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New Mexico (3-7) at (15) Fresno State (9-0)



Saturday, November 23, 4 p.m. (et)

From The Sports Network

By Gregg Xenakes, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: One of six remaining undefeated teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the 15th-ranked Fresno State Bulldogs try to keep hope alive for a spot in the BCS as they host the New Mexico Lobos in Mountain West Conference action this weekend.

The Bulldogs, all alone atop the West Division of the MWC standings with an unblemished 6-0 mark, are coming off a bye week which followed a 48-10 romp over Wyoming in Laramie on Nov. 9.

In the all-important BCS rankings, Fresno State settles in at No. 14 this week, the highest placement of any program outside of the power conferences. More importantly, the Bulldogs are still ahead of undefeated Northern Illinois which is the only other squad that can disrupt the BCS.

As for the Lobos, they've been unable to produce a sustained effort from week to week. Granted, the team has been putting up solid offensive numbers for the most part, but last week it was crushed by Colorado State in the home finale, 66-42. The defeat was the fourth in the last five games for a Lobos group that is 1-5 in league play and fifth in the Mountain Division standings.

FSU pounced on the Lobos last season, 49-32, which means the all-time series now stands at 9-4 in favor of the Bulldogs.

The Lobos were lit up by Colorado State last week, more specifically, running back Kapri Bibbs who blitzed the UNM defense for a staggering 291 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. As a group, the Rams delivered 649 yards versus a battered squad that just could not keep up.

"Defensively, I feel for our guys," said UNM head coach Bob Davie after the game. "I appreciate the effort on defense. People may certainly have the right to be cynical when I say that and they certainly can. I understand that, when you give up 66 points and 600 yards."

The Lobos ran for 278 yards and three touchdowns, added another 249 yards and two scores through the air and still lost the final home game of the season. Cole Gautsche and Clayton Mitchem combined to convert 11-of-18 passes, the former also being intercepted twice, as the Lobos took the loss. Crusoe Gongbay responded with 12 carries for 98 yards and a score, but he and the rest of the UNM ball carriers were no match for Bibbs, although UNM's Jacori Greer wasn't ready to heap praise on the opposing running back.

"He was a strong guy. Good runner and physical. But to be honest it wasn't him, it was his offensive line."

The problem now for the Lobos is not only to figure out how to bounce back from such a tough loss, but how to move forward without Gautsche and running back Kasey Carrier, both of whom are now listed as being out for the remainder of the season due to concussion symptoms. Carrier was leading the team in rushing with 1,122 yards and nine touchdowns and Gautsche was right behind him with 777 yards and eight scores.

Stepping in for Gautsche will be Mitchem who has completed 54.4 percent of his 57 passes for 461 yards and just a single touchdown.

In addition to regrouping on offense, the Lobos also have to put together a tight game plan to try and slow down Fresno State, which won't be easy considering UNM is 117th in the nation with 39.9 ppg allowed.

With plenty of time to prepare for the meeting against New Mexico, you can be sure that FSU quarterback Derek Carr is ready to put up epic stats yet again. Named one of the five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Carr currently ranks second nationally in both passing yards per game (380.1) and touchdowns (32), and he has not thrown an interception in his last 229 attempts.

Carr, who has thrown at least one TD pass in 29 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation, will turn to Davante Adams as his preferred target down the field. Adams leads the unit with 91 catches for 967 yards and 15 touchdowns, but when he's not available it is Josh Harper who fills the void with 68 grabs for 823 yards and another nine TDs.

Not to be completely overshadowed by Carr, Adams was named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2013 Biletnikoff Award, recognizing the top receiver in the country.

Seeing as how the Lobos are very weak at slowing down the run, this might be a good time to get Josh Quezada and Marteze Waller into the action even more. The pair has combined for more than 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Fresno State defense doesn't have any household names necessarily, but you can count on Ejiro Ederaine having some sort of impact this weekend after making 13 of his 40 tackles this season behind the line of scrimmage. Derron Smith is not only third on the team with 50 stops, he is also tops with five interceptions and tied for the lead with nine passes defended.

Because Carr is driving such a potent offense, it really hasn't hurt the Bulldogs to be ranked 68th in the country in scoring defense, giving up 26.9 ppg, but that's a number that could improve significantly this weekend with so many injuries afflicting key members of the UNM offense. Don't be surprised to see a series of backups in the game for the Bulldogs in the second half once the outcome has been determined.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Fresno State 56, New Mexico 20

11/20 10:40:18 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
3rd
SFG 1
KAN 1
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
4th
WASU 23
ARZ 52
 
3rd
CLEM 3
SYR 6
 
3rd
LAMON 15
TXST 7
 
3rd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 17
 
3rd
COLST 31
WYO 3
 
Half
LSU 3
MISS 7
 
2nd
TENN 7
ALA 27
 
Half
AUB 21
SCAR 21
 
2nd
PSU 0
OSU 10
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
2nd Intermission
TOR 0
BOS 2
 
3rd
NYI 4
DAL 4
 
3rd
PHI 2
DET 2
 
3rd
OTT 1
NJD 2
 
2nd Intermission
MON 2
NYR 1
 
2nd
STL 1
CHI 1
 
2nd
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
2nd
MIN 5
TAM 1
 
1st
ARI 0
FLA 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14