Fresno Sate entered the weekend with a spot reserved in the inaugural Mountain West title game, but the loss to San Jose State on Friday likely ended the much loftier goals for Derek Carr and this Bulldogs team.
The Bulldogs ranked No. 16 in the BCS standings, needing convincing wins or a Northern Illinois loss to jump the Huskies for a non-BCS automatic bid. A win against San Jose State, entering the game with a 5-6 record, was assumed by many. As it turns out, the biggest obstacle in the Bulldogs' path to an undefeated season will not be Utah State -- it was San Jose State quarterback David Fales.
Fales completed 37 of 45 passes for 547 yards (a new school record) and six touchdowns, adding a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter that gave the Spartans a two score lead. Carr and Fales opened the game with six touchdowns each in the first half, but the Bulldogs offense sputtered in the second half and did not score a touchdown until the 2:03 mark in the fourth quarter.
While giving Fresno State a loss is noteworthy, the win is most important to Fresno State because it makes the Spartans bowl eligible at 6-6. This has been an up-and-down season for first-year head coach Ron Caragher, and bouncing back like this after three straight losses gives the program some momentum heading into the offseason.