Fresno State 45,
Kansas State 21
In 2001, Fresno State made a run at breaking into the Bowl Championship Series by beating big-name teams.
The Bulldogs are at it again. Fresno State's 45-21 upset of No. 13 Kansas State was its second win over a team from a BCS conference in seven days -- and their seventh since the BCS was established in 1999.
With the big payday a BCS bowl guarantees, perhaps it's fitting that Coach Pat Hill used a poker metaphor to describe his team's situation.
"We are still at the main table," Hill said. "We were all in. We picked up all their chips, and now we've got a bigger pile -- and next week we'll go all in again."
Fresno State (2-0) didn't have to catch many breaks against the Wildcats, either. After giving up an early touchdown on Bret Jones's 42-yard interception return, they dominated the defending Big 12 Conference champions the rest of the game.
Bulldogs running back Dwayne Wright scored two touchdowns before tearing a tendon in his right knee in the fourth quarter, sidelining him for the season.
Paul Pinegar threw two touchdown passes to Matt Rivera and ran for another score, and Bryson Sumlin added two touchdown runs in Fresno State's biggest win over a ranked team -- and the Wildcats' worst regular season nonconference loss in 13 years.
"I've been here for 16 years," Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder said. "You can remember some of the 1-10 and 5-6 [seasons]. We never had a football team that just got beat up as badly as we did today."
The Bulldogs' 45 points were the most given up by the Wildcats in a regular season nonconference game since a 56-3 loss to Washington in 1991. Fresno State's previous most decisive win over a ranked team was a 44-24 defeat of Oregon State, then ranked 10th, in 2001.
That season the Bulldogs, from the Western Athletic Conference, also knocked off Colorado and Wisconsin on the road.
Kansas State (1-1) led 7-0 before it took a snap, but the Wildcats couldn't do much right after Jones's defensive touchdown less than 31/2 minutes into the game. They had only two yards of offense in the first quarter and trailed 31-14 at the half.
Fresno State's defense, which scored three times in last Sunday's 35-16 win at Washington, held Kansas State star Darren Sproles to 37 yards on 11 carries and forced two key turnovers.
"We realized that if we stopped him, it would be no contest," said cornerback Richard Marshall, who set up a touchdown with a third-quarter interception. "We knew the only person they have is Sproles. If we stop him, the game is ours."