FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Bryson Sumlin rushed for 220 yards and
three touchdowns, and Wendell Mathis added 176 yards and three more
scores in Fresno State's 70-14 victory over Hawaii on Friday night.
Paul Pinegar, Matt Rivera and Robbie Dubois also scored rushing
TDs for the Bulldogs (6-3, 3-3 WAC), who set a school record with
503 yards on the ground. Fresno State clinched bowl eligibility
with its third straight victory, humiliating its unfriendly
conference rivals with 679 yards of total offense.
For Hawaii's beleaguered defense, it started ugly and never got
pretty: The Bulldogs scored on seven of their first eight
possessions to take a 49-0 lead into halftime.
NCAA career passing leader Timmy Chang was 26-of-43 for 167
yards and a touchdown for the Warriors (4-5, 4-4), and receiver
Chad Owens became Hawaii's career leader in all-purpose yards. It
wasn't nearly enough to counteract the Bulldogs' exceptional
Fresno State led 35-0 early in the second quarter, eclipsing its
previous season high in rushing yards 12 minutes before halftime.
Sumlin and Mathis alternated big runs, and Pinegar passed for 160
of his 176 yards before halftime and rushed for a 1-yard score.
Hawaii's defense has been a season-long disaster, ranking near
the bottom of the NCAA in several categories, but the Bulldogs took
the Warriors to a new low. Boise State had 589 yards in Hawaii's
69-3 loss two weeks ago -- but Fresno State had 512 at halftime,
delighting the large crowd at chilly Bulldog Stadium.
The Bulldogs have been as uneven as the Sierra Nevada skyline to
the east of Fresno this season, but they seem headed to a bowl game
for the sixth straight year -- perhaps the Emerald Bowl in San
Francisco, if the Pac-10 can't qualify the requisite number of
teams for bowl berths.
After a 3-0 start that included road wins over Washington and
Kansas State, the Bulldogs lost three straight to drop out of the
national consciousness and the WAC title hunt -- but since losing to
Boise State on Oct. 23, the Bulldogs have outscored SMU, Rice and
Hawaii 164-35, scoring on 16 of 18 first-half possessions in three
Fresno State pounded Hawaii with 13 straight rushing plays and a
pass-interference call on its first two drives, getting 123 yards
and two touchdowns by Sumlin.
Sumlin then broke an 89-yard run through the heart of Hawaii's
defense on the 14th play, getting caught at the 1 to set up
Pinegar's TD sneak. Sumlin already had surpassed his career high
with 168 yards rushing.
Fresno State didn't throw a pass until the final play of the
first quarter, after Hawaii botched a fake punt to set up a short
drive ending in Mathis' 14-yard scoring run.
Sumlin's third TD run capped a 98-yard drive that staked Fresno
State to a 42-0 lead 2:24 before halftime. The Bulldogs added one
more 72-yard TD drive, with Pinegar throwing a 3-yard TD pass to
Adam Jennings with 41 seconds left.
Fresno State's raucous student section got on the Hawaii bench
early in the latest edition of this burgeoning rivalry. Coaches Pat
Hill and June Jones have accused their opponents of various
episodes of poor sportsmanship over the years, and both schools
have some of the nation's rowdiest fans.
Owens passed Gary Allen's school record of 4,558 yards in the
first half, but with just three home games remaining, the Warriors
went winless away from the islands for the first time since 2000.