Playing it’s 200th game in Bulldog Stadium, Fresno State outmuscled and outscored Hawaii on Saturday night.
With the fanatical energy of the home crowd behind the ’Dogs, Fresno State defeated Hawaii 45-3.
“Our guys get excited every week playing in front of the Red Wave,” head coach Tim DeRuyter said. “We jumped on them early and our defense did some things that sparked our offense. And our offense took advantage if it.”
The Bulldogs brought their physicality and speed for all four quarters, as Hawaii was unable to muster any type of offense. Fresno State racked up 21 points in the first quarter on pace to scoring 45 in the game.
“We don’t ever look at the scoreboard. We just play,” DeRuyter said. “And we want to hold ourselves to the standard that we set.”
“I thought coach Schramm did a great job of getting the game plan together,” quarterback Derek Carr added.
The Warriors’ running game was not able to get going as the ’Dogs held them to eight yards in the first half.
“They tried to get us with a little bit more run game, but I felt like we played the run game really well,” offensive lineman Lars Bramer said.
After Hawaii punted, the Bulldogs were able to set up a short field when Carr was able to connect with receiver Isaiah Burse for a 56-yard pass. On the very next play, receiver Rashad Evans was able to spring open for an eight-yard touchdown pass from Carr.
Fresno State was able to add onto its lead by scoring off a Hawaii turnover on a trick play. The ’Dogs snapped the ball to running back Robbie Rouse who then handed it off to Carr. He then proceeded to roll right and found redshirt freshman Dillon Root for the first touchdown of his career.
“I saw myself on the left side and I thought I was open. But then when I saw Dillon Root on the other side, he was wide open,” Rouse said. “I was happy for Dillon and he’s been working hard. But I was really excited for D-Root.”
The Bulldogs continued to add to their lead on a one-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Greg Watson, which put the score at 21-0 late in the first quarter.
Continuing to score points, Fresno State got Rouse going early on in the game when he rushed for a 51-yard touchdown. This stretch the ’Dogs’ lead to 28-0 over Hawaii.
“It was crazy because we had guys set so fast on offense,” Rouse said. “The line had some great blocks for me and I just saw the seam and hit it.”
Prior to this rushing touchdown, Rouse had a six-yard run in the first quarter that put him over 1,000 yards for the season. Rouse becomes the first Bulldog tailback to have three separate 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
“I just get so happy for my teammates, especially when they’re doing well.” Carr said.
Before halftime, Hawaii was able to muster a decent drive. After passing center field for the first time in the game, the Warriors were forced by Fresno State’s defense to kick a field goal. Hawaii’s kicker Tyler Hadden converted the field goal attempt and this put the score at 28-3 with 7:03 left in the first half.
However, the ’Dogs were relentless in their offense as they were able to score two more times after Hawaii got on the scoreboard. Carr found receiver Davante Adams for another passing touchdown as Adams hauled in a 45-yard catch putting the score at 35-3.
After Hawaii stalled on its next possession, Fresno State scored again via the passing game. Carr hit receiver Isaiah Burse for a 31-yard touchdown that put the ’Dogs up 42-3.
The second half featured very little action as the Bulldogs played most of their backup players. With the game pretty much in hand, Fresno State focused on its run game.
Hawaii was unable to make up the point differential and didn’t get another score until late in the fourth quarter. With the Warriors starting quarterback out, they turned to their backup in Jeremy Higgins. He was able to get Hawaii into the end zone on a 5-yard rushing touchdown.
This put the score at 45-10 after the ’Dogs kicker Quentin Bresheares converted a 32-yard field goal.
In the game. Carr was able to pass for 304 yards on 15 completions and four touchdowns. This put him over 3,000 yards on the season. Carr joins Trent Dilfer as the only other Bulldog quarterback to eclipse the milestone in two separate seasons.
Although Fresno State won the game, the ’Dogs lost sophomore receiver Victor Dean to injury. Dean was diagnosed with a broken leg that he suffered on a passing play early in the first half.
The Bulldogs travel to Nevada next week for their second-to-last game of the season. Fresno State will attempt to win out its last two games in order to grab a share of first place in the Mountain West Conference.
“We’re ready to go. These guys have had our number a little bit, but we’ve got to get after them,” Carr said. “We’re going to be ready to play and I’m looking forward to this one.”
“I think our guys have got a lot of confidence. It doesn’t matter who we play, we know we can win on the road,” DeRuyter added.