UCLA Falls To Fresno State In Silicon Valley Classic
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Bryson Sumlin made his first career touchdown catchand also ran for a score in Fresno State's 17-9 victory over UCLA in theSilicon Valley Classic on Tuesday night.
Sumlin, a sophomore backup who began his Fresno State career as acornerback, capitalized on two big chances to score and helped the Bulldogsbeat the Bruins for the first time in six meetings.
Fresno State (9-5) made its school-record fifth straight bowl appearance andfourth in a row in this game. And once again, the Bulldogs seized theopportunity to spoil things for a bigger, more prominent program in a gamedominated by defense.
Paul Pinegar passed for 133 yards, but Fresno State didn't exactly need aprolific offense to beat the inept Bruins, who managed just 164 total yards -97 in one series shortly before halftime.
UCLA (6-7) lost its last five games to turn what once was a promising seasoninto a disappointment under first-year coach Karl Dorrell. The inefficientoffense was again the culprit, going 2-for-14 on third-down conversions.
Manuel Sanchez intercepted Bruins quarterback Drew Olson with 2:42 left andseveral Bulldogs celebrated their win by sliding face-first through the muddyfield at Spartan Stadium.
Fresno State seemed to be in control until an ugly drive midway through thethird quarter in which a series of mistakes left the Bulldogs facingfourth-and-37. Asi Faoa blocked the ensuing punt in the end zone for a UCLAsafety.
Later in the quarter, Pinegar fumbled when he attempted to throw and leftFresno State stranded at its own 1. But the Bruins bailed out the Bulldogs byroughing punter Mike Lingua, and UCLA never mounted another significant drive.
The Bruins swore they were happy with their less than glamorous bowldestination, but they sure didn't play that way. UCLA seemed disinterested anddisorganized, struggling to stop Fresno State's offense and failing to move theball through the air or on the ground while falling behind 17-0 early in thesecond quarter.
After Fresno State stopped UCLA on fourth-and-1 late in the first quarter,Pinegar completed a 44-yard TD pass to Sumlin, who also had a 1-yard scoringrun earlier in the period.
When Fresno State downed a punt inside the 3 shortly before halftime, theBruins briefly woke up. UCLA went 97 yards in just seven plays, with CraigBragg making a spectacular 27-yard diving catch in the corner of the end zone20 seconds before halftime for the Bruins' first score.
UCLA starting safety Jarrad Page was ejected 5 seconds later afterapparently throwing the final shove in a scuffle involving many players.Dorrell hollered at referee David Witvoet as they ran they off the field athalftime.
Dorrell admitted Monday that he had turned down opportunities to play FresnoState during the regular season, essentially because the Bruins have nothing togain by facing the upset-minded Bulldogs.
Fresno State lost the first two Silicon Valley Classics, including athrilling last-second defeat on a failed fake field goal in the inaugural game.The Bulldogs beat Georgia Tech in the game last season, overcoming severalinjuries for the school's first bowl victory since 1992.
The win makes the Western Athletic Conference 3-0 this bowl season. BoiseState beat TCU 34-31 in the Fort Worth Bowl and Hawaii defeated Houston 54-48in triple overtime in the Hawaii Bowl. The last WAC team to play will be Tulsa,which faces Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl on Saturday.