Coming off of a lackluster finish against Hawaii, Fresno State needed a dominating win to regain some confidence. They got it, in spades.
This game was produced and televised rather roughly; the van with most of the production equipment turned out to have expired tags and was actually impounded in Idaho.
The Bulldogs immediately forced a 3 and out by the Vandals right after kickoff, as Nikko Motta sacked Vandal quarterback Chad Chalich on the opening play. They took the ball and quickly marched 81 yards down the field, scoring a touchdown on a 27-yard pass to Davante Adams. Idaho drove down to the Bulldogs' 20 on their next drive before Derron Smith shut them down with an interception of Chalich. From there it was all Bulldogs.
Fresno State raced out to a 28-0 lead after the first quarter on passes to Davante Adams (Again) and Josh Harper and a Marteze Waller run for 9 yards. The final play of the first quarter was a fumble recovery by the Bulldogs. They would tack on 19 more points in the second quarter. Even when Derek Carr made a rare mistake and threw an interception at the Idaho 10, Fresno State immediately sacked Chalich in the endzone for a safety.
Coach Tim DeRuyter made waves during an abrupt halftime interview when he accused Idaho coach Paul Petrino of instructing his players to hit Carr late. He threatened to run the score up to 100 points. Petrino, of course denied this.
Fresno State came out in the second half somewhat lackluster and DeRuyter evidently decided that he would not, in fact, attempt to score 100, as the Bulldogs also slowed their tempo considerably and ground out the clock. The third quarter was rather uneventful;Colin Mcguire made a rare miss on a short field goal, and Marteze Waller rumbled for his second touchdown of the day, this one from 2 yards out. Near the end, Idaho pulled Chalich for quarterback Joshua McCain, as Fresno State began wholesale substitution on defense.
That drive continued into the fourth quarter, where Idaho finally got on the board with a McCain pass to Dezmon Epps for a touchdown. The Bulldogs would pull Derek Carr, and add one more touchdown after a Curtis Riley interception of McCain, with backup RB Darryl Cash scoring the final time. Idaho scored once more themselves to set the final score at 61, this time on a Chad Chalich Pass to James Baker, as Fresno State linebacker Jeremiah Toma sent McCain out of the game on a brutal hit
Fresno State would have a total of six sacks on the day, with Dillon Root adding the final two on the last two plays of the game. The Bulldogs forced five turnovers, consisting of a fumble and four interceptions, by Derron Smith, Charles Washington, Riley, and defensive lineman Nikko Motta. Derek Carr threw for 419 yards, 5 TDs, and one INT. Davante Adams caught 16 passes for 183 yards and 3 TDs, and Marteze Waller racked up 157 yards and 2 TDs on 19 carries. The Bulldogs gained a total of 731 yards (422 through the air and 309 on the ground, the second-most ever in a single game for them.
Fresno State has a bye this week and then faces UNLV at home the next week.