3:00 PM ET, November 1, 2003
Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
DALLAS (AP) -- Fresno State's struggles ended at halftime Saturday, but Southern Methodist's woes continue.
Paul Pinegar threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score in the second half as Fresno State overcame a shaky start to beat winless SMU 20-11.
Fresno State (5-4, 3-1 WAC) trailed 5-3 at halftime after Pinegar went 2-for-17 for 4 yards with two interceptions. But he led Fresno State to scores on its first two drives and went 11-of-16 for 82 yards and a TD in the half.
"It was definitely difficult in the first half," Pinegar said. "I just stepped up my level of play. It seemed every time we ran a play (in the first half) there was a mistake somewhere."
SMU (0-9, 0-6) has the second-longest losing streak in Division IA and is off to the worst start in school history. Army, the only other winless IA team, lost its 11th straight Saturday.
Fresno State took advantage of its chances despite having just 245 yards of offense.
Early in the third quarter, Pinegar threw a 9-yard TD pass Dwayne Wright to give Fresno State a 10-5 lead. Tate Wallis fumbled on the Mustangs' 19 on the first play of SMU's next possession, then Pinegar ran it in from 3 yards out.
"We have to do what we can to attain victories," Fresno State head coach Pat Hill said. "It's not about style points right now."
Brett Visintainer's 30-yard field goal extended Fresno State's lead to 20-5 early in the fourth.
The Mustangs crept within 20-11 on Wallis' 3-yard TD run with 10:48 remaining but did not drive past the Bulldogs' 40 the rest of the way.
"There is no finger-pointing right now," said SMU's Keylon Kincade, who rushed for 136 yards but also lost a fumble at the Fresno State 2 and was stopped on the Bulldogs' 1 on fourth down. "We know we have to get better."
Kincade became the fourth back in school history to record multiple 1,000-yard seasons. He has 1,044 yards this season.
But it hasn't led to many points.
The Mustangs, who were ranked last nationally in total offense, have scored just two offensive touchdowns the past three games.
SMU scored on a safety late in the first quarter when Fresno State was called for holding in the end zone, and Chris McMurtray hit a 37-yard field goal with 3:11 remaining in the first half.
The Mustangs could have easily fattened their halftime lead.
Tyrone Culver recovered a Kincade fumble at the Fresno State 2-yard line early in the second quarter. Brian Bischoff then intercepted Pinegar to give the Mustangs the ball at the Bulldogs 9. However, Kincade was stopped for no gain at the 1-yard line on fourth down.
The Mustangs also botched a snap on a field goal attempt and dropped three interceptions.
"We were beating them," said Kincade. "We just didn't step on their throat when we had a chance."