Fresno State runs over Washington State in LA Bowl
December 22, 2022
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - In their final collegiate game, Jake Haener and Jordan Mims helped Fresno State solidify the most improbable turnaround in NCAA history. Haener threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns, and Mims ran for 209 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs (10-4) to a 29-6 LA Bowl victory last Saturday over Washington State (7-6) before 35,500 fans at Sofi Stadium. Haener connected on 24 of 36 passes for two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Fresno State put up 501 yards total and cemented a ten-win season last Saturday and won the Mountain West championship after a 1-4 start. The Bulldogs became the first team to win ten games after dropping four of their first five games to open a season. "We set history today. Every guy in that locker room day in and day out has been resilient and positive," said Haener.
Mims, the game's MVP, rushed for more yards than the Cougars produced on the day (182).
"It felt surreal. I knew I had a pretty solid game. Our line did their thing and I followed them," Mims stated. "We always want to stick with the run game and pound the ball first. It was good for us to make plays on the ground, and we can dish out here and there and throw shots."
At halftime, Fresno State led 16-0. Fresno State ran away in the second quarter when Mims ran around the left end for a 4-yard score to put the Bulldogs up 14-0. Haener connected with Zane Pope on a 22-yard touchdown on the Bulldogs' opening possession. Then, he added an 11-yard score in the third quarter to Nikko Remigio to extend the lead to 22-6. The Cougars' eight drives during the 16-0 run: punt, punt, downs, safety, punt, punt, interception.
Washington State's Cameron Ward was 22 of 32 for 137 yards and one interception. Nakia Watson ran 14 times for 33 yards and scored the lone touchdown for the Cougars. "I don't think we ever got in a rhythm. We never established running the football which is a key piece to what we always want to do," Cougars' head coach Jake Dickert said. "Those are some things as we watch the tape that we'll kind of hopefully lean into and learn."