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November 23, 2013

Bulldogs pound Lobos en route to conference championship




It was senior appreciation day and the final home game of a stellar 2013 season for the Fresno State Bulldogs. As the sounds of Eminem and Tupac Shakur echoed in the stadium before the game, the Bulldogs were ready to continue with their own version of hip-hop by taking their next steps towards the Mountain West Conference title game and a possible BCS Bowl berth.

This time, the New Mexico Lobos stood in their way. Fortunately, for the Bulldogs, the Lobos wouldn't prove to be much of an obstacle.

In their final home game of the season on a cool and crisp Saturday afternoon, the Bulldogs' offense unleashed an offensive barrage that left the New Mexico Lobos thunderstruck and the Bulldogs one step closer to a potential BCS Bowl bid.

Once it was all over, the Bulldogs had amassed an astounding 820 yards of offense en route to a 69-28 thumping against the 3-8 Lobos.

"I'm extremely impressed, not with just our seniors, but our entire football team," said head coach Tim DeRuyter. "Once again, our guys answered the call. I'm really happy with the way we played."

The Bulldogs would score on five of their first six possessions and after that, they never looked back.

As they have done so many times this season, Derek Carr and Davante Adams started the offensive onslaught. Carr rolled out of the pocket and hurled a 57 yard bomb to Adams for the opening score of the game. Carr would also connect with Adams on passes of 44, 59 and 39 yards.

"We couldn't have scripted it better," said Carr. "It was fun.

Carr would finish the game by going 27-37 for 527 yards and a school-tying seven touchdowns. As for Adams, he added more consideration as a Biletnikoff Award finalist by grabbing nine passes for 246 yards and scoring four of the team's seven touchdowns.

But Adams wouldn't be the only player wreaking havoc on the Lobos all afternoon. Fellow receiver Josh Harper did his part with 10 catches for 161 yards and three touchdowns. Isaiah Burse chipped in with six grabs for 112 yards.

Despite eye-popping numbers, Harper walked away thinking he could've done better.

"I liked that I had a great game," said Harper. "But I felt like I could've made a few more blocks."

It also helped that the Bulldogs' running game provided a balanced and fast attack that kept the New Mexico defense guessing all afternoon. Junior Josh Quezada rushed for 95 yards on just 11 carries and fellow junior Malique Micenheimer ran for 65 yards on eight carries.

"We've really improved in the running game as the season's gone along," said DeRuyter. "If we can run and throw like we did today, we'll make it tough on other people."

The Bulldogs confidently carried a 35-0 lead in to halftime, and even though New Mexico made the game interesting, scoring all of their points in the second half, the game was well out of reach for the Lobos. The only real highlights for the Lobos came from sophomore kick returner Carlos Wiggins, who had seven returns for 252 yards and one touchdown.

With the game under control, DeRuyter elected to remove Carr from the game before the start of the fourth quarter. As Carr left the game to thunderous applause, it seemed like his greatness in Fresno State football history was finally secured.

"The people of Fresno continue to show me how much I love them and why I decided to come here," said Carr. "Coming off the field to a standing ovation; that's just class." Reserve quarterback Brian Burrell replaced Carr at the start of the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs(10-0, 7-0 MW) will travel to San Jose next week and finish the 2013 regular season against the San Jose State Spartans as conference champions.

There's still a long way to go, with more left to accomplish. But for now, nobody can beat the Bulldogs. And it feels oh, so good.


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