MOSCOW, Idaho – All the things that can make things difficult for a young team collided at the Kibbie Dome Saturday when #21/23 Fresno State came to down.
The veteran Bulldogs, led by a quarterback Idaho coach Paul Petrino says is likely the best in the nation this year, upended the Vandals 61-14 behind Derek Carr’s 419 yards passing (37-of-48).
“You can go back a million different ways about it,” Petrino said, “the bottom line is they got after us.”
The Vandals’ first drive stalled; the Bulldogs’ didn’t as Fresno State hit the Vandals with 47 first-half points in an opening two quarters during which Idaho could not get untracked offensively or get a stop defensively. In uncharacteristic fashion, Idaho quarterback Chad Chalich was picked off three times and Josh McCain once. Add to that one lost fumble and it was an uphill battle.
“Everybody, including me,” Petrino said, “has to do a better job to help him.”
Idaho tallied just 273 yards total offense to 731 for Fresno State. Dezmon Epps and Najee Lovett each had four receptions for the Vandals with Epps’ covering 76 yards and Lovett’s 25. James Baker led the ground game with 54 yards to which he added a 15-yard TD reception.
Defensively, Bradley Njoku had 15 stops with Solomon Dixon and Jayshawn Jordan tallying nine each.