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Fresno State Drops Season Finale 16-14 to San Jose State Print E-mail
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Written by Matt Burkholder - Fresno State   
Sunday, 27 November 2016 13:13

FRESNO – A 23-yard field goal by San Jose State in the fourth quarter turned out to be the difference on Saturday afternoon as Fresno State dropped its final game of the season 16-14 to the Spartans at Bulldog Stadium.


The Bulldogs (1-11, 0-8 MW) finished with 245 total yards of offense with 149 coming through the air and 96 on the ground. SJSU (4-8, 3-5 MW) countered with 322 total yards, 211 on the ground and 111 passing.


Senior quarterback Zach Kline, making his second start of the season, finished 10-for-17 passing for 145 yards and added a 32-yard touchdown run. Junior running back Dontel James led the ‘Dogs with 42 yards rushing and a touchdown while freshman Josh Hokit added 33 yards.


Senior wide receiver Aaron Peck, playing in his 44th and final career game as a Bulldog, led all Fresno State receivers with six catches for 63 yards. Sophomore KeeSean Johnson added one reception, a career-long 53-yard grab in the first quarter.


Defensively, the senior duo of Stratton Brown and Jeff Camilli finished their careers with standout performances as Brown had 15 tackles, seven solo, one tackle for a loss, a pass breakup and his first career interception. Camilli added 12 stops, two tackles for a loss and a sack. Junior linebacker Robert Stanley also finished with double-digit tackles, a career-best 12, and half-a-sack.


After a nearly scoreless first quarter, the Spartans put a stop to that by blocking a punt late in the frame, gaining possession at the Fresno State 11-yard line. SJSU broke through on the scoreboard with an 8-yard strike from quarterback Kenny Potter to Tim Crawley with 41 seconds remaining in the quarter to take a 7-0 lead.


Special teams swung in the favor of the Bulldogs next, thanks to a Fresno State punt that bounced off of a Spartan defender and landed into the hands of sophomore DeShawn Potts at the SJSU 48-yard line.


Fresno State possessed the ball for the six minutes and seven seconds, ending in a Dontel James 1-yard rush, his fifth rushing score of the season. The 13-play drive featured a 12-yard strike from Kline to Peck and an 11-yard pass to Jamire Jordan along with eight rushes for 14 yards.


The Bulldogs would score again next, taking a 14-7 lead with 5:45 left in the first half, although it would be the final time the Bulldogs would score in Saturday's game. After forcing the Spartans to turn the ball over on downs, the ‘Dogs took over at their own 44-yard line with 6:41 left in the frame. A nine-yard pass to senior Michael Martens and a 15-yard rush by Hokit put the ball into Spartans territory before Kline scampered for a career-long run of 32 yards for his first touchdown run as a Bulldog.


The Spartans looked as if they were going to counter the Bulldogs' touchdown to end the first half, but Brown came up with a timely interception, his first career, in the endzone to keep the ‘Dogs in the lead going into the break - the fourth time this season Fresno State has been in the lead at the half.

A quick three-and-out by the Bulldogs started the third quarter, which signaled how the frame would play out. The Spartans controlled the clock in the third quarter, possessing the ball for 11:31 compared to 3:29 for the ‘Dogs. A 12-play, 59-yard drive by SJSU ate up 5:09 as Bryce Crawford nailed a 28-yard field goal to cut the Bulldogs lead to 14-10. The ensuing Fresno State possession was a fumble on the first play of the drive at the Fresno State 27-yard line.


San Jose State capitalized on the turnover, but with a field goal. A seven-play, 23-yard drive stalled at the 4-yard line when Camilli stuffed the Spartans on a third-and-1 to force Crawford into a 23-yard field goal that trimmed the ‘Dogs lead to 14-13 with 4:24 left in the third.


After trading possessions without much action, a Fresno State punt from its own 12-yard line, which traveled 25 yards to the Fresno State 37-yard line set up San Jose State's next three points, which turned out to be the decisive three points.


The Spartans ran six consecutive runs for 32 yards down to the 5-yard line, but again stalled at the goal-line. Crawford connected on a 23-yard field goal, which would turn out to be the game-winner with 6:25 remaining in the game, for the 16-14 advantage.





• Stratton Brown posted his sixth-straight game with double-digit tackles. He finished with 115 tackles. The most 2007 when Marcus Riley recorded 132.

• Jeff Camilli finished with 108 tackles in 2016. He joins Stratton Brown to become the first Fresno State duo to have triple-digit tackles in a season since Tim Skipper (107) and Orlando Huff (105) did so in 2000.

• After going to 2-of-2 on third downs to start the game during the first series, Fresno State went 3 of 12 for the remainder of the game.

• Fresno State lost 11 games in a single-season for the first time in school history.

• In three seasons at Fresno State, Stratton Brown recorded 115 of his 136 career tackles in 2016.

• Camilli’s 108 tackles are the fourth-most in a single-season by a Bulldog since 2007.

• Fresno State posted games with interceptions in back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 5, 2015 – Nov. 12, 2015.

• Fresno State registered 12 first downs vs. San Jose State; for the season Fresno State averaged 17.2 per game.

• Aaron Peck posted his highest reception total (6) since Oct. 14 vs. San Diego State.

• Fresno State was limited to two first downs and 47 yards total offense in the second half.

• Kline was 2-of-5 for 28 yards in the second half.

• San Jose State had not won a game when trailing at halftime since trailing Wyoming in 2013.


Travis Blanshan, Savannah Stoeckle, Taylor Martinez, Chelsea Hall and Jason Kelm contributed to this report.

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