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Bulldogs’ Mountain West title hopes are over after loss to New Mexico

Fresno+State+quarterback+Logan+Fife+throws+the+ball+against+New+Mexico+State+on+Nov.+19.+
Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian
Fresno State quarterback Logan Fife throws the ball against New Mexico State on Nov. 19.

A night that was supposed to be filled with celebration for Fresno State ended up as a colossal disappointment for the ‘Dogs. 

With Air Force losing to UNLV earlier in the day, all Fresno State had to do to make the Mountain West championship was win its last two games against the two last teams in the conference, New Mexico and San Diego State. 

That did not happen. 

Fresno State lost 25-17 to New Mexico at Valley Children’s Stadium on senior night, on Nov. 19. 

The ’Dogs entered the game as 23.5 point favorites. 

Fresno State also recognized former baseball head coach Mike Batesole and MLB superstar Aaron Judge.

Coming into the game the ‘Dogs had won nine-straighNo19.t home games, dating back to the start of the 2022 season.

Head Coach Jeff Tedford expressed how he felt for his seniors and the fans. 

“I apologize to the fans, I’ve never seen us play this bad,” Tedford said. 

Backup quarterback Logan Fife started the game and completed 9-of-16 of his passes for 125 yards. 

In the fourth quarter, Mikey Keene replaced Fife and went 8-of-13 for 58 yards. 

Despite getting replaced, Tedford said Fife doesn’t deserve the blame.

“Logan’s a competitor. It’s a team effort,” he said. 

For the second straight year, Fresno State’s defense allowed a 200-yard rusher. New Mexico running back Jacory Croskey-Merritt totaled 204 yards on the ground. 

While coming onto the field, Croskey-Merritt yelled toward the Fresno State student section, “Y’all will remember my name at the end of the night.”

In New Mexico’s first drive of the match, Dylan Hopkins made a 46 yard pass to Caleb Medford for a first down. Fresno State was able to stop them at the 20-yard line, forcing New Mexico to attempt a 38 yard field goal. New Mexico’s kicker Luke Drzewiecki made it, putting the score at 3-0. 

Fresno State answered with a touchdown in its drive after Fife ran into the endzone on third and one. Kicker Dylan Lynch made the field goal and made the score 3-7. In that same drive, Rush made a 53 yard pass to wide receiver Jalen Moss. 

Both teams went back and forth with possession at the end of the quarter and ultimately ended after a personal foul on third and 10 from one of New Mexico’s players during their drive. The first quarter ended at 3-7. 

In the second quarter, Fife made a deep pass to Mac Delana, who made the catch and got the first down. Malik Sherrod was able to rush up the middle on second and three, scoring the touchdown. Lynch added to the board by completing the field  14-3. 

With six minutes left in the second quarter, New Mexico secured 3 more points after a 38 yard field goal from New Mexico’s kicker, Drzewiecki, and made the score 14-6. 

In their next drive, New Mexico’s running back Croskey-Merritt rushed into the endzone after a 50yard rush. They then went for a two-point conversion, but it was incomplete as Fresno State’s defense was able to deny the pass. 

The quarter ended with New Mexico in possession at third and 10, with the score at 14-12.

A few minutes into the third quarter, during New Mexico’s drive, Fresno State’s Levelle Bailey intercepted the ball at the 45-yard line, but ultimately ended up fumbling at the 14-yard line. 

 The Bulldogs made another interception, this time from Dean Clark, and were able to keep the possession. New Mexico’s defense stopped them on third and 10. Fresno State punted the ball and downed that ball at the 7-yard line. 

The Lobos were able to take the ball all the way up the field after a few key plays, including a 24-yard rush from Croskey-Merritt and a 22-yard rush from Andrew Henry. At the Bulldogs’ 10-yard line, Croskey-Merritt made another rush into the endzone for a touchdown. New Mexico went for another two-point conversion but failed again, putting the score at 18-14.

Fresno State was unable to take advantage of its last drive of the third quarter, and it ended at 18-14. 

New Mexico started the fourth quarter strong.After a field goal, the score was 25-14. 

Lynch made a 44 yard field goal with two minutes left to make it 25-17. That would be the last score of the game. 

With the loss, Fresno State falls to 8-3 overall and 4-3 in the Mountain West. 

The ‘Dogs will head to San Diego State to conclude their regular season on Nov. 25. 

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