Fresno State Football

Still reliving beating Boise State? So is this Bulldog, who says final play was a surprise

Bulldogs’ Ronnie Rivers on title run: ‘That’s the play?’

The Fresno State Bulldogs college football team clinched its Mountain West title with a 1-yard touchdown run in overtime to win 16-13 at Boise State last December. The play call came as a bit of a surprise, running back Ronnie Rivers said.
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The Fresno State Bulldogs college football team clinched its Mountain West title with a 1-yard touchdown run in overtime to win 16-13 at Boise State last December. The play call came as a bit of a surprise, running back Ronnie Rivers said.

Go 12-2, win a Mountain West Conference championship and a bowl game and there are going to be some plays that stand out, even months later at the kickoff to a new season.

On Tuesday at the Mountain West media days, Fresno State running back Ronnie Rivers recalled his signature moment of 2018, in overtime in the conference championship game at Boise State. It wasn’t what Rivers and his teammates were expecting.

The Bulldogs had a third-and-goal from the Boise State 1 and the blue turf was covered in snow. Boise State kicked a field goal on its possession to start the overtime, meaning Fresno State could win it with a touchdown.

Fresno State called a timeout to get out of one play and into another.

“When they gave us the final play call everybody was like, ‘That’s the play? That’s what you guys want to run?’” Rivers said Tuesday. “’We haven’t even repped it that much in practice.“

The play, an option with quarterback Marcus McMaryion pitching the football to Rivers when the Boise State defensive end crashed hard, worked perfectly.

Rivers slipped a tackle and raced into the end zone, the Bulldogs winning 19-16 and avenging their only loss during conference play.

One thing Bulldogs fans might expect – Rivers, who this season is on the watch list for the Doak Walker Award, has watched that play and that game. A lot.

“I’ve seen it probably … maybe 50 to 100 times,” he said. “I’ve watched the full game probably at least 10 to 15. It never gets old watching those type of games and remembering the feelings of those experiences.”

Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion ran an option pitch to running back Ronnie Rivers for the game-winning, 1-yard touchdown run as the Bulldogs beat Boise State 19-16 in overtime and captured the Mountain West championship.

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