Bulldogs taking a different approach to Boise State

ccripe@idahostatesman.comSeptember 20, 2013 

  • A LOPSIDED RIVALRY

    Here’s what has happened since Boise State and Fresno State became annual opponents in 2001:

    2001: Boise State 35, No. 8 Fresno State 30 (ESPN)

    2002: Boise State 67, Fresno State 21 (ESPN)

    2003: No. 20 Boise State 31, Fresno State 17 (ESPN2)

    2004: No. 19 Boise State 33, Fresno State 16 (ESPN2)

    2005: No. 20 Fresno State 27, Boise State 7 (ESPN)

    2006: No. 14 Boise State 45, Fresno State 21 (ESPN2)

    2007: Boise State 34, Fresno State 21 (ESPN2)

    2008: No. 9 Boise State 61, Fresno State 10 (ESPN2)

    2009: No. 10 Boise State 51, Fresno State 34 (ESPN)

    2010: No. 3 Boise State 51, Fresno State 0 (ESPN2)

    2011: No. 5 Boise State 57, Fresno State 7 (ESPN)

    2012: No. 24 Boise State 20, Fresno State 10 (NBC Sports Network)

    Note: Even-year games were played in Boise.

When the Boise State football team produced that memorable, improbable upset of No. 8 Fresno State in 2001 at Bulldog Stadium, a rivalry was born.

And you’d think, a string of great games ensued.

But as the Broncos and Bulldogs head into another anticipated matchup Friday night, fans are still waiting for a second dramatic finish.

The Broncos are 11-1 against the Bulldogs since joining the WAC in 2001 — and all but that first game, a 35-30 thriller, have been decided by double digits.

The Bulldogs’ lone victory, in 2005, was a 27-7 decision.

“That (2001) game was a unique, exciting, different game for sure,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. “I don’t know why it hasn’t been (closer since).”

Fresno State second-year coach Tim DeRuyter and quarterback Derek Carr think they have an idea — the Bulldogs, they say, have wanted to end the seven-game series losing streak so badly that they haven’t performed well on game day.

They’re trying a different tack this year — even though they’re surrounded by fans who circle one game on their calendars.

“As I travel along the (Central) Valley, there’s one team the people in the Valley want to beat,” DeRuyter said this week, “and it’s this one.”

Carr is the younger brother of star quarterback David Carr, whose Heisman Trophy campaign was derailed in that 2001 game. Nobody in red wants to beat the Broncos more. David, in fact, famously hung a Boise State flag in Derek’s residence as a challenge.

“When I went out to the Boise game last year, once I got out there (on the field), it was just like another game. I got caught up way too much in my head.”

This year he has adopted the “just another game” mantra.

“I’m glad I can say that and have more peace in my heart about it than saying it last year and not really feeling that way,” he said.

Boise State has taken that flat-line approach to games for years. It’s one reason Petersen’s teams rarely play significantly below their potential.

“Coach Pete does a great job of instilling that philosophy of ‘one day at a time’ and just trying to get better each and every day,” senior wide receiver Kirby Moore said. “And it pays off in the long run.”

More on Friday's game between Boise State and Fresno State

More than just a win at stake for Broncos

Boise State players to watch

Game breakdown

Fresno State players to watch

Mountain West Power Poll

Improved ground attack fuels Boise State's offense

Brian Murphy: The end of great defense?

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