Bulldogs Go Down in Defeat at San Jose State

The Fresno State Bulldogs will have a long ride over the Pacheco Pass on their way back to Fresno tonight. The San Jose State Spartans gave the once mighty Bulldogs a warm welcome by opening the game with an 85-yard BOMB to John Broussard on SJSU's first offensive play of the game. SJSU led 14-0 less than five minutes into the game. The fans swarmed the field by storm for the big celebratory win!

Wow!

What a way to end the regular season!

Can you say redemption?

Here is the story from the official word of the Spartans located at www.SJSUspartans.com!

Football Picks Off Fresno State

Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics

San Jose, Calif. - First win over a Pacific-10 Conference member in 11 tries? Check. First win over San Diego State in 31 years? Check. First road win in 16 tries? Check. Bowl eligible? Check. First post-season appearance since 1990 locked up? Check.

The San Jose State football team made yet another mark on its 2006 checklist under second-year head coach Dick Tomey, knocking off the rival Bulldogs of Fresno State for the first time since the 1990 season, 24-14, on Senior Day at Spartan Stadium on Saturday, December 2.

With the victory, San Jose State improves to 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the Western Athletic Conference, moving into a tie for third place with Nevada in the final league standings. Fresno State, which had a three-game win streak snapped, closes the season at 4-8 overall and 4-4 in WAC play.

The Spartan triumph was keyed by both the passing and running of junior quarterback Adam Tafralis, and by a defense that held its opponent scoreless in the second half for the fifth time this season.

EARLY FLURRY LEADS TO 14-0 ADVANTAGE

The game began with a flurry on both sides of the ball by the Spartans. On the first offensive play from scrimmage, Tafralis found John Broussard over the middle for what became an 85-yard touchdown reception, tying for the eighth longest in school history. On its first offensive play, Fresno State also attempted a long throw down the middle, but Tom Brandstater's throw was intercepted by Christopher Owens and returned 19 yards to the Bulldog 29.

Six plays later, San Jose State was back in the endzone, Tafralis hooking up with James T. Callier on the left side. With Jared Strubeck's extra point, the Spartans were ahead 14-0 with just 3:24 having elapsed in the first quarter. Yonus Davis had a key 12-yard carry around the right side on third-and-11 to aid in the touchdown drive.

There was no further scoring for the remainder of the first quarter, but Fresno State got on the board at the 12:32 mark of the second, with junior tailback Dwayne Wright running 11 yards to the right side to complete a 13-play, 91-yard drive that took up 5:36 off the clock. Clint Stitser's point after made it a 14-7 game.

The Bulldogs tied the game at the 6:10 mark. Tafralis completed a short pass on the left flank to Patrick Perry, with Marcus McCauley right there to force a fumble. Alan Goodwin picked the ball up and ran 28 yards down the right sideline for the score.

San Jose State tallied the final points of the half at the conclusion of a wild sequence. On fourth and two at the Fresno State 42, the Spartans first lined up to go for it, called timeout, then took a five-yard delay-of-game penalty before punting it. The officials ruled Waylon Prather's 47-yard kick downed at the Bulldog one-inch line, with a five-yard running-into-the-kicker penalty also on the play, which the Spartans initially declined. A Fresno State challenge, however, resulted in an over-rule and touchback.

The Spartans then accepted the five-yard penalty after all, and sent their offense back on the field to go for it. Tafralis faked a hand-off to Perry, and threw deep to the right side of the end zone, where James Jones made a nice catch with a Bulldog defender draped all over him. Strubeck's PAT put the Spartans back on top, 21-14, with 3:40 left in the half. The score remained the same as the teams headed into the locker rooms.

DEFENSE CLOSES IT OUT IN SECOND HALF

Fresno State looked poised to knot matters up again on its second possession of the second half. On a third-and-10 play from the Spartan 31, Brandstater hit tight end Bear Pascoe on the left with plenty of room to roam and multiple blockers. Junior SJSU cornerback Dwight Lowery fought off his blocker and made the stop at the four-yard line, allowing Matt Castelo to pick off Brandstater following a five-yard false start penalty on the offense, halting the Bulldog drive.

Strubeck made it a two-possession game with a 25-yard field goal with 8:50 left in the fourth quarter at the end of a 13-play, 72-yard San Jose State drive, for 24-14.

Owens effectively put the result out of doubt with his second interception of the afternoon with under three minutes remaining, but his cornerback mate, Lowery, officially sealed it with his single-season school record ninth interception of 2006 with 30 ticks showing. The Spartans picked Brandstater off four times in the game as a team.

Tafralis finished 14-of-23 with 206 yards and three touchdowns through the air, to go with a career-high 76 yards rushing on eight carries. Jones had five catches for 76 yards while Broussard had two for 98.

San Jose State still has one more game to play in the 2006 season. The Spartans will participate in the inaugural New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday, December 23, against the Lobos of the University of New Mexico.

The game is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. PST start, and will be televised live nationally by ESPN.


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