Fresno State suffers blowout loss to Boise State

Fresno State huddles during timeout in game against Boise State on Saturday, Nov. 6, at Bulldog Stadium. (Melina Kazanjian/The Collegian)

Since 2014, Fresno State football has not seen a sold-out stadium. But after entering the national ranking for the second time this season, 41,031 members of the Red Wave showed up hoping to see the ‘Dogs defeat their conference rivals, the Boise State Broncos.

But as the Broncos increased their lead into double digits, fans went from chanting the Bulldog fight song to starting fights in the stands. 

By the end of the night, few people remained in the stands to see Boise State celebrate its 40-14 victory over Fresno State.

“It’s on all of us together. It starts with me, and we got to be better,” head coach Kalen DeBoer said. 

DeBoer said the team looked good defensively to start the game but couldn’t get anything going offensively.

In the opening kickoff, Boise State received and went nowhere in its first possession as the ‘Dogs forced a punt. The same would go for Fresno State in the following drive.

Bronco kicker Jonah Dalmas scored first with a 47-yard field goal, leading 3-0 with 7:17 left in the first quarter.

It was during Fresno State’s following drive when the game seemed to go out of control for the Bulldogs, and the Broncos started dominating.

In the Bulldogs’ first play, Jake Haener threw an interception. The offensive captain underperformed, a clear shift from what opposing teams are used to seeing. 

With Haener throwing under 300 yards for the first time this season, Boise State eliminated him from the game – and with no help from the offensive line, the Broncos’ defense did what it wanted. 

Boise State finished with five sacks and three interceptions. DeBoer said the Broncos’ defense did a good job disrupting the flow of the offense, breaking down Haener’s intercepted passes. 

“There’s no one more frustrated than [Haener] is,” DeBoer said. “I think he forced the one in the back of the end zone… But you know, you just got to really lock in and focus on his reads and throw on time.”

After the first intercepted pass, Boise State capitalized on the opportunity and scored its first touchdown with 6:38 left in the first quarter.

Still not finding the answer offensively, Fresno State ended the quarter with a turnover on downs. Boise State did struggle with its offense, but after a 48-yard pass from Bronco quarterback Hank Bachmeier to Octavius Evans, Boise State started the second quarter with a 27-yard field goal.

The Broncos increased their lead 13-0 with 12:45 left of the first half.

It wasn’t until the middle of the second quarter where Fresno State was able to get their first points on the board. Haener threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to receiver Keric Wheatfall, cutting the Broncos’ lead to 13-7.

But the ‘Dogs wouldn’t score again until the end of the game. Boise State answered back with another field goal in the third quarter, increasing the lead 16-7. 

Whenever Fresno State had a spark of something, offensively or defensively, it would go nowhere because of negative yardage plays or penalties. 

‘Dogs’ Defensive back Daron Bland made an interception in the second quarter and was able to run to the end zone, but the play didn’t count because the referees called a holding penalty. 

Boise State utilized every advantage to increase its lead. 

As the only ones to score in the third quarter with a touchdown and starting the fourth with another field goal and touchdown, the Broncos led 40-7 with 2:48 left in the game.

Fresno State was able to score again in the final minutes of the game, but it did not matter as Boise State won 40-14. 

“We do need some help. We’ve got to make sure that, you know, we don’t hurt ourselves any more than what we did tonight.” DeBoer said.

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