Carr's Five TDs Lead `Dogs Past UI
Sept. 24, 2011
Fresno State has now won nine-straight games over the Vandals and the win in the conference opener pushes the Bulldogs' overall record up to 2-2 going into next week's home game against Mississippi. Idaho falls to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the WAC with the loss.
"I think we were very balanced [offensively] and Derek had an outstanding game," head coach Pat Hill said. "We got to give a lot of credit to our offensive line, they picked up the blitz really well. It was a great effort by our offense and then defensively we shut them down in the second half."
Carr's five touchdown passes are the most since Paul Pinegar threw five TDs in a victory over No. 18 Virginia in the 2004 MPC Computer's Bowl. Carr completed 24-of-37 passes for the 371 yards. He had the long ball going all day and completed six passes of over 20 yards.
"I thought the offensive line did a great job today," said Carr, who was not sacked in the game. "If it's throwing the ball five times or throwing it 40 times, whatever is going to help the team win at that moment, I'm all for it."
The game was tied at 17 with six minutes left in the second quarter before Fresno State went on to score 24 unanswered points through the end of the third quarter to put the game away.
That run and the performance of the defense in the second half won the game for the Bulldogs.
After allowing 228 yards of offense in the first half, the Bulldog defense only gave up 55 yards in the second half. The defense even joined in on the scoring, as Nat Harrison picked up a fumble from Vandal quarterback Brian Reader and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.
"This is a real boost going into the Ole Miss game," said linebacker Travis Brown, who led the team with a career-high 11 tackles and safety Terrance Dennis was right behind him with a personal-best 10 stops. "Defensively, we tightened down big time in the second half and really stuck our nose in their run and stopped their big plays."
Fresno State had 513 yards of total offense in the game to Idaho's 283. Running back Robbie Rouse had his third-straight 100-yard rushing game, as he ran for 112 yards on 25 carries. Rouse went over 2,000 yards rushing in his career, becoming the 15th Bulldog running back ever to reach the milestone.
Both teams went back and forth in the first half and behind three passing touchdowns from Carr, the Bulldogs held a 24-17 lead going into the locker room.
Fresno State led 10-7 after the first quarter thanks to a 16-yard Carr to Saunders touchdown pass and a 48-yard Kevin Goessling field goal.
Idaho got its 17 points off a three-yard Reader to Clayton Homme touchdown pass, an 18-yard touchdown run from Princeton McCarty early in the second quarter and a 21-yard field goal from Trey Farquhar.
Saunders caught his second TD of the game on a 51-yard pass at 7:48 of the second quarter. Carr capped off the second quarter by threading the needle between a host of Vandal defenders for a touchdown to Marcel Jensen on a fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line two minutes before the half.
Goessling gave Fresno State a 27-17 lead four minutes into the third quarter, as he hit another 48-yard field goal.
After Milton Knox partially blocked a punt on Idaho's ensuing possession following the field goal, Fresno State got the ball at the Vandal 42-yard line. It only took two plays for the Bulldogs to reach the end zone, as Carr hit Evans for a 33-yard touchdown.
Fresno State's defense took over the third quarter, forcing Idaho to punt on its first four possession of the quarter. Then with seconds remaining in the third, Reader fumbled the ball when he was reaching back to pass.
Harrison picked up the fumble and returned it 40-yards for a touchdown.
Idaho came back early in the fourth and got a one-handed touchdown catch from Kama Bailey from seven yards out to end the Vandal's scoring drought.
After that, Fresno State went to the run game to eat up the clock. Carr closed out the scoring with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Josh Harper with four minutes left in the game.
We Are Your Team - Get your tickets for Fresno State's showdown with Ole Miss next Saturday, Oct. 1 at Bulldog Stadium. This will be the first time ever a SEC school plays at Bulldog Stadium. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Fresno State Ticket Office, over the phone at (559) 278-DOGS or on the web at gobulldogs.com