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Football: Defense shows improvement in win

By | October 21, 2013 | Sports
Fresno State’s defense, led by defensive coordinator Nick Toth (right), celebrate on the field during the Bulldogs’ 38-14 win over UNLV last Saturday night. Photo by Roe Borunda/The Collegian

Fresno State’s defense, led by defensive coordinator Nick Toth (right), celebrate on the field during the Bulldogs’ 38-14 win over UNLV last Saturday night. Photo by Roe Borunda/The Collegian

For the second straight game, the Bulldogs’ defense allowed only two touchdowns and fewer than 300 yards in their 38-14 victory over the UNLV Rebels last Saturday at Bulldog Stadium.

And for the first time this season, the Bulldogs were able to close out a victory. No second-half points were allowed in the contest.

“We had to put together our complete defensive game,” said Fresno State cornerback L.J. Jones. “As long as we do that, the crowd will be shocked and we’ll be able to do a lot of things.”

For the first time under coach Tim DeRuyter, the Bulldogs defense did not force a turnover. But all they needed to do was maintain a ground presence.

“Even if we don’t get a turnover, we just know that if we are all playing for one another, we can get away with the win,” Jones said.

Coming into Saturday’s game, the Bulldogs averaged 9.2 points per quarter in the second half of games this season. After the first half of the UNLV game, Fresno State only allowed 89 total yards from UNLV: 21 yards rushing and 68 passing.

The Rebels had no positive yards on the ground in the fourth quarter. Running back Adonis Smith ran for a loss of 4 yards and quarterback Caleb Herring was sacked by Fresno State safety Derron Smith for a loss of 5 yards.

“We need to pass rush,” Jones said. “That helps us out in the backfield because the ball comes out quicker. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get an interception tonight, but we know that if we keep working we can do it.”

Next for Fresno State is a road game against the San Diego State Aztecs.

“We’re just going to watch film as a group and prepare ourselves for the upcoming week,” Jones said. “Every team in this conference is pretty good, so we just make sure that we are on the same page with each other.”

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