Away from the national spotlight it had been in the last three weeks, Cal State Long Beach returned to Veterans Stadium and prospered Saturday.
The 49ers, re-emphasizing the pass to bring their offense back to life, beat New Mexico State, 33-6, in a Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. game before a homecoming crowd of 6,309.
After being ineffective in two nationally televised games and one before more than 101,000 people at Michigan, Long Beach quarterback Jeff Graham found the 49ers' modest home setting ideal for regaining his form.
"It was like old times; we were home and I was throwing again," Graham said after the 49ers improved their record to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the PCAA.
With Graham completing 20 of 37 passes for 304 yards, the 49ers scored more points than they had in the last four games.
"We wanted to put on a show for the fans because lately we've been so boring," said Graham, who got complete cooperation from his offensive line and receivers.
Eight 49er receivers caught passes, led by sophomore Derek Washington, who had 5 receptions for 84 yards.
Although Long Beach decided to pass more than in recent games, its running game also clicked. Fullback Lafayette Shelton, who also caught 4 passes, gained 104 yards in 18 carries and scored 2 touchdowns.
New Mexico State (1-5, 0-3) scored first on a 52-yard run by Anthony Singleton midway through the first quarter, but Long Beach came back to take a 7-6 lead on a screen pass play from Graham to Brian Browning that covered 56 yards.
The 49ers moved to a 12-6 halftime lead on a 27-yard field goal by Dave VanSteenkiste and a safety when linebacker Tom Caines tackled Aggie tailback Keith Lott in the end zone.
Balanced scoring drives of 64 and 70 yards put the game away for the 49ers in the third quarter.
While the offense had 455 total yards, the defense, which sacked Phil Vinson six times, kept the Aggies from threatening in the second half.
The victory was the third without a loss for the 49ers at home, where they are averaging 38 points.
San Jose St. 20, Fresno St. 16--Kenny Jackson ran 15 yards for a touchdown with 1:34 to play as the Spartans beat the Bulldogs before 35,227 fans at Fresno.
Jackson's touchdown capped a 7-play, 46-yard drive that included a pass-interference penalty against Fresno.
The game ended when Fresno quarterback Dave Telford was sacked after the Bulldogs had driven to the San Jose 15.
The Spartans are 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference. Fresno is 4-3 and 1-1.
Brock Smith returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown with 10:33 left to play to give Fresno a 16-13 lead.
Smith's run came after San Jose took a 13-9 lead on a 75-yard touchdown pass play, Mike Perez to Guy Liggins, who was wide open after defender Keith McCoy fell down at the line of scrimmage.
Barry Belli's third field goal of the game, 35-yarder late in the third quarter, gave Fresno State a 9-6 lead.
San Jose scored with 6:50 left in the first half when Jay Taylor returned an interception 45 yards. The PAT kick failed.
Utah St. 17, Pacific 13--Quarterback Brent Snyder passed for two touchdowns as Utah State (1-5 and 1-2) snapped a seven-game losing streak by defeating Pacific (2-5 and 1-2) at Logan, Utah.