Final: Fresno State 49, Toledo 27
Instant analysis: The Bulldogs made a good team look very bad, putting together six touchdowns in a span of seven series while their defense was dismantling a Rockets’ offense that came in averaging 51.0 points per game.
Quarterback Marcus McMaryion hit 24 of 31 passes for a career-high 368 yards with four touchdowns. He finished with a passing efficiency rating of 213.3.
“Marcus was spot on,” Bulldogs coach Jeff Tedford said. “I thought he was very efficient tonight, especially with some balls down field. He managed the game really, really well. And he was very accurate.”
The Bulldogs’ quarterback accounted for five touchdowns for a second game in a row, having rushed for four scores and passed for a fifth in a 38-14 victory at UCLA before thee Bulldogs’ bye week.
The offense was only half the equation. The Fresno State defense scuttled the Rockets offense until it put together two late scores after the Bulldogs took some of its starters off the field.
The Bulldogs had only 3.0 sacks and 11.0 tackles for loss in their first three games, but had 5.0 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss against Toledo and produced a score, a 38-yard interception return by defensive end Mykal Walker.
Walker also had one sack and 2.5 tackles for loss. Will linebacker George Helmuth led Fresno State with two sacks.
George Helmuth just had a sack to force Toledo to settle for a field goal – it missed. That was the Bulldogs’ fifth sack of the game and their ninth tackle for loss. They came in with three sacks and 11 tackles for loss this season.
Another score, and a 49-13 lead
Marcus McMaryion capped a 74-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run and the Bulldogs lead is now 49-13. There is 2:48 to go in the third quarter.
Running back Ronnie Rivers just got his first carry of the season, picking up six yards. The Bulldogs are starting to rush the football in the second half, picking up 68 yards on their first nine rushing plays.
In the first half, Fresno State averaged just 3.8 yards per rush.
Just a reminder
Toledo came into this game averaging 465.7 yards and 51.0 points per game. With 7:07 remaining in the third quarter, the Rockets have 204 yards and 13 points.
The Bulldogs are turning this into a rout. Defensive end Mykal Walker just picked off a pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown and a 42-13 lead.
Toledo is playing its backup quarterback, Eli Peters. Starter Mitchell Guadragni missed a late in the first half after taking a big shot from linebacker Jeff Allison at the end of a short run.
Mims moving up
Running back Jordan Mims has six receptions for 126 yards, the most receiving yards for a Fresno State running back since 1960 when Dale Messer had 172 against Cal Poly.
Tonight’s attendance …
The attendance is 33,401.
Not exactly a great figure. But then consider this: When Fresno State beat Boise State 28-17 in a regular-season finale at Bulldog Stadium, that big matchup drew just 31,526.
So Saturday still was a slight improvement from last season.
McMaryion now has 350 yards, a career high. He had four touchdown passes last season in a 31-21 victory at Hawaii.
That passing efficiency rating is up to 240.8
McMaryion throws fourth TD pass
Fresno State has extended its lead to 35-13 with a 12-yard touchdown pass from McMaryion to KeeSean Johnson with 12:06 to go in the third quarter.
QB play, in context
Marcus McMaryion in the first half completed 19 of 23 passes for a season-high 286 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
His passing efficiency rating is 221.4, and if that holds the senior from Dinuba will have one of the top quarterback performances at Fresno State over the past decade. Here are the Bulldogs’ top five single-game passing efficiency ratings since 2009.
255.11 – with Derek Carr in 2012 vs. Air Force
237.29 – with Derek Carr in 2013 vs. New Mexico
228.17 – with Derek Carr in 2012 vs. Colorado
208.76 –with McMaryion in 2017 vs. New Mexico
219.65 – with Derek Carr in 2011 vs. North Dakota
On the Bulldogs’ first play following a Toledo punt, McMaryion hit Jordan Mims with a 47-yard touchdown pass to give Fresno State a 28-13 lead with 2:26 remaining in the first half.
McMaryion has passed for 258 yards already – his season high is 270 set in the victory at UCLA.
Fresno State extends lead
Fresno State turned another big play into another short touchdown and a 21-13 lead with 4:24 to go in the first half.
McMaryion hit tight end Kyle Riddering with a 2-yard touchdown.
The score was set up by a 36-yard pass play to Jamire Jordan.
