Scores

Final

Fresno State 30

(8-4, 3-3 away)

New Mexico St 23

(4-9, 4-3 home)

Coverage: ESPN2

8:00 PM ET, November 30, 2007

Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, NM

1 2 3 4 T
FRES 6 17 7 030
NMSU 7 6 3 723

Top Performers

Passing: C. Holbrook (NMSU) - 323 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: W. Harding (FRES) - 28 CAR, 121 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: W. Neiman (NMSU) - 11 REC, 128 YDS

Fresno St. improves to 14-0 all-time vs. New Mexico State

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Fresno State's Anthony Harding delivered a career rushing performance last weekend, then topped it again.

The sophomore running back had a career-high 121 yards rushing on a slippery field and freshman Ryan Mathews ran for another 99 yards, leading the Bulldogs to a 30-23 win over New Mexico State on Friday night.

Bowl-bound Fresno State (8-4, 6-2 Western Athletic Conference) improved to 14-0 all-time against New Mexico State (4-9, 1-7) and rebounded from a 4-8 season in 2006, the school's only dip in a decade of success.

Now, they'll wait to see which bowl game offers an invitation.

"I'm proud of these guys for turning it around from 4-8 to 8-4," coach Pat Hill said. "We have one more left. We don't know where we are going. We'll find out later, but I am excited about this team playing hard for 12 weeks."

As a steady rain fell, Fresno State relied on a ground attack and finished with 263 yards rushing compared with 92 for the Aggies.

"It was good," said Harding, who gained 115 yards rushing in last weekend's 45-29 win over Kansas State. "We found what we wanted to do and we exploited their weakness. We stuck with the plan -- running the ball and controlling the clock."

The only drawback for the Bulldogs was seeing Mathews leave in the fourth quarter with an muscle tear near his left collarbone, just 1 yard short of a 100-yard night. He won't play in the bowl game.

"It stinks because you don't want to see great backs go down," Harding said. "You've just got to be ready to come in and play. I've been preparing all season like I would get in."

The Bulldogs scored 24 straight points for a 30-13 lead after Harding's 6-yard TD run in the third quarter. During that burst, quarterback Tom Brandstater also had a 1-run plunge and Mathews scored on a 7-yard run.

But New Mexico State rallied with a 24-yard field goal from Paul Young and Holbrook's 1-yard TD run, trimming the margin to 30-23 with 5:43 remaining.

After Fresno's Clint Stitser missed a late 24-yard field goal attempt, the Aggies took over at their own 20 with 1:04 remaining but stalled on downs near midfield.

"It was kind of a reflection of our season," Aggies coach Hal Mumme said. "We were close the whole way, and we just needed to make a few more plays to pull out the victory."

Brandstater completed 10 of 19 attempts for 205 yards passing, while New Mexico State's Chase Holbrook was 30-of-51 for 323 yards passing, throwing a 66-yard TD strike to Kenneth Buckley.

Remarkably, neither team committed a turnover on a wet, cold night.

The Aggies were hoping to send retiring defensive coordinator Woody Widenhofer out with a victory. The former Pittsburgh Steelers assistant and ex-head coach at Missouri and Vanderbilt worked the final game of a 40-year career.

The Bulldogs are bowl-eligible for the eighth time over the past nine seasons. One possibility is a return to New Mexico in a few weeks as the WAC's representative for the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque.

Other possible trips include WAC tie-ins with the Hawaii and Humanitarian bowls.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
FRES
NMSU
1st Downs2322
Total Yards468419
Passing205323
Rushing26396
Penalties2-254-30
3rd Down Conversions6-146-18
4th Down Conversions1-15-6
Turnovers00
Possession35:1024:50

Passing Leaders

Fresno StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Brandstater10/1920510.800
New Mexico StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Holbrook31/523236.210

Rushing Leaders

Fresno StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Harding281214.3123
Mathews19995.2115
New Mexico StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Perez5377.4017
Williams11333.018

Receiving Leaders

Fresno StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Moore410626.5038
Ajirotutu24623.0039
New Mexico StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Neiman1112811.6030
Harris88610.8026

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERFRESNMSU
TD13:56Kenneth Buckley 66 Yd Pass From Chase Holbrook (Paul Young Kick)
Drive: 3 plays, 80 yds, 1:04
07
FG11:11Clint Stitser 20 Yd
Drive: 7 plays, 53 yds, 2:45
37
FG03:20Clint Stitser 24 Yd
Drive: 13 plays, 76 yds, 6:30
67
SECOND QUARTERFRESNMSU
TD14:49Jeremiah Williams 3 Yd Run (Pat Blocked)
Drive: 12 plays, 80 yds, 3:31
613
DC14:49Damion Owens 89 Yd Off A Blocked Extra Point 813
TD09:06Tom Brandstater 1 Yd Run (Tom Brandstater Pass To Anthony Harding For Two-Point Conversion)
Drive: 12 plays, 80 yds, 5:43
1613
TD04:11Ryan Mathews 7 Yd Run (Clint Stitser Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 75 yds, 3:20
2313
THIRD QUARTERFRESNMSU
TD08:40Anthony Harding 6 Yd Run (Clint Stitser Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 38 yds, 2:20
3013
FG04:30Paul Young 24 Yd
Drive: 12 plays, 65 yds, 4:10
3016
FOURTH QUARTERFRESNMSU
TD05:43Chase Holbrook 1 Yd Run (Paul Young Kick)
Drive: 13 plays, 74 yds, 5:06
3023