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KeeSean Johnson (#3) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass in Fresno State's victory against Sacramento State on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Bulldog Stadium. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)

Bulldogs pull away for first win

The Fresno State football team fought a tight battle through three quarters before pulling away in the fourth for a 31-3 victory over the Sacramento State Hornets in the home opener at Bulldog Stadium.

The Bulldogs evened their record at 1-1.

The offense struggled to find its rhythm for much of the game until scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Chason Virgil completed 22 of 42 pass attempts for 274 yards and two touchdowns.

Although Virgil found success through the air, he struggled to find consistency throughout the game and was displeased with his performance.

“Obviously we won the game, but personally, to me, I don’t feel good, I should have been a lot better,” Virgil said.

Head coach Tim DeRuyter was happy with the way the offense responded in the second half and how the defense played all game.

“We held them to less than a hundred yards rushing, less than a hundred yards passing. In today’s football that’s hard to do,” DeRuyter said.

Fresno State students in the “Dog Pound” cheer on the Bulldogs as they battle the Sacramento State Hornets on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Bulldog Stadium. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)

Fresno State students in the “Dog Pound” cheer on the Bulldogs as they battle the Sacramento State Hornets on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Bulldog Stadium. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)

He said the offense is still a work in progress, but was happy with the commitment to the rushing attack. He also gave credit to special teams. Punter Blake Cusick dropped Sacramento State back deep within the 20-yard line six times.

Wide receiver KeeSean Johnson caught both touchdowns and totaled 82 yards on seven receptions giving him a good start with new offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau.

“I’m a lot more comfortable than last year,” Johnson said.

He added that he feels the coaches are not making a mistake by giving him a larger role in the gameplan.

Senior cornerbacks Tyquwan Glass and Jamal Ellis had interceptions, helping contribute to Sacramento State’s struggles through the air. The Hornets’ quarterback managed 89 yards on nine completions.

The Hornets scored their only points on a 44-yard field goal by kicker Devon Medeiros as time expired in the first half.

Fresno State starting running back Dontel James rebounded off of a tough first week to put up 121 yards and one touchdown.

Attendance was 31,817. Fresno State goes on the road next week to face 2-0 Toledo.