Jeff Tedford, Orlondo Steinauer guide Fresno State to Hawaii Bowl win

Kalani Takase, Associated Press

Former CFL coaches Jeff Tedford and Orlondo Steinauer engineered a turnaround season at Fresno State.

Tedford was the B.C. Lions head coach in 2015 and Steinauer spent three seasons in Hamilton as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach before the two joined forces with the Bulldogs. Fresno State went from 1-11 in 2016 to 10-4 in 2017, a remarkable difference.

And quarterback Marcus McMaryion could not have envisioned this success when he joined Fresno State four months ago.

McMaryion threw for a career-best 342 yards and Jimmy Camacho made four field goals to help Fresno State beat Houston 33-27 on Sunday in the Hawaii Bowl.

The Oregon State-transfer completed 33 of 48 passes to tie the Hawaii bowl record for completions set by Hawaii’s Colt Brennan against Arizona State in 2006 and also matched by Fresno State’s Derek Carr against SMU in 2012.

“I definitely came to just kind of help out and change the program, but I would be lying if I told you that I thought I’d be standing in this position right now, but I’m just glad that I was able to experience it with these guys,” said McMaryion, who joined the team in early August as a junior.

“I think I fell into a really good situation. When I got here the guys had the attitude and the work ethic and someone else said that I was just the cherry on top of it. The work ethic and everything was instilled that coach (Jeff) Tedford brought here, so it was just a great year overall and it’s great to finish with a ‘W,”’ McMaryion said.

The Bulldogs (10-4) had their first 10-win season in five years and completed the biggest turnaround in FBS this season. They went 1-11 last year and became just the second team in FBS history to go from double-digit losses one season to double-digit wins the next.

“It’s a great way to end the season here in Hawaii after a great week with win number 10, but it’s all about these kids,” Tedford said.

The Cougars (7-5) were seeking their fifth consecutive season of eight or more wins.

Camacho was busy in his final game for Fresno State. He attempted six field goals, with makes of 27, 38, 26 and 33 yards, but missed a 56-yarder in the second quarter – which would have been a career long – and had a 24-yard try blocked and returned for a touchdown in the third quarter. Camacho broke the Hawaii Bowl record for field goals.

Fresno State finished with 480 yards of total offence to Houston’s 341.

Defensive tackle Ed Oliver, the first underclassman to win the Outland Trophy, had his first career carry – a one-yard touchdown run – to cap Houston’s first scoring drive in the first quarter.

Camacho lined up a 24-yard field goal attempt late in the third quarter, but it was blocked by Houston’s Jeremy Winchester and returned 94 yards for a touchdown by Alexander Myres.

The Bulldogs took the lead for good on Camacho’s 26-yard field goal with 13:57 left to play and stretched the lead to 26-20 with his 33-yarder with six minutes remaining.

Jaron Bryant’s 44-yard interception return for a TD off a deflection with 3:49 wrapped up the win. D’Eriq King’s pass was batted up in the air by defensive end Robert Stanley and fell into the hands of Bryant, who manoeuvred his way along the left sideline for the score.

KeeSean Johnson caught eight passes for 95 yards for Fresno State and went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season.

Steven Dunbar, one of two senior receivers for the Cougars, had seven receptions for 168 yards.

McMaryion and Dunbar were selected as the game’s most valuable players for each team.

THE TAKEAWAY

Houston: The Cougars brought the second-best completion percentage in the country at 70.1 per cent. King completed 23 of his 43 pass attempts (53.5 per cent) for 269 yards with an interception

Fresno State: The Bulldogs entered allowing 116.6 rushing yards per game, the fifth-best mark in FBS. They held the Cougars to 72 rush yards – well below their per-game average of 175.5 – on 30 carries, an average of just 2.4 yards per attempt.

UP NEXT

Houston, which must replace five starters on each side of the ball, will open its 2018 campaign on the road, but not far from home, when it visits Rice on Sept. 1.

Fresno State will lose a total of five starters from this year’s squad. It will start off Tedford’s sophomore season at his alma mater at home against Idaho on Sept. 1.

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11 Comments on Jeff Tedford, Orlondo Steinauer guide Fresno State to Hawaii Bowl win

  1. OH WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN FOR THE CFL AND THE HAMILTON TIGER-CATS,AND TO THINK THEY LET STEINAUER SLIP AWAY AND STUCK WITH AUSTIN.

    • Sea of Dead // December 26, 2017 at 8:58 am //

      I and so many others are still holding our noses over that stinker! But glad to see both Steinauer and Tedford doing so well at Fresno State.

  2. By hitting a number of incentives in his contract, Tedford’s will end up being paid over $2.5mil for this past season. No chance he could ever earn that much in the CFL. A smaller school like Fresno must be relying on outside sources to help pay his salary.

  3. Jose Perez // December 25, 2017 at 9:46 pm //

    Lions had him and Wally is a idiot for not allowing him to take over this organization. Straight greed and power tripping stopped us for having a great coach.

    • Farhan Lalji // December 26, 2017 at 3:17 am //

      Some guys are meant to be college coaches and Tedford is one of them. That’s not a shot, really a compliment, but it’s real

    • Jose. Tedford was terrible. That is why Wally let him go. Good grief.

      • Exactly. I expected more because he was a CFL QB but he was a terrible CFL Coach. His TE experiment failed miserably, among other things. Personally, I do not think he was really into it and was just going through the motions, waiting for his next American opportunity.

        I don’t know where people get off calling Wally an idiot. If he is, I don’t know what you’d call the other coaches, none of whom come close to his winning record.

  4. Paul Garner // December 25, 2017 at 10:47 pm //

    Orlando did a great job in Hamilton over the 3 years he was the DC. At the start of the 2017 season we had the absolute worse defence imaginable. It was a joke. It wasn’t until we fell to 0-8 and last in every conceivable defensive category that we made a coaching change that we righted the ship. Orlando’s loss was felt in Tiger-land very much. Glad to see him doing well. If he comes back to the CFL it will be as a Head Coach.

    • Paul. More money and way more job security to stay with a ncaa coaching position. That is why he left Hamilton… all this conflict with Austin nonsense is just hot air.

  5. Two good guys who slipped away to go to greener pastures. Wally had the same record in 2017 that Tedford had at BC when Wally opened the door for him to leave after 1 season. Wally is going to do it for himself but is being given 1 last season to redeem that 7-11 record. Steinauer is most likely gone for good from the CFL. Good young coaches like him become HCs at the NCAA level once they get a few years establishing themselves. More $$$, shorter seasons and no salary cap to worry about keeps them there.

  6. Tedford was working with some challenges at QB. It was only at the end that Jennings came around. He was a decent coach… just needed a good team. Wally took over and hit a home run with Jennings. If only Wally could have waited longer, who knows Tedford could have been a good CFL coach.

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