Fresno State wins H-Bowl
BOISE, Idaho — This time the Lame Duck coach didn’t walk off the blue turf at Bronco Stadium with a win for a going away present.
Fresno State spoiled Georgia Tech’s Jon Tenuta’s head coaching debut with a 40-28 victory in front of a pro-Bulldog crowd on a bitter-cold day.
Bulldogs quarterback Tom Brandstater was named Fresno State's MVP after completing 23-of-30 passes for 285 yards and one touchdowns and running back Clifton Smith rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
It was the second bowl win for Fresno State and longtime head coach Pat Hill over Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs edged the Yellow Jackets 30-21 in 2002 Silicon Valley Classic.
Fresno improved to 9-4 on the season, while Georgia Tech slipped to 7-6.
After Chan Gailey was fired as Georgia Tech coach foillowing a 7-5 overall and 4-4 reocrd in the ACC, Tenuta was promoted to interim head coach for one game only. Geogia Tech hired former Navy coach Paul Johnson to take over the program after the new year.
Last year, Miami sent Larry Coker out with a 21-20 over Nevada.
This year, with Johnson watching from the press box, Georgia Tech fell behind by as much as 27-7 to start the second half.
Playing three different quarterbacks, the made it 34-28 with 13 minutes left in the game on a 20-yard prayer pass from quarterback Calvin Booker to receiver D.J. Donley.
FSU's Smith added his second TD run of the day as the Bulldogs pulled away with the win.
The win was the first for the WAC this bowl season. WAC teams are now 1-2 in bowl games this season.
Nevada lost to New Mexico 23-0 in the New Mexico Bowl and East Carolina defeated Boise State 41-38 in the Hawaii Bowl.
Hawaii (12-0) plays Georgia (10-2) on Tuesday in the Sugar Bowl.
Fresno State leads Georgia Tech 20-7 at halftime at the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl.
The Bulldogs ran just one more play than Georgia Tech, but have dominated with 286 offensive yards compared to the Yellow Jacks’ 183. Quarterback Tom Brandstater has been on target, completing 16-of-19 passes for 205 yards and one touchdown, a 3-yard score to tight end Drew Lubinsky.
Fresno State’s defense forced Georgia Tech to turn the ball over on downs and then Brandstater led the Bulldogs into field goal position. Kicker Clint Stitser hit his second field goal of the game, this time from 39 yards, to give Fresno State a 20-7 lead entering halftime.
Fresno State will start the second half with the ball. The Bulldogs entered the game ranked 16th nationally in rushing yards. Four players combined for 81 yards in the first half. They will need to run the ball better in the second half.
Georgia Tech also rushed for 81 yards in the first half, 54 by starter Tashard Choice. Quarterback Taylor Bennett completed 9-of-15 passes for 91 yards and one touchdown, a 35-yarder to Demaryius Thomas to open the game. Back-up quarterback Josh Nesbitt played the last series in the first quarter, rushing six times for 37 yards. He completed 1-of-2 passes for 11 yards.
The Yellow Jackets will need to get something going.