Toledo vs. Fresno State Recap: Bulldogs Light Up Rockets in 49-27 Win
The Fresno State Bulldogs seized control in the second quarter and cruised against the Toledo Rockets.
The Bulldogs coasted in their non-conference finale.
FRESNO, Calif — Early in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game against the Toledo Rockets, the Fresno State Bulldogs faced a critical situation. Marcus McMaryion had just been hit in preparing to throw and coughed up an interception, leaving the Rockets with a short field after two lengthy drives had given the visitors a 10-7 lead.
It looked like Toledo was about to enforce their will, but the defense stiffened, holding Toledo to a second field goal. Then, the offense roared to life, changing the tenor of the game for good as the Bulldogs rolled to three straight touchdown drives. They took a 28-13 lead into halftime and never let up, ripping off 42 unanswered points in a 49-27 win, for an energetic crowd of 33,401.
Aside from the aberrant INT, McMaryion looked masterful under center. He completed his first eight passes en route to finishing 24-of-31 for 368 yards and four touchdowns. He added another rushing touchdown for good measure, too, and enabled the offense to lead with the pass and exploit a shaky Toledo defense again and again, collecting seven passing plays of over 15 yards.
He was hardly alone, however, in the offensive onslaught. Jordan Mims finished with 185 yards of total offense, though he surprised by doing most of his damage through the air with 126 receiving yards, including big plays of 55 yards and 47 yards, the latter of which was an all-too-easy touchdown. He scored twice, one each through the air and on the ground, as did wide receiver Keesean Johnson, who had 102 yards on six catches.
The vaunted Toledo offense, meanwhile, sputtered after its strong start. The Rockets were outgained 557-375 in total offense (which includes a staggering 500-199 advantage for Fresno State through the first three quarters) and had just two touchdowns in five trips inside the Fresno State 40, a dramatic turnaround for an attack that had come into the night ranked 6th nationally in that regard.
Mitchell Guadagni, who was briefly knocked out of the game in the second quarter and missed the second half after absorbing a hard hit by linebacker James Bailey, finished 6-of-10 for 59 yards through the air and led the Rockets with 55 rushing yards, as well, accounting for one touchdown. Backup quarterback Eli Peters was 10-of-21 for 179 yards, including two garbage-time touchdowns to Jon’Vea Johnson, while the running back tandem of Shakif Seymour and Bryant Koback was held to 53 combined rushing yards.
Jon’Vea Johnson also led Toledo with 112 receiving yards on six catches.
Fresno State racked up five sacks and nine tackles for loss on defense. Linebacker George Helmuth led the way with two sacks, but defensive end Mykal Walker, in particular, had himself a game to remember with a sack, 2.5 TFLs and a heady pick-six in the third quarter.
In all, it was a dominant performance by one of the Mountain West’s preseason contenders.
Fresno State (3-1) will hit the road to face Nevada and open Mountain West play, while Toledo (2-2) will head home to host Bowling Green in their first MAC game of 2018.