Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams totaled three touchdowns and 185 yards in the Bulldogs’ victory against Idaho. Photo by Roe Borunda/The Collegian
It was not difficult for the Bulldogs to go 5-0. All they needed to do was play for 60 minutes.
Quarterback Derek Carr threw five touchdowns and 419 yards, and the defense forced five turnovers as Fresno State rolled over Idaho 61-14 on Saturday in Idaho.
In the week after Hawaii scored 35 unanswered points in the second half — nearly upsetting the Bulldogs — Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter told his team that in order to win, it needed to keep the wheels turning and ignore the scoreboard.
“We needed to go out there in the second half and play like it was 0-0,” said junior safety Derron Smith. “The coaches have been talking to us all week about how the scoreboard is a liar, ‘Don’t look at it, it’s going to lie to you.’
“I think that’s what happened in the first few games. It’s easy to say ‘Don’t look at the scoreboard,’ but you see it and everyone lets up a little bit. That’s what it takes for a team to get back in the game.”
And this week, the Bulldogs played with mental toughness. At the half, they led 47-0 and only allowed two scores by the Vandals — both in the fourth quarter.
“A week ago, we let momentum affect us,” DeRuyter said. “I thought we responded to adversity much better this week.”
Carr’s main target was Davante Adams. After a rough game at Hawaii, the 6-foot-2-inch wide receiver caught 16 passes for 185 yards and three scores.
“[Davante] worked his butt off this week,” Carr said. “Everyone has an off week. It was a way to get his attention, and it did.”
Carr’s five touchdown passes leaves him just two away from Paul Pinegar’s school record of 84.
“Those things I don’t think about,” Carr said. “My job is to get the team in the end zone. I promise you that’s all I think about. We were on a roll, and hopefully we can continue that into the next game.”
The Bulldogs showed a strong defensive presence and totaled four interceptions in the game, the most since their 69-14 win over Colorado last year. Derron Smith had his third pick of the season, and Charles Washington, Nikko Motta and Curtis Riley had their first.
“I thought the defense came out with great intensity,” DeRuyter said. “The last couple of weeks, the offense was really starting to move the ball well. Those kids were playing with a lot of intensity, and our defense matched that.
“We were leery because we thought [Idaho] had some playmakers. I thought their quarterback’s a really good player.”
Along with the picks, the Bulldogs had six sacks in the contest. Two of them were back-to-back, both by Dillon Root, and ended the game.
The Bulldogs will take a break before their homecoming game against the UNLV Rebels on Oct. 19.
“The timing is perfect,” DeRuyter said. “It’s just about the exact half of the season. We’ve been going hard since August 1st.
“[The team] will get a well-deserved couple of days off, and we’ll go on to UNLV.”