Defeating Wyoming 42-14 on Oct. 20, redshirt freshman Davante Adams led all players in receiving statistics. Against New Mexico, Adams had another big game collecting nine receptions for 198 yards and two toucdowns.
Roe Borunda / The Collegian
After falling behind early in the first quarter 21-0, Fresno State used momentum it found in the second to push the ’Dogs to victory against New Mexico on Saturday.
Scoring 21 straight points in the third quarter, Fresno State was able to shut down the Lobos’ offense. The Bulldogs found their rhythm in the passing game and devastated New Mexico’s defense with their high-octane offensive schemes.
“We knew that if we could get back in it and play the way our guys can play, we were going to be okay,” head coach Tim DeRuyter said.
The Lobos seemed to be in control at the beginning of the game when they were able to have their option running attack clicking on all cylinders. On New Mexico’s first and third possessions, it was able to rush for touchdowns.
Lobos running back Kasey Carrier was able to find multiple holes in the ’Dogs defense, gashing it for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Then at the beginning of the second quarter, Carrier was able to scurry through Fresno State’s defense by rushing for a 30-yard score.
“You try to simulate the triple as well as you can during the week, but obviously they executed offensively better than our scout team does,” DeRuyter said. “And it took us a while to figure it out and adjust to it. After they did that, I thought we defended the option pretty well.”
The Bulldogs were able to close the scoring gap to 21-14 on two passing touchdowns late in the first half. Quarterback Derek Carr was able to hit wide receiver Victor Dean for a 7-yard score. With three minutes left in the second quarter, Carr connected with receiver Davante Adams for another 7-yard passing touchdown.
“Once we started figuring out what they were doing, coach Schramm did a great job play-calling,” Carr said. “He was calling some plays that were kind of perfect for what they were bringing and he did a great job.”
Coming out of halftime, the ’Dogs were able to pounce on New Mexico for 21 quick points. Sparked by Adams’ spectacular performance of nine receptions for 198 yards and two touchdowns, Fresno State’s passing offense exploded for 221 yards in the second half.
“Once you have a big play either on offense or defense, that got us going,” Adams said. “We knew that we had play-makers on our team, on both sides of the ball and special teams. So we weren’t worried about it once we snapped out of it and played Bulldog ball.”
Running back Robbie Rouse also had a strong game as he contributed to the Bulldogs’ offense by gaining 120 rushing yards on 18 carries and one touchdown.
After Carr connected with Adams for an 89-yard touchdown, Fresno State forced the Lobos into a three and out possession.
The Bulldogs then struck again on a Rouse 1-yard plunge into the end zone midway through the third quarter to put Fresno State up 35-24.
“We still picked it up and got the stop. We got the score and that was the end,” Rouse said.
Starting the fourth quarter, the ’Dogs scored on another rushing play. After Carr passed to tight end Marcel Jensen for 19 yards, tight end Greg Watson scampered on first and goal for a 3-yard score. This put Fresno State up 42-24 and punctuated the Bulldogs scoring frenzy that started at the beginning of the second half.
“Offensively, we had some matchups that we took advantage of in the throwing game. And then once we did that, they had to try to help guys on the perimeter, our running game opened up,” DeRuyter said.
In addition to Fresno State’s offensive production, the ’Dogs defense was equally strong. New Mexico’s option running attack was held to 81 rushing yards and zero touchdowns in the second half. The Lobos rushed for only 11 yards in the third quarter after gaining 268 yards in the first half.
“We knew we could stop them. We knew if we played our assignment, we weren’t going to let them get any yards or score again. We were just fired up,” nose guard Tyeler Jensen said.
New Mexico was able to score on a late passing touchdown toward the end of the game. The Lobos’ backup quarterback Quinton McCown passed to wide receiver Lamaar Thomas for a 19-yard score, closing the gap to 42-35.
Senior wide receiver Victor Dean was able to have another strong performance for the second week in a row as he accumulated 88 yards on seven receptions and one touchdown.
Carr also had a solid game by passing for 416 yards on 31 completions and four touchdowns. It was his second 400-yard passing game of the year, which ties the Mountain West record for the most in a year.
The Bulldogs come home next weekend for their second-to-final home game of the season. Being an earlier than usual start (kickoff sis at 4p.m.), Fresno States looks to continue its momentum at home against the Warriors of Hawaii.
“We take confidence and the confidence we have in each other from this game,” Rouse said. “And for us to come out and score how did, we didn’t get the start we wanted, but we finished definitely how we wanted and it just felt good.”