Fresno State-Ole Miss: Brandon Bolden Helps Ole Miss Run Right Past Bulldogs
The Fresno State Bulldogs were looking forward to this weekend. They were unbeaten and had momentum as they boarded their flight for Oxford, Miss., to take on the Ole Miss Rebels with all the confidence in the world that they could win.
Ole Miss was struggling through its first three games of the season. The Rebels had dropped both of their home games to Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt, respectively.
With Fresno State coming in, the Rebels were going to face yet another tough challenge and they wanted to prove to their fans that the season wasn't lost just yet.
Unfortunately for Fresno State, they ran into a buzzsaw.
When it was said and done, the Bulldogs were left wondering how the game got out of hand so quickly after a 55-38 loss to Ole Miss on Saturday.
Twenty Unanswered Points
After Fresno State kicker Kevin Goessling kicked a 50-yard field goal in the second quarter to pull to within 21-10, the Ole Miss offense ran off 20 unanswered points to put the game out of reach.
Brandon Bolden Couldn't Be Stopped
The Ole Miss Rebels found the weakness in the Fresno State defense and they exploited it. Repeatedly.
Running back Brandon Bolden rushed for 228 yards, two touchdowns, and added another touchdown through the air.
Missed Opportunity Cost The Bulldogs
Down 21-10 in the second quarter, Fresno State recovered an Ole Miss fumble deep inside Rebel territory and had an opportunity to put another touchdown, or at least a field goal, on the board.
They started their drive on the Ole Miss 15-yard line and looked prime to put a few more points on the board and cut into the Rebels' lead. But, the Bulldogs couldn't move the ball and had their field goal blocked.
A huge turning point in the game for Fresno State. Took the wind completely out of their sails.
Bulldogs' Run Game Stopped in Its Tracks
The running game is something Fresno State has always been known for. They've had solid running backs come through their system and they've been almost impossible to stop. Except for Saturday.
Fresno State never got their ground game going and ran into a defense that wasn't giving an inch. Running back A.J. Ellis, who ran past Utah State last week, gained just one yard on seven carries. Sophomore Robbie Rouse had just 22 yards on seven carries.
All total, the Bulldogs finished the game with 30 yards on 33 carries, a 0.9 yards per carry average.
Third Quarter Killers
With Fresno State already down 27-10 at the half, they needed some momentum to try and get themselves back in the game.
That momentum never came. Instead, Ole Miss grabbed it and never let go.
On the very first play of the third quarter, Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden broke through the Fresno State defense and broke free for a 71-yard touchdown run.
The Bulldogs would be forced to punt on their first possession of the second half, a punt that would net the Rebels another seven points when Jesse Grandy returned it 50 yards for another score.
The Rebels had scored 14 points in less than two minutes. At that point, the game was well out of reach.
Ryan Colburn The Only Bright Side For The Bulldogs
While Fresno State was a tad shell shocked at how the game got away from them so quickly, head coach Pat Hill has something that he can consider a bright side from Saturday's game.
Senior quarterback Ryan Colburn had a heck of a game for the Bulldogs and continues to impress through three games this season.
Colburn finished 32-of-42 for 390 yards and four touchdowns and didn't throw a single interception. However, he was sacked five times and lost a fumble.
So far this season, Colburn has thrown for 786 yards and nine touchdowns, only being intercepted twice.
What's Next For Fresno State?
The Fresno State Bulldogs will return home to begin a three-game home stand on Oct. 2.
They will face off against Cal Poly, Hawaii, and New Mexico State before going back on the road for San Jose State to close out the month of October.
What's Next For Ole Miss?
For Ole Miss, they need every bit of momentum that this win could bring them because the next three games will be a huge gauntlet.
Over the next three weeks, Ole Miss will face both Alabama and Arkansas on the road before returning home to face Auburn.