Buffs fail in final quarter against Fresno State | CraigDailyPress.com
Elwood Shelton

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Buffs fail in final quarter against Fresno State

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) David Carr passed for one touchdown and ran for another, and Fresno State converted three Colorado turnovers into 17 points en route to a 24-22 victory on Sunday night.

Fresno cornerback Devon Banks made an end-zone interception with 3:32 left, thwarting a Colorado drive that had reached the Bulldogs’ 2-yard line.

On the final play of the game, safety Cameron Worrell intercepted a desperation pass at the Bulldog 14 Colorado’s fifth turnover of the game.

Craig Ochs threw two touchdown passes to John Minardi for Colorado, which lost for the first time in five meetings with Fresno State.

Carr completed 21-of-36 passes for 198 yards in the inaugural Jim Thorpe Association Football Classic. Ochs was 31-of-51 for 346 yards.

Fresno State, the preseason pick to win the Western Athletic Conference, had a modest 71 yards in the first quarter but led 14-0, thanks to two Buffalo fumbles that Fresno converted into touchdowns. Colorado never recovered.

Midway through the third quarter, Roman Hollowell’s 36-yard punt return gave Colorado possession near midfield, and Pat Brougham, making his major-college debut, kicked a 42-yard field goal, cutting the deficit to 21-16.

In the final minute of the quarter, however, Ochs fumbled a snap in the shotgun formation, and tackle Alan Harper recovered at the Colorado 45. The Bulldogs then overcame holding and false-start penalties, and Asen Asparuhov kicked a 43-yard field goal for a 24-16 lead with 12:29 left.

Ochs passed 16 yards to Minardi to make it 24-22 with 7:51 to go, but he overthrew Hollowell on a 2-point conversion attempt. Colorado’s two subsequent possessions ended on interceptions.

Five minutes into the game, Colorado running back Chris Brown fumbled when hit by Banks, and end Justin Johnson recovered at the Colorado 45. Carr completed 5-of-5 passes on the drive, which he capped with a 1-yard sneak with 6:23 left in the opening quarter.

On Colorado’s next possession, Ochs fumbled when he was sacked by blitzing safety Bryce McGill, and the Bulldogs recovered at the Colorado 21. Carr’s 13-yard pass to Bernard Berrian set up a 1-yard scoring run by Paris Gaines with 3:34 to go in the period.

Each team missed long field-goal tries early in the second quarter. With 6:03 remaining in the half, Hollowell returned a punt 77 yards for a score, cutting the lead to 14-7.

Fresno countered immediately with an 80-yard scoring drive. Carr completed 5-of-6 passes, including a 21-yarder to Marque Davis with 1:58 left for a 21-7 advantage.

Colorado battled the clock for a touchdown with 56 seconds left in the half. Ochs passed 29 yards to Derek McCoy and 18 yards to Daniel Graham, then scrambled 16 yards on third-and-10. Ochs hit Minardi on an 8-yard scoring pass, but the extra point was blocked.