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Fresno State picked up their first win of the season over Southern Utah from the FCS after allowing 52 or more points to each of the three FBS teams they played prior. It’s unlikely that New Mexico can get 52 points, but the Lobos have a sound rushing attack and the Bulldogs have plenty of holes on defense. The Bulldogs are road chalk here as a 5.5-point favorite.

Fresno State vs. New Mexico College Football Preview

Date/Time: Friday September 26, 8:00 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN2

College Football Betting Odds from WagerWeb

College Football Betting Favorite: Fresno State -5

Total: 73

Fresno State is 1-3 ATS this season with three blowout losses and a cover over a FCS school. Under Tim DeRuyter, the Bulldogs are 5-2-1 ATS as road chalk. Over the last two seasons, the Bulldogs have scored 118 points against New Mexico. Bob Davie’s bunch is 0-3 against the spread and 13-15 ATS under Davie. As a home dog, the Lobos are 2-5 ATS.

Fresno State Bulldogs:

Eight starters returned on the Fresno State defense and that hasn’t made a bit of difference so far this season. In defense of the Bulldogs, they played three straight power five conference opponents – USC, Utah, and Nebraska – to open the season and each of them scored 52 or more points. The Bulldogs experienced significant losses on offense. Derek Carr left for the NFL and the team lost 231 catches, 2,800 yards, and 30 touchdowns from Davante Adams and Isaiah Burse. Carr threw 50 touchdowns against just eight interceptions last season. Through four games, FSU quarterbacks have thrown five interceptions already. Carr was also sacked only 11 times last season. This year’s trio of quarterbacks has already been sacked 12 times. Negative plays and turnovers have put a ton of pressure on the defense and they have not lived up to the challenge.

New Mexico Lobos:

Leading rusher and starting quarterback Cole Gautsche is questionable with a hamstring injury, though the junior quarterback played through it last week in the win over New Mexico State. Gautsche wasn’t as effective as usual and shared reps with the other quarterbacks. Crusoe Gongbay, who fell out of favor with Davie and was suspended in the spring, finally showed up as a feature back with 16-137-1 against New Mexico State. The concern for the Lobos is their defense, which gave up over 42 points per game last season and has allowed 41.3 points per game this season. That ranks 120th out of 128 FBS teams. The Lobos defense could be under attack against Fresno State, but their reliance on a running game that is amassing 350 yards per game could control the clock.

Free Pick: Fresno State -5

Both of these defenses are terrible and Fresno State’s run defense is going to have problems filling the gaps against this New Mexico rushing scheme. By the same token, the New Mexico defense has given up points in bunches. The Bulldogs are playing more comparable competition after facing power five conference teams to start the season. That has forced the public and the books to sour on them and with perception at a major low, there’s value in the Bulldogs because they’re a better team than they have shown so far.

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