Bulldogs Snap Skid With Shutout of SMU
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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Paul Pinegar threw three touchdown passes and Bryson Sumlin added two scoring runs to help Fresno State beat SMU 42-0 on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (4-3, 1-3 Western Athletic Conference) stopped a three-game losing streak, scoring touchdowns on all five of their first-half possessions and their first six overall in looking as sharp at they have since their last victory Sept. 18 against Portland State.
Pinegar completed 14 of 20 passes for 191 yards and no interceptions before backup Jordan Christensen took over late in the third quarter. Wendell Mathis led the Bulldogs with 72 yards, and Sumlin and Adam Jennings added 56 apiece.
"I liked how the kids bounced back tonight," Pat Hill said. "I was very, very happy for our players. We made some plays tonight. That's what you have to do to win. It really doesn't matter who it's against - you have to make plays. We started a new season. We talked about that this week, so we are 1-0, and we are off to Rice next week. We get back to work tomorrow."
Fresno State led 35-0 at halftime, piling up 333 yards and taking advantage of error-prone SMU (1-7, 1-4) in the Mustangs' 11th straight road game.
Three of the Bulldogs' scoring drives came off turnovers, including two fumbles by quarterback Tony Eckert. Eckert finished 9-of-16 for 158 yards and two interceptions. Backup quarterback Jerad Romo led the Mustangs in rushing with 71 yards on 11 carries.
Pinegar -- who had been loudly booed in a home loss to UTEP on Oct. 9 -- threw first-half touchdown passes of 3 yards to Roshon Vercher and 12 yards to Jaron Fairman and added a 3-yard strike to Joe Fernandez with 9:16 left in the third quarter. Jennings added a 28-yard touchdown run on a double reverse.
Fresno State led 14-0 with 4:18 left in the first quarter on a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs by Sumlin.
Sumlin's first score capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive on the Bulldogs' opening possession. The second came after Eckert let a shotgun snap bounce off his facemask for a fumble that was recovered by defensive tackle Garrett McIntyre at the SMU 30.
The Mustangs failed to score in the closing minutes despite running five plays from inside the Fresno State 5.
The matchup was probably the last ever for Fresno State and SMU. The Mustangs are joining Conference USA next year, and the two teams have never played a non-conference game.