Recapping the Bulldogs’ 42-14 victory over Hawaii.
Players of the game
Fresno State quarterback Zack Greenlee: Redshirt sophomore turned the Bulldogs’ fifth change at quarterback this season into the perfect move, throwing for career highs of six touchdowns and 285 yards on 20-of-35 passing.
Bulldogs linebacker Ejiro Ederaine: Senior continued his assault on the Mountain West record for tackles for loss, picking up 1.5, including a sack, and also had an interception.
Fresno State receiver Da’Mari Scott: Picked up his second and third touchdown catches of the season, and first since Week 3 against Utah. The two TDs were his only receptions of the game. In 32 career games prior to Saturday, he only had two career TD catches.
Play of the game
Second quarter, Fresno State second-and-13 at the Hawaii 25: A mostly successful drive had just suffered a setback when Jamire Jordan was tackled for a 3-yard loss on a pass from Zack Greenlee. But in a sign it was breaking all the Bulldogs’ way, the next play proved a back-breaker. Greenlee threaded a 28-yard pass through the Rainbow Warriors defense for a touchdown that made it 21-7 and the rout was on.
Numbers of the game
7: Explosive pass plays of 20-plus yards for the Bulldogs; their season high was four vs. Abilene Christian.
16: Total explosive pass plays for Fresno State in its first nine games.
134: Penalty yards against Hawaii, most since 144 in win over New Mexico State in 2007.
28: Points in the first half for Fresno State, its most in any first or second half this season.
202.30: Passer rating for Zack Greenlee in first half; Fresno State was 100.96 coming into the game.
1: Time this season Fresno State has scored a TD in all four quarters – it put up 7, 21, 7 and 7.
4: Turnovers gained by the Bulldogs (one fumble, three interceptions), a season high.
49: Total yards for the Bulldogs in the third quarter.
64: Yard TD pass on first play of fourth quarter, Greenlee to Jamire Jordan.
455: Total yards for the Bulldogs, a season high.
Noon PST Nov. 21 at Brigham Young: The competition ramps back up as the Bulldogs take on a Cougars team that pushed Missouri to the end before falling 20-16 on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. BYU (7-3) was outgained 434-290 in total offense, surrendering 190 yards on the ground, but got within four when Tanner Mangum hit Francis Bernard for a 6-yard touchdown with 7:19 to play. The Tigers went three and out on their next possession, but BYU did nothing with its final possession and Missouri (5-5) – in its first game after coach Gary Pinkel announced his resignation effective at the end of the year – ran out the final 4 minutes of the game.
Fresno State went back to quarterback Zack Greenlee, giving the third-year sophomore his first start since a disastrous outing in a loss at San Diego State in which the Bulldogs generated only 89 yards.
The thought was that plays could be made in the passing game against the Rainbow Warriors’ defense.
Turned out to be a good call.
Greenlee started slowly, but threw four touchdown passes in the first half, hitting Josiah Blandin from 2 yards out, tight end Chad Olsen from 22 and Da’Mari Scott from 28 and 25. He had 182 passing yards in the first and second quarters, which is more than Fresno State had in five of its past six games and in that sixth, the victory over UNLV, the Bulldogs had 193.
The Bulldogs’ quarterback wasn’t as efficient in the second half, but still finished 20 of 35 for 285 yards and six touchdowns, escaping pressure and hitting Marteze Waller with a 6-yard scoring pass in the third quarter and Jamire Jordan for a 64-yard score on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Fresno State had three quarterbacks – Ford Childress, Kilton Anderson and Greenlee – combine for five touchdown passes over the six games prior to traveling to Hawaii.
The six touchdown passes were the most by a Bulldogs quarterback since Derek Carr had six in a 62-52 loss at San Jose State at the end of the 2013 regular season.
Greenlee also finished with a passing efficiency rating of 182.10, the highest for a Fresno State starting quarterback since Carr’s 198.79 in that loss to the Spartans.
Moving on up – Senior outside linebacker Ejiro Ederaine had 1.5 tackles for loss, running his career total to 43, which ranks third all-time in the Mountain West Conference.
San Diego State linebacker Miles Burris is at the top of the list with 47 TFLs, followed by BYU defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen with 44.0. Colorado State linebacker Mychal Sisson had 42.
Ederaine was credited with a shared TFL on a first-quarter wide lateral into the flat to running back Paul Harris. Ederaine and senior inside (Mike) linebacker Kyrie Wilson took him down for a 5-yard loss.
In the second quarter, he decked Rainbow Warriors’ quarterback Ikaika Woolsey for a 6-yard loss on third-and-10, racking up his eighth sack of the season and the 20th of his career.
Roughed up – The Bulldogs first points came on a 2-yard pass from Greenlee to Josiah Blandin, capping an eight-play, 91-yard drive in which Fresno State gained 46 yards but also was given 45 yards on three roughing-the-passer penalties, two on third downs that kept the drive alive.
