(Saturday, December 3rd)
Final Score: San Diego State 35, Fresno State 28
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Ronnie Hillman slipped into the end zone from two yards out with 1:09 remaining in regulation as the San Diego State Aztecs captured a thrilling 35-28 win over the Fresno State Bulldogs in non- conference action at Qualcomm Stadium.
Hillman finished the outing with 178 yards and four touchdowns on 29 rushing attempts for the Aztecs (8-4) as they closed out the regular season with two straight wins and captured four victories in the last five outings. Quarterback Ryan Lindley converted 21-of-40 passes for 281 yards.
The Bulldogs (4-9) were paced by Derek Carr as he connected on 19-of-35 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns, but he was sacked three times and tossed an interception at the end of the game that prevented the squad from battling back. Running back Robbie Rouse entered the game ranked eighth in the nation in rushing with 124.4 ypg, but he was held to just 56 yards and one score on 20 attempts.
The only scoring of the first quarter came when Isaiah Green picked up a blocked field goal attempt and raced 59 yards for the touchdown for the visitors.
Early in the second frame the Bulldogs made it a 14-0 lead when Carr combined with Jalen Saunders on an 88-yard TD pass play and then five minutes later it was Carr with a 23-yard TD pass to Josh Harper to make it 21-0 in favor of Fresno State.
Later in the second the SDSU offense finally woke up as Hillman raced 20 yards into the end zone, while Chad Young did the honors from a yard out with 11 seconds remaining in the first half, cutting the deficit to 21-14 at the break.
In the third quarter Hillman scored on a pair of two-yard TD runs, pushing the hosts ahead at 28-21 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Capping an 11-play, 68-yard drive that ate up more than five and a half minutes on the clock, Rouse finally made his first and only appearance in the end zone when he crossed the goal line from two yards out to knot the score at 28-28 with 12:34 remaining.
With time winding down in regulation, the Aztecs put together a nine-play drive that measured 66 yards and took up just 64 seconds, the culmination of which was the two-yard scoring run by Hillman to put SDSU on top once again at 35-28.
After Hillman put the hosts ahead, FSU returned the ensuing kickoff into San Diego State territory and had plenty of time to mount a comeback bid, but Rouse allowed a pass over the middle to get away from him and into the waiting arms of Larry Parker who made his seventh interception of the season.
The Aztecs, who rolled up 496 yards of total offense on the night, are now bowl eligible in back-to-back years for the first time since 1966-67.
12/04 01:44:42 ET