The Fresno State Bulldogs had a rough three-game stretch after winning their first game. They played at Wisconsin, home against tenth ranked Boise State, and #14 Cincinnati. The Bulldogs lost all three games, giving them a 1-3 record. However, seven wins in their next eight games gave them an 8-4 finish. The Bulldogs last game had an incredible ending. With two seconds remaining, Fresno State scored a touchdown to pull them to within one point against Illinois. The Bulldogs decided to attempt a two-point conversion. They threw a pass on the conversion attempt, but it was deflected. However, Fresno State’s Devan Cunningham, a 350 pound offensive lineman, caught the pass and leaned into the end zone to give the Bulldogs a 53-52 victory. Junior running back Ryan Matthews led a potent Fresno State ground game. He ran for 1,664 yards and 17 scores. Matthews was injured in a road loss to Nevada and missed the Bulldogs next game. However, he ran for over 100 yards in each of their other ten games. Overall, the squad totaled 2,779 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns. The Bulldogs scored more than 40 points four times.
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The Wyoming Cowboys play in the Mountain West Conference, which features number-four TCU, 14th ranked BYU, and #23 Utah. They faced those three teams and number-two Texas this year, losing those four games. True freshman Austyn Carta-Samuels started at quarterback for the squad. He threw seven touchdowns and four interceptions. He had two three-touchdown games, but threw only one touchdown in the team’s other ten games. The Cowboys threw eight touchdowns overall, and ran for 13 touchdowns. As a team, they averaged 5.43 yards per passing attempt and 3.4 yards per carry. Wyoming was shut out three times. It’s not like they were shutting teams out either, as they allowed more than 40 points three times. Wyoming comes into the New Mexico Bowl having lost four of their past six games.
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Fresno State comes into this game favored by 12 points. The facts are that they can score a lot of points, and Wyoming’s offense is anemic, while their defense is nothing special.