FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Whether Boise State travels to Bulldog
Stadium as a favorite or an underdog, Ryan Dinwiddie knows exactly
how to ruin Fresno State's dreams.
Dinwiddie passed for 273 yards and two touchdowns, and Tim
Gilligan caught six passes for 149 yards and a score in the
20th-ranked Broncos' eighth straight victory, 31-17 over Fresno
State on Friday night.
At the site of the biggest win in school history two years
earlier, the Broncos (10-1, 6-0) clinched at least a share of their
second straight WAC title with their 16th consecutive conference
victory. Dinwiddie, the flamboyant senior quarterback, passed for
185 yards and led four scoring drives in the first half.
"Especially on the road, we wanted to get in there and get the
crowd out of it," Dinwiddie said. "At halftime, they were
bad-mouthing us and calling us bums. We were up 18, and all of
their fans were heading out. We broke the will of them and their
T.J. Acree, one of the three walk-on receivers who lead the
school in catches, also caught a TD pass as the impressive Broncos
took a 21-point lead in the first half. They never were threatened
by Fresno State (7-5, 5-2), which had its four-game winning streak
The Bulldogs' hopes for a conference title have bit the dust
thanks to Boise State in three straight seasons now.
As a sophomore in 2001, Dinwiddie led Boise State to a
monumental upset victory over then-No. 8 and unbeaten Fresno State
at Bulldog Stadium. He was just as sharp while quarterbacking the
favorites this time -- and Dinwiddie, who also rushed for a score,
fell just 37 yards shy of setting the school's single-season
"The last couple of years playing Fresno State, it's turned
into a huge rivalry with tension between the teams," linebacker
Andy Avalos said. "We knew we had to start fast, because they were
going to pound it at us."
After falling behind early, Fresno State was forced to abandon
its successful running game for a high-risk, low-return long
passing game. Bernard Berrian caught 13 passes for 122 yards from
Paul Pinegar, but the Bulldogs couldn't rally.
"This one hurt," said Fresno State coach Pat Hill, who lost on
Senior Day for the first time in his seven seasons. "The one thing
that we really couldn't afford to have happen to us -- getting down
21-0 early -- happened to us."
Berrian also scored on a 68-yard punt return for the Bulldogs,
who fell to 34-6 at home under Hill. It was Fresno State's first
loss in November since 2000.
Boise State is 20-2 in conference play since joining the WAC
prior to the 2001 season. The Broncos also won the Big West title
in their final two seasons in that conference, giving them four
league victories in their last five seasons.
The Broncos made a proficient 12-play drive to open the game,
with David Mikell scoring on a 3-yard run. Late in the first
quarter, Gilligan -- the WAC's leading receiver -- caught a short
pass across the middle and sprinted untouched for a 73-yard score.
"We knew there was going to be a lot of emotion on their part
starting the game," Boise State coach Dan Hawkins said. "In
somebody else's house, we wanted to get off to a good start and get
Pinegar threw an interception on the first play of the second
quarter. Dinwiddie then scored on a 5-yard bootleg, silencing the
chilled near-capacity crowd.
Marque Davis caught an 18-yard TD pass from Pinegar moments
later, but Acree scored 3:32 before halftime. Neither team managed
more than a field goal until Berrian ran untouched up the Fresno
State sideline for a score with 8:28 to play.
Pinegar was 28-of-51 for 290 yards in his sixth consecutive
start since returning from a torn pectoral muscle, but fans began
streaming out of the stadium late in the third quarter.
"When a team is scoring on every series they get, it definitely
makes it tough on you," Pinegar said. "We just couldn't hook up.
Either I made a bad throw, or the receiver didn't come up with the
Even if Fresno State wins its season finale at UTEP next
weekend, the Bulldogs might be shut out of a bowl for the first
time in five seasons. Tulsa could edge ahead of Fresno State in the
running for the Silicon Valley Classic with a win at San Jose State
"We had it in our hands, but it looks like another second-place
finish in the WAC," Hill said.