Through two and a half quarters the Fresno State – Hawaii matchup went exactly how the nation thought it would. Fresno State raced out to a 42-3 lead over the Warriors. The Bulldogs had moved the ball on the ground and through the air without much of a problem against a Hawaii team who had turned the ball over at a rate of nearly four times per game. But after L.J. Jones intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown something happened that wasn’t expected: the Warriors began to play football. Over the next quarter and a half Bulldog fans sat wondering what had happened to that 42-3 lead as it disappeared when Hawaii had one huge gain after another. Fortunately for Bulldog fans the Warriors comeback fell one play short as their last pass was intercepted to end the game allowing the Bulldogs to leave the islands with a 42-37 victory.
The Bulldogs opened the game passing the ball which resulted in a thirty yard touchdown from Carr to Harper three minutes into the game. Fresno State’s defense held the Warriors scoreless in the first quarter as the Bulldogs held a 14-0 lead over the Warriors at the end of quarter. The second quarter saw much of the same from the Bulldogs as they were able to hold the Warriors to a field goal in the first half. The Bulldogs entered the locker room with a 21-3 lead at halftime. The second half looked as if it were going to follow suit to the first half as the Bulldogs scored two quick offensive touchdowns followed by an interception return for a touchdown by L.J. Jones. At that point Norm Chow had had enough of his freshman starting QB Ikaika Woolsey and replaced him. After the change was made Hawaii scored two passing plays later beginning their huge comeback.
Sean Schroeder’s first pass was misplayed by Bulldog safety Dalen Jones for a huge gain leading to the Warriors first touchdown of the game. From that point on Hawaii completely controlled the second half forcing Fresno State into four turnovers. The Bulldogs turned over the ball a total of five times allowing the Warriors to fight their way back into the game after falling behind 42-3. Had Hawaii been able to complete the comeback it would have been the biggest comeback victory in the history of college football.
Derek Carr completed 33 of 47 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns. However, Carr threw two interceptions snapping his streak of 181 straight passes without an interception. Fresno State’s offense completely disappeared in the last quarter and a half of the game. The Bulldogs fumbled the ball twice, were intercepted twice, dropped countless passes, and were forced to deal with various questionable calls from the referees such as Isaiah Burse being ejected from the game in the first quarter and Josh Harper being called out of bounds when his foot was clearly in on a huge gain in the third quarter. Regardless of the mistakes made by the Bulldogs they were able to escape with a 42-37 win. Fresno State moved to 4-0 (2-0 in the MWC) and will travel to Idaho next week looking to go 5-0 for the first time since 2001.