The miscues and turnovers that had plagued the Idaho football team through the first four games of the season came back in an ugly way this past weekend as the nationally ranked Fresno State Bulldogs showed off their offensive capabilities with a 61-14 win over the Vandals.
“You can go back a million different ways about it,” Coach Paul Petrino said, “the bottom line is they got after us.”
From the start, the Bulldogs took the lead and never let it go. QB Derek Carr found WR Davante Adams on a 27-yard pass to give Fresno State the early 7-0 lead. The Bulldogs would go on to score a total of 28 points in the first quarter alone, with Carr throwing three of the four touchdowns. The Vandals didn’t have such good luck as QB Chad Chalich threw his first two interceptions of the season on the second and third Idaho drives following a punt on the first. Idaho would punt the ball again on their fourth drive before losing the ball on a fumble on their fifth.
After giving up another touchdown to start off the second quarter, the Vandal defense recovered a bit of their composure, picking off Carr and forcing a fumble on Fresno State’s first two true drives of the quarter. Unfortunately, the Vandals weren’t able to capture any momentum off of either of these turnovers as the next two drives resulted in -11 yards of offense, one punt and Chalich being tackled in his own end-zone for a safety. Taking a 37-0 lead, the Bulldogs added two more touchdowns to go into half up 47-0.
Fresno State would extend the lead to 54-0 in the third quarter, but the Vandals were able to avoid the shut-out early in the fourth as back-up QB Josh McCain found WR Dezmon Epps on a 16-yard pass to make it 54-7. Following another Fresno State touchdown, Chalich was able to find RB James Baker for a touchdown to make it 61-14.
In total, the Vandals gave up 731 yards to the Bulldogs, which included Carr passing for 419 yards and five touchdowns. RB Marteze Waller had a career game rushing, sprinting for 157 yards and two touchdowns as well as WR Davante Adams, who caught 16 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns.
For Idaho, the offense saw its lowest production since their 42-0 loss to Washington State, 273 yards of total offense. Chalich had his worst game of the year, completing only 14 of 32 passes for 100 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. McCain was 3 of 8 for 77 yards with one touchdown and one interception before leaving the game late with an injury. Baker led all-Vandal backs with 52 yards rushing and Epps led all-Vandal receivers with 76 yards and one touchdown.
The tenth straight win over the Vandals dating back to 1978, Fresno State’s 61 points is the 22nd most the Vandals have allowed all-time and the 23rd time Idaho has allowed an opponent to score more than 60 in a game. The last time Idaho allowed 60+ points was in 2012 when they gave up 66 to North Carolina, 63 to LSU and 70 to Louisiana Tech
The Vandals will hit the road this week looking to get their first road win in nine away games with a match-up against 2-3 Arkansas State.