Fresno State took a step backward in absorbing a thorough 48-16 loss at No. 6 Washington on Saturday night
The Huskies scored the first five times they had the football, including a 77-yard punt return by Dante Pettis, the NCAA record-tying eighth punt return TD of his career. Before and after that, Jake Browning sliced up the Bulldogs with ease, hitting 18 of his first 21 passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns.
It got worse for the Bulldogs (1-2), who have a bye week before opening Mountain West Conference play Sept. 30 against Nevada.
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On the second play of the second half, Browning hit Pettis with a 73-yard touchdown strike, the wideout shaking cornerback Jaron Bryant with an inside move and easily getting into the end zone after safety Juju Hughes lost track of the ball in air and overran the play.
“I don’t think it wasn’t that they weren’t competing,” coach Jeff Tedford said. “They were giving effort. They beat us on a few things. When you give up the perimeter and you jump up inside and you have contain, they’re going to run around you. There are little details that we need to be more disciplined with, but it wasn’t an effort thing.
“I haven’t seen in our three weeks that there’s an effort issue anywhere and guys not willing to compete. Pettis beat us on a fade route with a great move and Jake put it up perfect to him. I don’t think it’s a competition issue as much as some details that we have to make sure we’re more diisciplined with.”
Browning finished 19 of 22 for 255 yards and four touchdowns.
Pettis had five receptions for 92 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bulldogs trailed 41-7 at the half and on offense lacked much of a response, a deleterious twist coming off a 41-10 loss at No. 1 Alabama in which they were far more competitive than they were against the Huskies.
Tedford also set up an interesting two weeks for the Bulldogs’ quarterbacks, pulling Chason Virgil at halftime for Marcus McMaryion, the Oregon State transfer.
Who gets the call for the start of conference play?
With the loss at Washington, Fresno State is now 25-45 against current members of the Pac-12 Conference including 10-27 on the road.
“We’ll talk about that this week,” Tedford said. “We’ll evaluate things and go through a week of practice here in the bye week and make a decision on that later.”
Virgil completed 11 of 20 passes for 98 yards with one touchdown and one interception – his passing efficiency rating for the game 102.66, the seventh time in 14 career starts it has been less than even a modest 115.0; the 100th-ranked passer in the nation last season had a rating of 116.25.
McMaryion did not get off to much of a start taking over in the third quarter, but hit 10 of 16 passes for 96 yards and put up points on his first three drives, albeit with short fields on the first two after the defense forced fumbles by Myles Gaskin and backup quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels.
Fresno State started those drives at the Huskies 26 and 40 and settled for field goals by Jimmy Camacho.
“It’s a good time (for a bye),” Tedford said. “We’re battle-tested for sure. We played two of the best teams in the country back-to-back on the road in hostile environments.
“It’s a good time for us to get healthy. After two physical games like that you have lot of bumps and bruises. We found a lot about ourselves, but we need to get better. We need to take care of the details and all the little things that we need to work on.”
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
NEVADA AT FRESNO STATE
- Saturday, Sept. 30: 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.
- Records: Bulldogs 1-2, Wolf Pack 0-3
- TV/radio: ROOT/KFIG (AM 940), KGST (AM 1600)
- Of note: Nevada lost 30-28 to Idaho State on Saturday, a championship subdivision program. … The Wolf Pack, while Fresno State is on a bye, visit Washington State on Sept. 23.
No. 6 Washington 48, Fresno State 16
WAS — Gaskin 28 run (Vizcaino kick), 10:48
WAS — Pettis 4 pass from Browning (Vizcaino kick), 7:34
WAS — Gaskin 7 run (kick failed), 7:11
WAS — Pettis 77 punt return (Vizcaino kick), 5:11
WAS — Pettis 7 pass from Browning (Vizcaino kick), 12:07
FRE — Scott 6 pass from Virgil (Camacho kick), 2:59
WAS — Gaskin 8 pass from Browning (Vizcaino kick), :09
WAS — Pettis 73 pass from Browning (Soderberg kick), 13:58
FRE — FG Camacho 29, 10:42
FRE — FG Camacho 35, 4:28
FRE — FG Camacho 31, 11:38
Time of Possession
RUSHING — Fresno State, Hokit 3-29, Rivers 10-29, McMaryion 5-23, Mims 6-17, O’Neal 2-11, S.Johnson 2-7, Virgil 2-4, (Team) 1-(minus 1). Washington, Gaskin 8-56, Ahmed 10-28, L.Coleman 7-13, McGrew 1-6, Pounds 1-0, Bridge-Gadd 1-(minus 1), Browning 1-(minus 4), Carta-Samuels 1-(minus 6).
PASSING — Fresno State, Virgil 11-20-1-98, McMaryion 10-16-0-96. Washington, Pettis 1-1-0-36, Carta-Samuels 5-5-0-37, Browning 19-22-0-255.
RECEIVING — Fresno State, Scott 5-40, K.Johnson 4-51, Mims 4-41, Ja.Rice 3-43, O’Neal 2-12, Hokit 2-4, Grim 1-3. Washington, Pettis 5-92, Aa.Fuller 4-45, Lenius 4-44, H.Bryant 3-99, Pounds 2-12, Gaskin 2-10, Ahmed 2-2, Dissly 1-9, Kizer 1-9, L.Coleman 1-6.
MISSED FIELD GOALS — Fresno State, Camacho 48.