. 

Defensive lineman Kemari Munier-Bailey forced Pyne to fumble yet again. The Bulldogs recovered the fumble and answered back with yet another Lynch field goal, making the score 16-0 ‘Dogs with 10:25 to play in the second. 

Arizona State responded by putting together a drive that looked promising and got  all the way down to the Fresno State 1-yard line, but the ‘Dogs defense forced a fourth-and-goal, and the Sun Devils were unsuccessful at converting, ending their first productive drive of the game. 

Ending the half, Pyne threw an interception. Carlton Davis yet again got his second interception of the first half, giving Fresno State the ball back with 44 seconds to go in the half. 

The ‘Dogs could not score before the half ended, missing a 53 yard field goal attempt by Lynch but still leading 16-0 to end the half.

The Sun Devils received the ball to start the second half but could not get anything going, leaving them only one option: punt the ball. 

The ‘Dogs got the ball back and scored on their opening drive of the half. Keene threw a 42 yard touchdown pass to receiver Jaelen Gill, making the score 22-0 for the Bulldogs with 12:03 left in the third quarter. Lynch made the point after attempt, raising it 23-0. 

Pyne threw another interception, this time being picked off by defensive back Cam Lockridge

Fresno State was unable to capitalize on this turnover, however, as Lynch missed another field goal, this one from 45 yards. 

Arizona State had another substitution at the quarterback position. Pyne was benched for Jacob Conover  and the trend of turnovers continued. Fresno State recovered another fumble, which put the Dogs’  ball in Arizona State territory. 

Keene got sacked on back-to-back plays and the ‘Dogs had to settle for another field goal. Lynch nailed a 50 yard attempt to make the score 26-0 with 6:22 left to go in the third. 

The ‘Dogs and Sun Devils exchanged punts to end the third quarter with the score still at 26-0 Fresno State. 

Carlinton Johnson picked off Conover to rack up another interception deep in Arizona State territory. The red zone offensive struggle continued again for Fresno State, having to settle for another field goal from Lynch, 29-0. 

The Bulldogs’ defense racked up another interception, bringing Arizona State’s turnover total to eight. Al’zillion Hamilton intercepted Conover, bringing Conover’s interception count to two for the night. 

Both teams’ last couple of possessions ended with exchanges of punts, leaving the final score Fresno State 29, Arizona State 0.

The ‘Dogs defense finished the game collecting eight total turnovers, five interceptions and three fumble recoveries. 

Keene finished the game with 32 complete passes on 49 attempts for 281 yards and two touchdown passes. 

Elijah Gilliam rushed for 69 yards on 18 carries. 

Johnson caught three interceptions on the defensive side of the ball, one from every Sun Devils quarterback. 

Lynch made 5 out of 7 field goals and going 2-for-2 on extra point attempts. 

Fresno State’s next game is at home at Valley Children’s Stadium against Kent State on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 p.m.

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  • J

    JOTSep 17, 2023 at 6:01 pm


  • S

    Sue SchrammSep 17, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    Great coverage. Love the way Sepeda wove in the history behind the match up, and the details of the opponent. It left me feeling very connected to ‘Dogs, and I look forward to following the team through this writer.