Fresno State’s four-game winning streak came to a crashing end Saturday with the Bulldogs falling 26-16 to UNLV at Bulldog Stadium.
The Rebels featured a stout defense and a relentless rushing attack which created problems for the ‘Dogs.
“We got outplayed,” head coach Jeff Tedford said. “In the locker room, people are disappointed. There is no doubt about it. We have got to go back to work. Give them credit. They played well and we didn’t.”
Miscues in all three phases of the game cost the ‘Dogs, Tedford said. Two fumbles on special teams and mistakes from both sides of the ball allowed the Rebels to hang in the game. The Rebels beat the ‘Dogs at home for the first time since 1983.
“I would say all three phases [offense, defense and special teams] didn’t play very well,” Tedford said. “That’s what happens when certain things happen in a game, and you can’t get off the field and tackle well. We overthrew balls on third down, and special teams had two critical mistakes when we really needed it. It was a total team loss.”
Freshman running back Jordan Mims had two rushing touchdowns along with 68 rushing yards on the night. However, the ‘Dogs’ offense did not produce in the second half.
The Rebels limited the ‘Dogs’ time on offense, allowing the home team to have only three possessions in the first half and one in the third quarter.
However, the ‘Dogs flashed their conference-leading pedigree with a 78-yard drive that lasted 13 plays to put Fresno State up 6-0 in the first quarter. Kicker Jimmy Camacho missed the extra point attempt.
The ‘Dogs started the drive at their own 22 and capitalized on big plays by junior running back Dejonte O’Neal and quarterback Marcus McMaryion to get into scoring position.
Mims entered the game and took a handoff 13 yards to set up his 3-yard touchdown run two plays later.
McMaryion finished the game with 152 yards passing after he completed 16-for-27 attempts.
“You have to give credit to UNLV. They came in and did their job,” McMaryion said. “They made plays when they needed to make plays, and we didn’t, myself included.”
In terms of effort, McMaryion said the Bulldogs’ approach never changed during the week.
“You can’t overlook any opponent. I’m not saying we were lackadaisical at practice or anything like that. We just have to come in and treat every game like it’s a big game and a big week,” McMaryion said. “We just can’t be shooting ourselves in the foot. That’s the biggest thing.”
Sophomore linebacker Jeffery Allison echoed McMaryion’s assessment after the defensive unit allowed the most points to a Mountain West team in the five conference games so far this season.
Even though it allowed 26 points to the Rebels, the Bulldogs’ defense rank second behind Boise State in points allowed with 60 in the conference
“They wanted it more. They took advantage of every opportunity that we gave them,” Allison said. “You can’t just overlook any team. No matter what their record is, you always have to come out ready to play.”
With a 4-1 conference record, the ‘Dogs are still in first place in the West Division.
However, Tedford said, it’s going to take a lot of work during the week to rebound.
“The only positive will be the corrections that we make and how we approach our mindsets going into next week,” he said.
The team will square off at home against nonconference opponent BYU on Saturday at 7:45 p.m.