HONOLULU – Wendell Mathis ran for 229 and three touchdowns, including a 78-yarder late in the fourth quarter, to lead No. 22 Fresno State to a 27-13 victory over Hawaii.

The victory was the first at Aloha Stadium for Fresno State since 1994 and kept the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-0 Western Athletic Conference) atop the WAC standings with Boise State, which defeated Nevada earlier in the day.

Fresno State’s defense also came up big, and recorded five sacks.

With only a few minutes remaining in the game, the Warriors easily drove to the Bulldogs’ 6 and threatened to tie the game, but couldn’t score. Colt Brennan’s fourth-and-goal pass was tipped near the goal line with 2:46 left.

Trying to run out the clock, Mathis burst through the line of scrimmage and sprinted 78 yards to seal FSU’s fifth-straight win.

Paul Pinegar completed 15-of-25 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown for Fresno State. He was also intercepted twice.

Brennan was 35-of-54 for 327 yards and a TD pass, and freshman receiver Davone Bess caught 14 passes for 158 yards.

Hawaii (3-5, 3-3) committed a costly running-into-the-punter penalty in the third quarter that kept Fresno State’s drive alive and resulted in Mathis’ second TD of the day, a 3-yarder, to push the lead to 20-13.

The Warriors threatened to tie early in the fourth after driving it to Fresno State’s 8, but linebacker Alan Goodwin intercepted Brennan’s pass in the end zone. Brennan was 6-of-6 for 67 yards on the drive before the pick.

Turmarian Moreland intercepted a tipped pass from Pinegar and returned it 36 yards to FSU’s 24, setting up a 39-yard field goal by Kelly that cut Fresno State’s lead to 14-13. Moreland also intercepted another pass in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors’ run-and-shoot offense racked up 456 yards of offense against the Bulldogs, who entered the game allowing a WAC-best 290.2 yards a game.

The Bulldogs took a 14-3 lead on a 3-yard run by Mathis, who had a 49-yard run up the middle to set up the score. Mathis carried the ball seven times in the first half for 88 yards.

Hawaii trimmed Fresno State’s lead to 14-10 when Brennan scrambled right and threw a 14-yard pass to Bess, capping a six-play, 80-yard drive that included a 35-yard run by Nate Ilaoa.

Ilaoa finished with 95 yards on 10 carries.

Pinegar connected with Jermaine Jamison on a 58-yard touchdown pass along the right sideline to break a scoreless tie early in the second quarter.

Hawaii came up empty after driving to Fresno State’s 15 and 37 in the opening quarter. The Bulldogs broke up a pair of Hawaii pass attempts on fourth-and-1, including one off a fake field goal.

The Warriors also failed to capitalize after Ikaika Ilama-Francis stripped Pinegar on the Bulldogs’ 35. Bulldogs defensive end Garrett McIntyre blocked Dan Kelly’s 30-yard field goal attempt to preserve FSU’s 14-10 lead.

Fresno State is now 2-11 at Aloha Stadium since 1965. The Bulldogs’ last win in the islands was a 31-16 decision in 1994.

AP-ES-10-29-05 2251EDT


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