Tim DeRuyter started his coaching career similar to the way former head coach Pat Hill began his – dominating a FCS opponent while dealing with suspended player(s).
In 1997, Hill beat Portland State, 35-7, while starting running back Michael Pittman watched from the sidelines serving a one-game suspension.
On Saturday, six Bulldogs were suspended for DeRuyter's coaching debut, including three wide receivers listed as potential starters on the depth chart. Josh Harper, Rashad Evans, and Victor Dean served a one-game suspension on Saturday. Senior wide receiver A.J. Johnson is suspended for the season. Also suspended were defensive backs Davon Dunn (one game) and Terrance Dennis (four games).
But it didn’t matter.
Despite using a tight end (Marcel Jensen) and converted cornerback (Anthony Riggins) extensively at wide receiver during its first three drives to fill the void, Fresno State jumped out to commanding 21-0 lead 57 seconds into the second quarter.
Weber State then made things interesting forcing the Bulldogs to punt on five of their next six drives while building a small comeback. Wildcats quarterback Mike Hoke found Shaydon Kehano for a 36-yard touchdown just over six minutes into the third quarter.
Fresno State amassed 218 yards of offense in the first quarter but were held to 147 yards the in the second and third netting just a 39-yard field goal from Quentin Breshears in the process.
But the Bulldog defense came through in the fourth when cornerback Sean Alston intercepted Hoke at the Bulldog 38-yard line. On the next play, Derek Carr hit Davante Adams for his second touchdown pass of the game ending any hopes of a Wildcats rally.
Senior running back Milton Knox capped the scoring with a four-yard touchdown run with 3:35 remaining.
Carr completed his first 10 passes and finished just two yards shy of 300 yards passing. He hit Adams on the Bulldogs opening drive for a 27-yard touchdown pass. The redshirt freshman Adams caught seven balls for a game-high 118 yards receiving.
Robbie Rouse scored from two and one yards out, respectively, on the next two drives. Rouse finished with a game-high 123 yards rushing on 22 carries.
Weber State answered the ‘Dogs 21-point outburst with a 40-yard Shaun McClain field goal at the 7:16 mark in the second quarter.
Hoke completed 25-of-32 passes for 202 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Wildcats receiver Jordan Clemente finished with a game-high nine receptions for 51 yards.
Fresno State now prepares to face No. 5 Oregon on Saturday in Eugene. The Ducks pummeled Arkansas State 57-34 last night.
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