Hawaii runs to lead, hangs on to upset Fresno State on OT field goal

FRESNO, Calif. -- Fresno State somehow managed to overcome six turnovers and a 17-point deficit to take Hawaii into overtime. Another shaky kicking performance proved too much for the Bulldogs to overcome.

Hawaii took advantage of a mistake-filled performance by No. 22 Fresno State to earn its first road win over a ranked team when Dan Kelly connected on his career-high fourth field goal to give the Warriors a 32-29 overtime victory Saturday night.

Kelly's winner from 33 yards for Hawaii (2-3, 1-1 WAC) came after he had a potential go-ahead kick blocked in the closing minutes.

"I think all kickers should have a rule that outlaws thinking because thinking is the worst thing that a kicker can do," Kelly said. "If you're playing Division I football, you have the ability. You need to rely on that ability and just kick the ball."

That's a lesson that Fresno State freshman Kevin Goessling better learn soon. After missing three field goals in a 13-10 home loss to Wisconsin last month, Goessling had a chance to give a win to the Bulldogs (3-2, 0-1). But his 36-yarder was blocked by Antwan Mahaley at the end of regulation and his night only got worse in overtime.

On the first possession, Goessling missed wide left from 40 yards out only to get another chance when Calvin Roberts was called for running into the kicker. Goessling was wide to the right this time from 35 yards, setting the stage for Kelly's winning kick.

"My heart goes out to the Fresno kicker," Kelly said. "That kid has loads and loads of talent. That kid has loads and loads of potential. I hope he keeps his head up because that kid has a cannon on his leg."

Inoke Funaki threw two touchdown passes and Ryan Mouton returned a kick 90 yards for a score for Hawaii, which broke out to a 26-9 lead before sneaking out with its first victory of the season against an FBS team. The Warriors' only previous win came against Weber State of the lower-division FCS.

Tom Brandstater threw three interceptions and had one of Fresno State's three lost fumbles. The six turnovers were the most in a game for the Bulldogs since losing the ball six times at Ohio State on Sept. 2, 2000, and two more than Fresno State had committed in its four games combined.

The turnovers spoiled a strong running performance for the Bulldogs, who excelled on the ground despite missing injured starter Ryan Mathews. Lonyae Miller ran for 161 yards and two touchdowns and Anthony Harding gained 157 yards and scored the tying touchdown in the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs.

"This is as tough a loss I've had since I've been here," said Pat Hill, in his 12th season as Bulldogs head coach. "This wasn't a loss where we lacked effort. We had plenty of effort out there tonight. We just didn't take care of the ball and didn't take care of the opportunities when we had them."

Funaki, making his third career start, was 17-for-25 for 170 yards and the two scores, while also running for 79 yards. His 2-yard pass to Michael Washington after Brandstater's third interception early in the third quarter made it 26-9.

Miller went 80 yards for a score on the next play from scrimmage to begin the comeback for Fresno State. Harding's 1-yard run midway through the fourth quarter tied the game.

The Warriors entered the game with the second worst turnover margin in the country, giving the ball away 17 times while taking it back just twice. They turned that statistic around against the Bulldogs, recording a plus-five margin in the game.

In fact, the only Hawaii turnover -- a fumble by Washington in the third quarter -- was immediately followed by a fumble by Miller that gave the Warriors the ball right back.

"Like I always said, turnovers come in bundles," coach Greg McMackin said. "I knew they were going to come because we have playmakers. We worked really hard this last week. Fresno is a great football team, they don't turn the ball over much. But we were very fortunate to put some pressure on and get some turnovers.

Little went right in the first half for the Bulldogs after going 82 yards on their opening drive for a 24-yard field goal by Goessling.

Mouton answered with his second career kickoff return touchdown and Fresno State then turned the ball over on its next three possessions, fumbling the kickoff, a snap from center and throwing an interception.

Hawaii scored off each of those miscues, getting a pair of field goals by Kelly and a 28-yard TD pass to Malcolm Lane to take a 19-3 lead.

"It was a real sloppy night for us," Miller said. "We have a lot to do to polish up our mistakes."