Fresno State is 25-42 all-time against Pac-12 teams.
Quarterback Travis Wilson (shoulder) and defensive end Hunter Dimick (knee) are both listed as questionable after leaving last week’s 24-14 win over Utah State with injuries. Player Who Matters Kendal Thompson has to be sharp.
After Fresno State (1-2) pulled to 24-10 on Zack Greenlee’s 5-yard pass to Josiah Blandin early in the fourth, Cory Butler-Bird returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.
Utah defenders Viliseni Fauonuku and Kylie Fitts force a fumble…
Utah’s Viliseni Fauonuku and Kylie Fitts force a fumble against… Book had 156 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries, to go along with 56 yards through the air on five catches.
Booker went back to work in the second half.
That was a theme, by-in-large, for the Utah defense on the night.
The Utes (3-0) remained flawless heading into their Pac-12 opener at No. 12 Oregon next weekend.
Stat of the game: Fresno State actually averaged more yards per play (5.7) than Utah (5.1), but that was in no way indicative of how this game played out: The Utes enjoyed methodical control throughout. “The main stat is the win-loss column”.
But more, maybe, than any of that, Booker crushed the Bulldogs’ spirit when they needed a stop.
“We don’t really break it down like that, but that’s exactly what it is”, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said during preparations for the trip. “So some give and take there”.
Booker may have had some pent up resentment against Fresno State for spurning him after his early commitment to the school.
“Haven’t gotten Booker on track yet, but it’s going to happen at some time”, Whittingham said. “Heartbreaking. I was extremely motivated, knowing I was going to come out here and get a lot of touches”. But a Utah field goal tied things up.
Of note: Fresno State is 3-0 all-time against Utah when playing the Utes at home.
He added a 7-yard touchdown run, untouched over center, in the third quarter to make it 24-3. The Utes have won three straight against their former Western Athletic Conference colleague.
Thompson is familiar with the types of players within the Fresno State program, and just as he is not reading into its loss last week, he’s not overthinking Utah’s new ranking at No. 21. Virgil last week led two Fresno State scoring drives, including a two-minute push just before halftime.
Virgil, Greenlee and Childress, whoever is in the game, will have to make the correct reads, flip protections, deliver passes on time and accurately, and lead – all of that quarterback stuff. They’re facing a Utah team that hasn’t allowed a first-quarter score this season. “I’ve got to figure that they’d like to take the pressure off the quarterback, and if Wilson is hurt they certainly wouldn’t want to get Thompson hurt”.
“We’ve got some things to clean up”, Tu’ikolovatu said. They’re tasked with stopping Bulldogs running back Marteze Waller, who rushed for 1,368 yards last season.