AP NEWS

McMaryion leads Fresno State past New Mexico 38-7

October 21, 2018
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Fresno State wide receiver KeeSean Johnson (3) pulls in a touchdown catch during the first half of an NCAA college football game against New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Marcus McMaryion threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns and the Fresno State defense stifled New Mexico in winning 38-7 on Saturday night.

KeeSean Johnson grabbed eight catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns for Fresno State (6-1, 3-0 Mountain West). Ronnie Rivers added two scoring runs as the Bulldogs their fifth straight.

“I thought he was efficient in what he did and got the ball to the players that were open,” Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford said of McMaryion. “He did a good job of putting the whole offense in a position to be successful because that’s his job.”

The Lobos (3-4, 1-2) managed only 280 yards and 19 first downs. It was New Mexico’s lowest scoring game of the season, and second-lowest offensive output behind 211 yards against Wisconsin.

Not only did the Lobos struggle offensively, but they couldn’t get out of their own way, committing nine penalties for 125 yards, including eight personal fouls.

“When you play a team like that, obviously, there’s not much room for error,” said New Mexico coach Bob Davie. “And we had a lot of error. Some crazy things, penalties. Different kinds of penalties.”

Trailing 17-0 late in the second quarter, New Mexico showed its only offensive spark, going 71 yards in seven plays for its only touchdown.

But the Bulldogs immediately responded with a three-play, 75-yard TD drive in 25 seconds in the final minute of the half, with McMaryion hitting Johnson for a 34-yard score. Two of New Mexico’s 15-yard penalties came on one play, aiding the drive.

“That was big, right there,” Tedford said. “It was aided by a 30-yard penalty, a facemask and a personal foul. But after that, we caught them in the right coverage. Marcus made a good read and KeeSean had a great double move and put it on them. It was great to score right before going in at halftime.”

Fresno State opened the second half with consecutive touchdown drives to put the game out of reach.

TURNOVER TIME

Fresno State has intercepted at least one pass in five straight games, and when Mike Bell snared a second-quarter pick, it was his third straight game with an interception.

“He made a great play on that,” Tedford said of Bell’s interception. “That comes from preparation during the week and knowing what routes they’re going to run. I thought he read that really, really well and drove on it well. Defensive coaches are doing a nice job of putting them in the right position and coaching them up during the week on what to expect.”

QUOTABLE

“The lack of true polish on offense hurt at times and our inability to really ever stop them hurt,” Davie said. “We never felt like we were going to stop them. Pretty much a disappointing night.”

THE TAKEAWAY

The win makes the Bulldogs bowl eligible and keeps them atop the conference’s West Division.

New Mexico has lost three of four games and still faces the strongest part of the schedule with Utah State, San Diego State and Boise State remaining. The Lobos could miss a bowl for the second straight season after reaching two in row prior.

UP NEXT

Fresno State plays host to Hawai’i (6-2, 3-0) Oct. 27 in a big conference showdown. The Bulldogs have won six of the last seven meetings between the teams.

The Lobos next play at Utah State (6-1, 3-0), which enters the game rolling on a six-game winning streak.

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Fresno State wide receiver KeeSean Johnson (3) pulls in a touchdown catch during the first half of an NCAA college football game against New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)