On a third-and-9, Nick Nelson was called for a personal foul targeting penalty that gave the Bulldogs a first down at their 45. On a third-and-9, David Manoa was called for roughing the passer that set them up with a first down at the Hawaii 39. And, two plays later on a second-and-8, Kennedy Tulimasealii took a late shot at Greenlee that set them up with a first down at the Rainbow Warriors 22.
Hawaii in the second quarter was called for a fourth roughing penalty and a fifth personal foul against Greenlee, again on a third-down play. It was a third-and-11 and right tackle Justin Northern was called for a false start, but Ka’au Gifford, who was called for the roughing penalty earlier on that drive, played through the whistle and decked Greenlee.
That gave the Bulldogs a first down and on the very next play Greenlee hit tight end Chad Olsen with a 22-yard touchdown pass that gave Fresno State a 14-7 lead.
The Rainbow Warriors were called for a sixth personal foul on a second-quarter kickoff when kicker Garrett Swanson absorbed a late hit.
There was a seventh personal foul, the sixth on a hit of Greenlee, in the third quarter.
Got him – Fresno State defensive end Todd Hunt and Hawaii quarterback Max Wittek, best friends since they were in the sixth grade and on the same youth league football team in Connecticut, were hoping to get a chance to play against each other in their senior years.
Bragging rights were at stake and Hunt got them, and not only through the Bulldogs’ victory. In the third quarter, after Wittek replaced a struggling Woolsey, Hunt got a free hand up while fending off a Hawaii blocker and deflected the first pass Wittek attempted.
The football caromed right to Ederaine, who returned it 51 yards to the Rainbow Warriors 14-yard line to set up a Fresno State touchdown.
Hunt also recovered a fumble in the third quarter, jumping on the ball after Wilson absolutely crushed inside receiver Devan Stubblefield after catching a short pass to knock the ball loose.
Et cetera – Marteze Waller will have to wait another week to become the fifth Fresno State running back with 3,000 career rushing yards. The senior went into the game with 2,922 and gained 27 yards on 13 plays, 2.1 yards per play. The Bulldogs next week play at BYU, which went into the weekend ranked 36th in the FBS in rushing defense, allowing 140.8 yards per game.
▪ The fumble recovery by Hunt came at the Bulldogs 13-yard line, the first of two turnovers they forced in the red zone. Cornerback Tyquwan Glass shut down a Rainbow Warriors’ scoring threat later in the third quarter, picking off a Wittek pass in the end zone.
▪ Glass was credited with eight tackles, giving him 20 over the past two games. He had 12 tackles including 10 solo stops in the loss to Nevada.
▪ The Bulldogs’ were credited with six pass breakups – four by cornerback Malcolm Washington, two by cornerback Jamal Ellis and one by Glass and strong safety Charles Washington. Those were the first they have had in three games, getting shutout in the past two, losses at Air Force and to Nevada.
▪ After the touchdown pass from Greenlee to Jordan on the first play of the fourth quarter, they ran the ball on their final 18 plays of the game. Freshman Dejonte O’Neal, the 5-7, 166-pound running back from Bullard High, got nine carries and gained 27 yards.
Numbers, notes compiled by Bee sportswriter Robert Kuwada. Follow him on Twitter @rkuwada.
FRESNO STATE 42, HAWAII 14
Fre — Blandin 2 pass from Greenlee (Kroening kick), :25.
Haw — Camanse-Stevens 14 pass from Woolsey (Sanchez kick), 14:03.
Fre — Olsen 22 pass from Greenlee (Kroening kick), 11:35.
Fre — Scott 28 pass from Greenlee (Kroening kick), 5:44.
Fre — Scott 25 pass from Greenlee (Kroening kick), :58.
Fre — Waller 6 pass from Greenlee (Kroening kick), 11:11.
Haw — Davis 1 run (Sanchez kick), :51.
Fre — Jordan 64 pass from Greenlee (Kroening kick), 14:49.
A — 21,485.
Time of Possession
RUSHING—Fresno State, Garrison 12-66, O’Neal 9-27, Waller 13-27, Anderson 3-25, Greenlee 10-20, Jordan 3-10, Team 1-(minus 5). Hawaii, Harris 26-126, Davis 6-45, Tuiasoa 1-20, Woolsey 4-8, Wittek 2-(minus 7).
PASSING—Fresno State, Greenlee 20-35-0-285. Hawaii, Wittek 12-29-2-153, Woolsey 8-20-1-92.
RECEIVING—Fresno State, Jordan 4-79, Olsen 4-76, Waller 3-37, K.Johnson 3-10, Scott 2-53, Blandin 2-7, Hardaway 1-20, Riddering 1-3. Hawaii, Camanse-Stevens 6-63, Kemp 5-105, Torres 3-28, Harris 2-4, Stubblefield 2-2, Davis 1-33, Tuiasoa 1-10.