On paper, the result isn’t that surprising. A top 25 team in the country came into the Kibbie Dome and effectively put the game away by the second quarter over a team with four wins in its last 29 games.
Fresno State throttled Idaho 61-14 Saturday afternooon at the Kibbie Dome, having a 37 point lead as early as 11:09 left in the second quarter. Petrino still thought it shouldn’t have been as bad.
“We knew that was going to happen at times this year, but it shouldn’t happen this bad,” Paul Petrino said. “That what I told (the team). I understood that maybe that team is better than us, but it shouldn’t happen like that.”
Fresno State’s Heisman Trophy contending quarterback Derek Carr came out on fire from the start, leading Fresno State on touchdown drives on its first five possessions of the game. It only took two minutes into the second quarter for Carr to have four touchdown passes. His 419 yard performance played the largest part of Fresno State’s 734 total yards of offense.
From the start the Bulldogs worked the up-tempo no-huddle offense, moving so fast that Idaho had no time to adjust defensively, sub out players or get creative with bringing pressure or mixing up coverage. Carr would step up in the shotgun formation and quickly hit his first or second reads, sometimes only taking a matter of two plays to get the offense 50 yards down the field into the red zone.
Despite the game being put out of reach well before halftime, Carr wasn’t pulled into the fourth quarter. Controversy sparked when ESPN Radio 940 AM in Fresno tweeted comments from Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter that Petrino was directing his defensive players to target Carr.
Petrino shrugged that talk off after the game, instead talking about his admiration for Derek Carr and the fact that his defense couldn’t touch him anyways. Indeed, Idaho finished the day with zero sacks.
On the other side, Chad Chalich was brought down six times and had his worst game as a Vandal. He came into Saturday having not thrown an interception all season, only to throw three against Fresno State. He finished 14-32 for 100 yards and a touchdown to go with his three picks.
He was pulled in the fourth quarter for Idaho to get a look at Josh McCain. McCain was effective in spurts, going 3-8 for 77 yards a touchdown and an interception. Though late in the fourth quarter he took a hit on the sideline and left with a shoulder injury that Petrino said after the game that it didn’t look “real good.”
Chalich came in and finished that drive, tossing a 15-yard touchdown pass to James Baker. His night was concluded by getting sacked on back-to-back plays to end the game, however.
“Tomorrow is a new day,” Petrino said of Chalich’s performance. “He’s a freshman. He had a bad day. We all have to keep improving and get better.”
Other notes and quotes
– Idaho wasn’t particularly strong defending the run either. Fresno State’s Marteze Wallace amassed 157 yards on only 19 carries.
– Dezmon Epps was again Idaho’s leading receiver, despite not catching a pass until the 4th quarter. He had four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.
– Austin Rehkow was again fantastic punting the ball. He averaged 51.1 yards on seven punts. He downed two inside the 20.
– James Baker was the running back of choice for Idaho. He had 57 yards on 16 carries. Richard Montgomery only touched the ball once despite being on the field for most of the second half plays – a (-1) yard reception.
– 61 points is a season high for points conceded with Idaho. Idaho’s scoring defense is now 42.3 points given up per game.
– 734 total yards is the most yards given up by the Idaho defense since conceding 834 against La. Tech on Oct. 20, 2012, Robb Akey’s last game as Idaho head coach.
WR Dezmon Epps on moving forward: “We gotta all week, go hard. I could have had a better game. We all could have had a better game receiving … We have to go hard starting tomorrow. Monday, go hard. All four days of practice, go hard. Don’t make mistakes in practice, you don’t make mistakes during the game.”
LB Marc Millan on facing the up-tempo from Fresno State: “It took a little getting used to, but I felt like that wasn’t the main problem. (It was) break downs in our defense, it was self-inflicted wounds.”
Petrino on Josh McCain’s shoulder injury: “I hate to speak about anything like that, but I don’t think it’s real good.”
Petrino on DeRuyter’s comments about head-hunting Carr: “I tried to recruit that quarterback when he was in high school. I love that kid.” “I don’t think we ever touched, he surely wasn’t targeted, and I don’t think he got touched.”