The touchdown was the second in as many games for Riddering, a senior from Clovis North. McMaryion is now 15 of 18 for 211 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. His passing efficiency rating is 207.4.
Bulldogs back on top
Fresno State is back ahead, taking a 14-13 lead on a 7-yard pass from McMaryion to KeeSean Johnson with 8:33 to go in the half.
The TD was set up by a 55-yard pass play from McMaryion to running back Jordan Mims on a 3rd-and-7 play.
McMaryion is 12 of 15 for 163 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Fresno State had Quireo Woodley in at left guard on that last series. Nick Abbs is back out there as the Bulldogs start 1st-and-10 from the 25, down 13-7 ...
Bulldogs turn it over
Fresno State was moving the ball, picking up 24 yards on a screen from McMaryion to KeeSean Johnson. But the Bulldogs turned it over when McMaryion had his arm hit while attempting to throw a pass and the ball popped into the air, where it was intercepted by Jamal Hines.
Toledo has the ball at the Fresno State 29, 2nd-and-11 …
The Bulldogs held them there on a 3rd-and-8. Toledo kicked a 43-yard field goal to take a 13-7 lead.
Jameson Vest kicked a 46-yard field goal with 13:08 remaining in the second quarter to give Toledo a 10-7 lead. The Rockets drove 69 yards in nine plays to set up the go-ahead score.
The Big 4-0
On the Bulldogs’ opening possession, KeeSean Johnson caught a 5-yard pass from McMaryion, extending his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 40. That is the longest active streak in the nation.
The receiver in second place on that list also extended his streak – the Rockets Cody Thompson had a 28-yard reception on their touchdown drive and has now caught a pass in 34 games in a row.
Toledo answers Fresno State score
Toledo answered the Bulldogs’ touchdown with a 75-yard drive of its own, the score coming on a 19-yard pass from Guadagni to Shakif Seymour. With 4:59 to go in the first quarter, the score is tied at 7.
Mims gives ‘Dogs a lead
Marcus McMaryion just drove the Bulldogs 75 yards in 12 plays, scoring on a 4-yard run by Jordan Mims. Fresno State leads 7-0. McMaryion was 7 of 7 for 58 yards on the drive.
Long lines still an issue
Fresno State added lanes at the entry gates to Bulldog Stadium after there were long lines at the opener against Idaho. Appartently, it still is an issue.
Three and out to start …
Thee Fresno State defense forced a three-and-out to start, chasing quarterback Mitchell Guadagni from the pocket on a 3rd-and-7 with a three-man rush. Ronnie Rivers is in the game fielded the punt – fair catch.
Rivers ready to roll?
Running back Ronnie Rivers, who has been working his way back from a foot injury suffered in the spring, is going through pre-game warm ups.
If or how much he will play against the Rockets is to be determined, but Rivers went through the week of practice without incident.
The Bulldogs have been playing a three-man rotation at running back with Jordan Mims averaging 13.3 carries per game, Josh Hokit at 7.7 and Dejonte O’Neal at 5.0.
They have played two Power Five opponents in Minnesota and UCLA, averaging just 3.1 yards per rushing play. Add in a 79-13 victory over FCS Idaho in their season opener and the Bulldogs are averaging 4.0 yards per play, which is just ninth in the Mountain West.
Rivers last season started the first three and five of the first six games when a true freshman, and was the Bulldogs’ leading rusher and 10th in the conference when he suffered an elbow injury in a 38-0 victory over New Mexico.
He had carried the ball 59 times for 305 yards, averaging 5.2 yards per play with four rushing touchdowns, and also was third on the team with 10 receptions for 67 yards
Fresno State during a timeout in the first quarter will honor its first 10-win team, which ripped Bowling Green 36-6 in the 1961 Mercy Bowl.
There will be 11 former players, one coach, one ball boy and three wives of former players representing the team. In attendance will be end Gerald Houser, quarterback Tom Sommers, coach Bob Van Galder, tackle Monte Day, end Jay Buckert, halfback Ron Itskoff, center Gary Taylor, quarterback Beau Carter, fullback Nick Masich, quarterback Dan Stockton, halfback Jim Sanderson and fullback George Ward. Also ball boy Steve Fujisaka, Demi Mehas (wife of Pete Mehas), Jeanne Kendrick (wife of Bill Kendrick) and Nancy Seifert (wife of Bruce).