NCAA Game Summary - Illinois at Fresno State|
(Friday, December 3rd)
Final Score: Fresno State 25, Illinois 23
Fresno, CA (Sports Network) - Ryan Colburn threw for 304 yards and three
touchdowns to lead the Fresno State Bulldogs to a 25-23 victory over the
Illinois Fighting Illini in a non-league affair at Bulldog Stadium.
Only four players caught passes for Fresno State (8-4), and Jamel Hamler led
the group with 92 yards on seven receptions. A.J. Ellis, who was on the
receiving end of one of Colburn's touchdown passes, finished with 44 receiving
yards and 44 rushing yards.
Mikel Leshoure led the way for Illinois (6-6), as the tailback rushed for 142
yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase added 131 rushing
yards and one score, but finished with just 61 passing yards and one score on
The Bulldogs dominated the first 15 minutes of action, and scored on their
first drive when Colburn connected with Ellis on a screen pass that went the
distance for a 27-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked however, leaving
Fresno State with a 6-0 lead.
Fresno State's first touchdown came on an eight-play drive, but the team's
second score took just one play, as Colburn hit a streaking Jalen Saunders
with an 78-yard touchdown pass.
Kevin Goessling added a 45-yard field goal in the final seconds of the opening
frame to give the Bulldogs a 16-0 lead.
Illinois put together a solid drive on its next possession, but it stalled
inside Fresno State's red zone, and the Fighting Illini had to settled for an
18-yard field goal by Derek Dimke.
Fresno State responded with a field goal of its own, as Goessling blasted a
52-yard kick to put the Bulldogs back up by 16 points.
Less than two minutes later Leshoure broke free and scampered down field for
a 35-yard touchdown run, and that would be the last points in the first half,
as the Illini went into the break down 19-10.
However, that deficit would be reduced to two points in the third quarter, as
the Illini opened the second half with a 17-play, 92 yard drive that was
capped off with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Scheelhaase to A.J. Jenkins.
The Bulldogs struck back quickly once again however, as they needed only four
plays to extend their advantage. Colburn connected with Rashad Evans on the
fourth play of the drive for a 21-yard touchdown, but the two-point conversion
was unsuccessful, leaving the Illini down by eight points.
The Illini found the end zone on their first play of the final frame, as
Scheelhaase broke free for a 21-yard touchdown scamper. However, a missed two-
point conversion left Fresno State with some breathing room.
And that two point lead would be enough for Fresno State for the remainder of
the contest, as the Bulldogs shut down Illinois the rest of the way.
12/04 02:08:33 ET