BOULDER, Colo. — Outgained 412-287, Fresno State won the battle that counted most.

The Bulldogs had no turnovers compared to Colorado's five, converting three of the miscues into 17 points en route to a 24-22 victory on Sunday night.

For Fresno coach Pat Hill, it was proof that his recent campaign of ambitious scheduling is beginning to pay off.

Hoping to be considered a Top-25 contender, Fresno played Ohio State, UCLA and California a year ago, playing the first two opponents tough and beating Cal.

Having vanquished Colorado, the Bulldogs will meet nationally ranked Oregon State and Wisconsin the next two weeks.

"I think we're at the stage now where our team can play with a lot of people," Hill said.

Wide receiver Bernard Berrian agreed.

"I have friends back home who say, 'You guys aren't going to win these games,' " Berrian said. "Now we're just starting to prove to the nation that we can come out and win these games."

They did it Sunday night behind quarterback David Carr, who passed for one touchdown and ran for another, and cornerback Devon Banks, whose end-zone interception with 3:32 left thwarted 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 Bulldogs' 14 — Colorado's fifth turnover of the game.

"The turnovers obviously killed us," Colorado coach Gary Barnett said. "It's very hard to beat anybody when you have five turnovers."

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

Ochs' forced throw to tight end Daniel Graham that resulted in Banks' interception was critical.

"Craig just tried to force it in, and it wasn't there," Barnett said. "We have a chance to win if he throws it away or tries to run. We just have to throw it away, line up and kick a field goal, and we go up 25-24. But he's a sophomore. This is how you grow as a quarterback."

Ochs, who started the last seven games of his freshman season, said he "committed the cardinal sin. I tried to force the play. When you're in the red zone, you never throw an interception."

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

Barnett was worried about a carryover effect. His team faces in-state rival Colorado State in six days.