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Mikey Keene, Fresno St. crush New Mexico St.

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Mikey Keene threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns Saturday as Fresno State walloped New Mexico State 37-10 to win the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque.

Keene completed 31 of 39 passes with an interception. He also contributed a rushing touchdown for the Bulldogs (9-4), who looked more like the team that was ranked in the top 25 earlier in the season instead of the one that limped into the bowl with a three-game losing streak.

Fresno State won despite the absence of head coach Jeff Tedford, who took a leave of absence on Dec. 1 to address a medical condition. Assistant coach Tim Skipper ran the program and extracted one of its top performances of the season.

The Bulldogs outgained the Aggies 500-200, nearly doubling them in first downs (23-12) and converting 8 of 13 third downs. Malik Sherrod was a workhorse for Fresno State, rushing for 90 yards on 20 carries and catching eight passes for 81 yards.

New Mexico State (10-5) won 10 games for just the second time in school history but couldn’t cope with its Mountain West Conference foe. Diego Pavia completed only 11 of 25 passes for just 58 yards, although he did rush for 74 yards and the team’s only touchdown.

The Bulldogs carved out a 17-3 halftime lead. Dylan Lynch hit a 32-yard field goal with 6:17 left in the first quarter and Keene connected with Josiah Freeman for a 28-yard touchdown pass less than three minutes later.

Ethan Albertson got the Aggies on the board with a 45-yard field goal in the second quarter but Keene and Jaelen Gill hooked up for a 23-yard scoring strike at the 7:02 mark to up the margin to 14 points.

After Lynch converted a 25-yard field goal just over three minutes into the third quarter, Pavia got New Mexico State within 20-10, spinning off tacklers on a 14-yard scoring run.

But Keene’s 4-yard touchdown run with 13:20 left in the game fueled a 17-point fourth quarter that put the game away.

–Field Level Media

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