Jun 05, 2020

Postgame: Fresno State 48, Air Force 15

Fresno State captured a share of the Mountain West Conference championship in a 48-15 rout of the Air Force Falcons on Saturday at Bulldog Stadium.

The Bulldogs, in their inaugural season in the Mountain West under first-year head coach Tim DeRuyter, captured their first conference title in 13 years.

Fresno State last captured a conference title as a member of the Western Athletic Conference in a three-way tie in 1999.

“I’m very, very proud of what (this team) has accomplished the entire season, but especially today against a good Air Force team,” DeRuyter said. “Just very happy to win a Mountain West Conference championship, especially for these seniors.”

Here are some quick hits from Saturday’s game:

  • Fresno State closes the season 9-3 overall and with a 7-1 conference record. The Bulldogs only losses of the season were to No. 5 Oregon (42-25 on Sept. 8), Tulsa (27-26 on Sept. 22) and No. 22 Boise State (20-10 on Oct. 13).
  • Fresno State finished the season undefeated at Bulldog Stadium – the first time since the 2000 season. The Bulldogs offense averaged 48.8 points at home this season.
  • Official attendance Saturday at Bulldog Stadium was a season-high 36,240.
  • Saturday marked the fifth game of the season in which Derek Carr has passes for more than 300 yards. The statistical benchmark ties Kevin Sweeney (1983-’86) for third most in school history.
  • Carr also passed the 7,000-yard mark in career passing yardage during the Bulldogs’ first offensive drive of the game. He is the sixth quarterback in school history to do so.
  • Running back Robbie Rouse rushed for 106 yards on 25 carries. He also recorded his first career touchdown pass in the first quarter on a jump pass to Marcel Jensen after taking a direct snap. The score gave Fresno State a 21-0 lead.
  • Rouse’s reaction: “That was something I always wanted to do in my career… I got the opportunity. Coach (Dave) Schramm set me up and Marcel did a great fake, and we were able to score on that play.
  • The Bulldogs defense forced three turnovers in their win against Air Force. Shawn Plummer recovered a Conner Dietz fumble forced by Phillip Thomas early in the first quarter. Sean Alston picked off a Dietz pass in the third quarter – his third interception of the season.
  • Fresno State finished with 33 turnovers on the season.
  • Said DeRuyter: “I knew teams that get 30 or more turnovers end up being probably the top-10 or 15 in the country in takeaways.”
  • Linebackers Brown and Plummer each got to carry the football on offense as running backs. Both carries were for one-yard gains.
  • Brown was also utilized on some plays as a fullback.
  • Brown on his one-yard carry: “I should have broke it. A shoestring tackle got me by the ankle. I was a step away from getting outside and getting a couple of more yards. In high school I was recruited as an H-back by a couple of schools. I was always in Coach Schramm’s ear telling him to give me the rock whenever he got the shot.”
  • The Bulldogs’ 22 seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony. Seniors such as Thomas, Rouse, Plummer and Brown leave the program having experienced three bowl eligible seasons.
  • DeRuyter on senior class: “The only way you have a chance to win a championship like this, especially when you have a transition, is you have to have buy-in. And to have the 22 seniors buy in… it’s huge.”
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The Bulldogs are Mountain West Champions with a 48-15 victory over Air Force