The way the Boise State football team treats rivalry games, dont expect anyone in the Big East to put a trophy on the line.
The Broncos closed out the Governors Trophy series with Idaho in 2010 with their 12th straight win in the series.
On Saturday, they stashed the Milk Can away for the foreseeable future by beating Fresno State 20-10 at Bronco Stadium Boise States seventh straight win over the Bulldogs.
The No. 24 Broncos (5-1 overall, 2-0 Mountain West) and Bulldogs (4-3, 2-1) dont have any future games scheduled.
It hurts to go through your career and never beat this team, Fresno State senior safety Phillip Thomas said. I always wanted to beat them.
Boise State coach Chris Petersen played to the rivalry emotion last week by placing the Milk Can in the locker room. Players passed it every day, going to and from practice.
The Broncos also read quotes from the Bulldogs in the media including one from linebacker Patrick Sua, who said the Bulldogs were going to go get (the win).
I told the linebackers at the beginning of the week, This thing is not leaving Boise and its not, said Broncos senior linebacker J.C. Percy, who registered a game-high 14 tackles. Its a great feeling.
The game didnt look anything like recent Boise State-Fresno State games the Broncos had scored at least 50 points in four straight encounters.
It did fit the pattern of the 2012 Broncos terrific defense, uneven offense and several missed scoring opportunities.
Boise State shut out its opponent in the first half for the fourth straight game, forced two turnovers, didnt allow a touchdown until the final 3 minutes and limited a big-play Fresno State attack to 4.4 yards per play.
The Bulldogs were averaging 39.5 points per game and had scored at least 25 in each.
Those guys are playing extremely hard, Petersen said of his defense. Fresno can move the ball, and they did. When push came to shove, our defense shoved a little bit harder.
Fresno State didnt cross midfield on any of its first five possessions.
It did crack Broncos territory on five of the last seven promising drives that ended with a touchdown, a field goal, a missed field goal, an interception and a fourth-down stop.
Boise State frequently rushed four and dropped seven, taking away deep passes and leaving the linebackers to handle dynamic tailback Robbie Rouse (25 carries, 77 yards).
Three times, the Bulldogs ran nine or more plays on a drive without scoring.
Theyre an explosive offense and theyve got really explosive receivers, Petersen said. The defensive staff did a great job again game-planning. There were a few (routes) they really wanted to take away in the pass game, and they did. That kind of equated to having to have those guys chip away, which is hard for an offense to do.
Petersen knows that from watching his own offense.
The Broncos threw for 120 yards, the fewest since a 116-yard outing in 2006 at Wyoming (a 17-10 win). They rushed for 215 yards with 122 from senior tailback D.J. Harper and 91 from redshirt freshman tailback Jay Ajayi but were 4-of-12 on third down.
Twice, the Broncos kicked field goals inside the Fresno State 2-yard line.
It was a little bit of two steps forward, one step back, Petersen said of his offense. I thought we had too many negative plays in the run game, getting hit in the backfield.
The pass game was a different attack for the Broncos, with junior quarterback Joe Southwick repeatedly and unsuccessfully launching the ball downfield to seize 1-on-1 matchups. He was 11-of-22 for 113 yards and a touchdown with an interception.
The TD was a 10-yard strike to junior wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn in the first quarter. The Bulldogs took away the primary option, sophomore Matt Miller (one catch, 4 yards), and Southwick led Boldewijn to the front pylon in the left side of the end zone.
That touchdown was nice, Southwick said. I threw to a spot where he could go get it and he made a nice play.
Harper provided the Broncos other touchdown, on a 28-yard run in the second quarter. He found a hole on the left side, spun to free his foot from a defenders grasp, dashed down the sideline and dove past the pylon.
The O-line did a good job I was clean right through the middle and then its just natural instinct, kind of bouncing off and spinning, Harper said. After that, its just a footrace.
The Bulldogs couldnt catch him and they couldnt catch the Broncos, who led 17-0 at halftime.
Its a familiar feeling for the Bulldogs, who have been chasing the Broncos since losing the first conference game between the two in 2001, when Fresno State was considered the program on the rise.
Im extremely disappointed, first-year coach Tim DeRuyter said. We came into the game expecting to compete, expecting to win. Its frustrating because I think we had the capabilities to get it done. I hope everybody in that locker room is pissed off. Because Im pissed off.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat