By: Theo Lawson
Idaho scratched and clawed in the first half but Fresno State ended up the top dogs in Saturday’s WAC opener, a 48-24 Vandal loss in the Kibbie Dome.
Idaho (1-3) came out strong offensively in the first half and led early in the second quarter but the Vandal secondary weren’t able to contain the dart-thrower that was Bulldog quarterback Derek Carr.
“Very disappointed in the way the second half played out. I thought it was a hell of a football game in the first half, I thought we had to fix one thing and that was the damn score,” coach Akey said.
After the Bulldogs took an early lead, Brian Reader threw a fade to receiver Clayton Homme who was waiting in the end zone. Fresno State responded with a field goal and Princeton McCarty’s 18-yard touchdown run put the Vandals up 14-10.
After Trey Farquhar’s second quarter field goal, Idaho wouldn’t manage another touchdown until early in the fourth quarter. During that time span the Bulldogs converted a field goal and three touchdowns, one coming off of a 40-yard fumble recovery that saw the ball slip out of Reader’s hands and into Nat Harrison’s, who would take it all the way back and give Fresno State a 41-17 lead.
“I saw him battle himself out of it initially and he got us a score down there, it was a great catch by Kama and he made some great throws in the process of getting us down there,” Akey said about Reader. “I am proud to see that he responded and came out of it but then we started running short on time and unfortunately our defense was having its issues at that point in time also.”
Statistically Reader looked impressive, completing 28-38, throwing for 235 yards and two touchdowns. McCarty amassed 100 total offensive yards, rushing for 33, receiving for 11 and tallying 59 from kick returns.
Akey and Idaho plan on regrouping prior to visiting the University of Virginia in Charlottesville next Saturday.
“It’s aggravating because I do think we can fix it, frustrating means you don’t know how to,” Akey said. You’re going to see a football team that’s going to have their butts in here tomorrow and they’re going to pick their heads back up.”