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The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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Fresno State touchdown fest leads to blowout win over Kent State

Jaqueline Carrillo/The Collegian
Fresno State defensive back Steven Camstock tackles a Kent State player on Sept. 23 at Valley Children’s Stadium.

Valley Children’s Stadium hosted its highest attendance game by students in Bulldog history. A night filled with touchdowns ended with Fresno State defeating Kent State 53-10 on Saturday, Sept. 23, in its final non-conference game before starting Mountain West matchups.

“I thought it was a good team win for us and that the offense played really well,” said Head Coach Jeff Tedford. 

The Bulldogs set the tone early in the game on defense, forcing a three-and-out for the Golden Flashes, forcing a punt. 

Just three minutes into the game, quarterback Mikey Keene and the ‘Dogs moved downfield effectively, eventually getting to the goaline. 

After connecting in several games earlier this season, the chemistry continued as Keene found wide receiver Erik Brooks in the endzone for a touchdown to start the game off.

Tedford took an aggressive approach, leaving the offense on the field to attempt a two-point conversion on the opening touchdown. It paid off for the ‘Dogs, taking an 8-0 lead early in the game. 

“It’s something we worked on and if they give us certain things you take advantage of it,” Tedford said.  

The Bulldogs’ defense held strong, getting its offense back on the field quickly.

After Fresno State’s offense got downfield, Tedford designed a trick play where wide receiver Jaelen Gill took up the quarterback position to take the snap. A touchdown pass from Gill to running back Elijah Gilliam gave the ‘Dogs a 15-0 advantage.

“I wasn’t surprised by that throw because we been doing it all week and he’s thrown a dime every single time so I was expecting it,” said Keene. 

Fresno State football players Erik Brooks and Jalen Moss celebrate after a touchdown. (Jaqueline Carrillo/The Collegian)

Despite having two consecutive stops, the Golden Flashes broke through the defense for a touchdown to get on the board, 15-7. 

It didn’t stop the ‘Dogs from answering back. With a successful run game, Gilliam racked up his second touchdown of the game, extending the Bulldogs’ lead.  

The Golden Flashes struggled to convert on third downs, resulting in field goal attempts. Kent State kicker Andrew Glass knocked down a 45-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 22-10. 

At the 10-minute mark in the second quarter, the Golden Flashes had two opportunities to get off the field on defense. With two third-down conversions, the ‘Dogs made its way to the goal line. 

A 12 yard pass by Keene to wide receiver Jalen Moss put the Bulldogs up 29-10. 

Keene kept the momentum going and found Moss on the next drive, completing a 47 yard pass to get into the redzone.

Shortly after, Gilliam ran into the endzone to close out the first half.

The Bulldogs led at halftime 36-10. 

After not getting much playing time, running back Malik Sherrod got his first touch of the game, gaining 17 yards on a breakthrough down the middle. 

The Red Wave chanted as a completed pass by tight end Tre Watson got the ‘Dogs on the board for the first time in the half, 43-10. 

Erik Brooks celebrates after completing a touchdown. (Diego Vargas/The Collegian)

The Golden Flashes couldn’t find an answer on offense to find a way back into the game, allowing the Bulldogs to accumulate 32:21 minutes total on the field.

With one minute left in the third quarter, the Golden Flashes forced a fumble just as the ‘Dogs crossed its goal line to score. What appeared to be the spark that the defense needed, it turned into a recovered fumble by Gill to put up another touchdown for the Bulldogs, 50-10. 

With a big advantage, second string quarterback Logan Fife opened up the fourth quarter for Fresno State.

For the first time in the game, the Bulldogs couldn’t get to the endzone and settled for a field goal, still keeping the lead by a large margin. 

With the blowout this far, several Red Wave fans began to empty out the stands as the chances for the Golden Flashes to come back narrowed down.

The Bulldogs closed out the game with a 53-10 victory, keeping an undefeated record at 4-0, with 13 straight wins since last season. 

“We still have work to do in all faces,” said Tedford. “Now it’s for real conference play [which] is what counts.” 

The ‘Dogs will open up its first conference game of the season against Nevada on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Valley Children’s Stadium.

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