Colorado didn't want to waste any time in establishing its dominance over Fresno State in the Aloha Bowl, and it didn't.

In typical Big Eight Conference in-your-face fashion, the Buffaloes forced four fumbles and turned them into scores and Rashaan Salaam scored three touchdowns in their 41-30 victory on Saturday."In the first quarter we showed how excited we were to be playing and we and took control of the game. The offensive line played well and opened the holes like it did all year," said Salaam, who finished with 135 yards on 23 carries.

Fresno State quarterback Trent Dilfer didn't talk much about his 523 passing yards. He was preoccupied with the four lost fumbles that led to 24 Colorado points.

"We made a lot of mistakes in the first half, dumb mistakes. Not getting plays in on time, me not calling them right in the huddle and the turnovers," Dilfer said. "We don't turn the ball over. This football team hasn't turned the ball over all year. You can't win a football game with that many turnovers."

Dilfer, who completed 37-of-63 passes, with one interception that ended a string of 318 passes without being picked off, fumbled on his team's first possession. Colorado's Chris Hudson recovered and Salaam scored on a 2-yard run with 9:04 left in the period.

Colorado (8-3-1) extended its lead in the second quarter to 20-3 on a 7-yard run by James Hill and a 49-yard field goal by Mitch Berger, his second of the game.

Both followed Fresno State turnovers: the first when David Dunn dropped a pass and Hudson made his second recovery, the second when Dilfer fumbled and Dalton Simmons recovered at the Fresno State 30.

With one second left in the half, Jamie Christian tried to lateral a kick return but fumbled the pitch to Malcom Seabron, who picked the ball up on the first bounce and raced down the sideline 68 yards for a score that made it 20-10 at halftime.

"The first half was definitely frustrating offensively," Dilfer said. "Whatever we were doing, we were doing it wrong. It was ugly."

The teams traded two touchdowns each in the third quarter. Salaam scored on a 40-yard run and defensive back Donnell Leomiti returned a fumbled reception by Lee Harris 28 yards to put Colorado up 34-16.

Anthony Daigle scored from a yard out and Dilfer passed to Tydus Winans for an 8-yard score to pull Fresno State (8-4) within 34-24 entering the fourth quarter.

Salaam completed the Buffaloes' scoring with a 4-yard run and Dilfer hit Winans from 11 yards.

"A game like this takes a lot of stamina and we were still coming on hard at the end of the game," Colorado coach Bill McCartney said. "I thought we controlled the game on the line and were able to dictate our strategy. Stopping the run was a big priority for us and it shows."

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Fresno State was held to 3 net rushing yards. Even if Dilfer's 49 yards in losses are discounted, the Bulldogs only rushed 25 times for 79 yards.

"You can't get in the end zone when you can't run effectively," Dilfer said.

Fresno State coach Jim Sweeney, whose team plays most of its games on grass, said the turnovers on the artificial surface of Aloha Stadium were critical.

"I thought the ground caused some of the fumbles," he said. "When you play on artificial turf, officials need to get right up on the spot because the turf can knock the ball loose," Sweeney said.

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