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Cal Poly Falls To Fresno State 41-25

Senior wide receiver Isaiah Burse returned two punts for touchdowns and also caught a scoring pass as Fresno State defeated No. 10 Cal Poly 41-25 in a non-conference football game Saturday night in Bulldog Stadium.

In just the second meeting between the Central California rivals since the mid-1980s, Fresno State amassed 370 yards in total offense to improve to 2-0 on the year. Cal Poly, held to just two first downs and 44 total yards in the first half before rallying in the second half behind backup quarterback Chris Brown, fell to 1-1.

Burse returned a Paul Hundley punt 61 yards late in the first quarter for his first touchdown. It was the first punt return for a touchdown by an opponent in Tim Walsh’s five years as head coach at Cal Poly.

Burse gave Fresno State a 17-0 lead 28 seconds into the second quarter by catching a 15-yard pass from senior quarterback Derek Carr.

Just 30 seconds before halftime, Burse returned another Hundley punt 58 yards for his third touchdown of the game and a 34-0 Bulldog lead at the break.

Carr completed 22 of 31 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns, one week after connecting on 52 of 73 passes for 456 yards and five scores in an overtime win over Rutgers.

After a lethargic first half offensively, Cal Poly erupted for 372 yards and 25 points after the intermission.

Senior Bobby Zalud‘s 41-yard field goal less than two minutes into the third quarter put the Mustangs on the scoreboard, capping a 56-yard, five-play drive highlighted by Kristaan Ivory‘s 52-yard run around left end.

Twelve minutes later, Brown hit Willie Tucker with a seven-yard touchdown pass, trimming Fresno State’s lead to 41-10. Brown replaced Mustang starting signal caller Vince Moraga, who suffered a knee injury on the previous Cal Poly drive.

The Mustangs added another score two minutes into the final period on a quick 70-yard, four-play drive. Brown hit Tucker with a 50-yard pass to set up his own 22-yard touchdown run.

An 85-yard, seven-play drive was capped by a one-yard Brown run to account for the final Mustang points. Brown hit Tucker on a 39-yard pass and Cole Stanford on a 29-yarder while Ivory ran 20 yards to set up the touchdown.

Brown was nine of 15 for 184 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 39 yards and two more scores. Before he was injured, Moraga connected on six of 12 passes for 60 yards.

Ivory finished with 97 yards on 20 carries. Tucker was Cal Poly’s top receiver with five catches for 126 yards. Freshman Cam Akins caught three passes.

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