The Fresno State football team once again struggled against Pac-12 competition on Saturday when it squared off against Utah.
The 59-27 defeat marks the Bulldogs second loss of the year, matching their 2013 season total.
“Clearly we didn’t get it done again this week,” Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter said. “We saw some encouraging things, but clearly not enough to beat a good Utah team, so give them credit.”
The Utes scored 24 unanswered points right off the bat behind quarterback Travis Wilson, who accounted for a career-high five touchdown passes, all coming in his three quarters of play.
Receivers Dres Anderosn and Kenneth Scott posed problems for the Bulldogs in the secondary, as they stretched the field for the Utes and each ended with two touchdown grabs.
Utah’s physical defense limited Fresno State running back Marteze Waller to 61 yards on 15 carries.
The ‘Dogs once again utilized the two-quarterback system testing out both junior Brian Burrell and fifth-year senior Brandon Connette. Burrell started the game, but Connette subbed in early in the second quarter after the ‘Dogs failed to find consistency early on.
The Bulldogs got on the board midway through the second quarter when Connette drove the offense down the field before connecting with running back Malique Micenheimer for a 2-yard touchdown pass to get Fresno State on the board. The Bulldogs were trailing 24-7.
“We did some positive things, more positive things than we did last week,” Connette said. “On offense, we moved the ball a lot better and that was one of our goals… Thing is we got to finish more drives in the end zone.”
Connette finished the afternoon 16 of 24 for 177 yards, a passing touchdown and a rushing score.
Senior wide out and captain Josh Harper led the receiving category with six receptions for 83 yards, most of the production coming late in the game.
“We showed spurts, but we were not consistent,” Harper said. “We know what we can do, but we have to keep working on consistency.”
Burrell returned to the game in the fourth and orchestrated two scoring drives, both resulting in touchdown passes to senior wide out Greg Watson.
Burrell ended the game with 106 yards and two touchdowns.
Just like the season opener in Los Angeles, Fresno State fell behind early and was not able to bounce back, resulting in a blowout loss.
“It’s tough on the road when you dig those types of holes,” DeRuyter said. “We’ll be happy to get back home, but we got to fix those things in order to win on the road.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult slate coming in. It is what it is and we got to fight through it.”
The Bulldogs will look to earn their first win of the year Saturday when they host No. 19 Nebraska in their home opener.