Fresno State Uses Defense, Special Teams To Win Conference Title

Fresno State Uses Defense, Special Teams To Win Conference Title

Fresno State Uses Defense, Special Teams To Win Conference Title

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Fresno State Uses Defense, Special Teams To Win Conference Title


Fresno State wins 28-16 over Boise State


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The second and fourth quarters were key

Boise State and Fresno State entered the Mountain West title game averaging 30.9 and 30.2 points per game but it was the defense that led the way for the Bulldogs’ 28-16 win over the Broncos.

This Fresno State win was their first conference title since they beat Boise State in 2018 also on the blue turf and this is the Bulldogs’ fourth title since 2012 and third outright.

This game was won by defense and special teams. Neither offense found their groove. That is not to say there were not big plays like three Fresno State passing plays that went for 20, 22, and 32, or Boise State wide receiver Davis Koetter’s 52-yard touchdown reception that was too little too late for the Broncos.

Fresno State’s Jordan Mimms had a solid game on the ground with a solid 83 yards and two scores, but he had to earn it all with just a 3.3 yard per carry.

His second-half

performance was the difference with 52 yards and a score, but the final points of the game was the killer. Mimms rushed the ball on each of the six plays for 34 yards.

Defenses Shined

During our preview podcast, it was said that Boise State Taylen Green couldn’t win this game if he were forced to throw a lot. That ended up being the case as Green threw the ball a career-high 38 times and completed just 17 passes.

He had a pair of picks and his one touchdown came way too late in this game. Green also had his lowest completion percentage at 44.7%.

Jake Haener wasn’t much better with 184 yards and just one touchdown.

There were multiple times in this game in which the secondary made big plays. One play that possibly could have changed the game was when Broncos JL Skinner broke up a pass and would have had a pick-six but it was just a pass deflection.

The big defensive player ended up being Bulldogs safety Cam Lockridge who picked off Green twice and both led to Fresno State touchdowns and took home some hardwood, to boot.

Special Teams Strike Again

Kicking field goals by either team would do them in and that is exactly what Boise State did in this game. They kicked three field goals and the worst one was after they forced Fresno State into -17 yards on the drive and got the ball at their own 49-yard line.

Boise State then proceed to get a few first downs but then the drive stalled and they kicked a field goal.

The Broncos woes were not just in the offense stalling and kicking field goals but they allowed for Fresno State’s Nikko Remigio to return a punt 70 yards. That snowballed as the Broncos then had an interception on the next drive that led to another Bulldog score.

One questionable play that hurt the Broncos was a roughing the kicker call on a punt. Fresno State was leading 14-9 in the third quarter and it was 4th and 15. Jaylen Clark went for the block and rolled into the kicker and there was a delayed flag. It seemed not enough for roughing — at least to these untrained officiating eyes — but rather running into the kicker.

The 15-yard penalty and automatic first down was huge because had it been the 5-yard penalty, Fresno State would have kicked the ball again. The Bulldogs took advantage of that call and proceeded to go up 21-9.

The main story from special teams is to not kick field goals for Boise State. The Bulldog’s offense was going to break through eventually and it sort of did. The final drive of the game is when that offense turned it on and it was all on the ground.

Up next for both teams is their name to be called for bowl destinations. Fresno State is going to the Jimmy Kimmel Bowl and Boise State’s post-season game is still to be determined.


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