Domination. Complete and utter domination. That was what happened at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday. Fresno State jumped out to a 7-0 lead on their first possession and never looked back. Derek Carr was 17/22 for 300 yards, 5 touchdowns and 1 pick. for an obscene 257 QB rating... in the first half. Big plays were the name of the game, with the Bulldogs scoring on 94, 97, and 60 yard TDs. The Fresno State ROTC people who come out on the end zone and do pushups equal to the Bulldogs' score after every scoring drive? They did 318 pushups. By rights they should have done 380, but at that point I think their arms had given out.
Fresno State put its first points on the board on a 9-play, 65 yard drive that ended with Rouse running it in for a score. On defense it was the Phillip Thomas Show all game. He immediately picked off Jordan Webb and probably ended any hopes Colorado had. The Bulldogs marched down the field and Robbie Rouse, the man of the hour, caught a pass for a touchdown, and then another one on the next drive. The next drive took two plays and Carr tossed a pass to Isaiah Burse, who went 97 yards down the field for the TD to put Fresno State up 21-0. And the first quarter hadn't even ended. Rouse went on to break Ron Rivers' record for career rushing yards at Fresno State in the first quarter, and he did it in dramatic fashion on a 94-yard touchdown run with some key blocks from WRs Davante Adams and Josh Harper. By halftime the score was 55-7, Carr having connected with Davante Adams for a 60-yard TD and Phillip Thomas getting his second pick, this one a pick-6. The Bulldogs sent in their backup offense at halftime. The first-string defense stayed in just long enough for Thomas to his third interception and second pick-6 of the night. Derron Smith would add one more later in the game, and freshman RB Marteze Waller punched his way in for the Bulldogs' final TD of the night late in the 4th. Colorado had no chance at all. Fresno State held Christian Powell to 49 yards on 17 carries, and the Buffaloes' three QBs were a combined 11/30 for 173 yards, 1 TD, and 4 picks.
This was a complete performance in a manner that Fresno State had not seen in a while. The Bulldogs historically tended to fall flat in this kind of situation. Not now. DeRuyter did a great job of keeping the team focused on the task at hand.
A couple other things:
For one series in the first half, backup QB Greg Watson came in and Carr lined up at WR. He wasn't targeted, but don't be surprised if he is in future.
Phillip Thomas's three picks earned him several national accolades. Numerous NFL scouts were in attendance and he put himself on the map in a big way.
The Bulldogs travel to Tulsa next week.