MOSCOW, Idaho – Late on Saturday afternoon, with just a few hundred fans left in the Kibbie Dome, Idaho quarterback Chad Chalich dropped back to pass and was blasted by Fresno State defensive back Dillon Root.
The game clock showed one second left. But that didn’t matter to Paul Petrino, who called a timeout.
“Every play we can take, we need,” Idaho’s rookie coach said when asked why he extended Fresno State’s historic 61-14 whitewashing of the Vandals.
After Idaho huddled, Chalich’s final snap on a miserable afternoon ended like so many others: He was rocked again by Root for the Bulldogs’ sixth sack of the game.
UI (1-5) was left to ponder how it could go so far backward after last week’s breakthrough win over Temple.
Led by a near-perfect first half from QB Derek Carr, the 23rd-ranked Bulldogs (5-0) handed the Vandals their worst home defeat in program history. Never in 38 years of playing in the Kibbie Dome, or the eight decades before that, has Idaho lost at home by such a wide margin.
“That was pretty embarrassing,” Petrino said.
In their first home game against a ranked team since 2010, the Vandals were noncompetitive from the start. They were outgained 734-275 and gave up almost 10 yards per play in the first half when Fresno State breezed to a 47-0 lead.
Carr was 37-for-48 passing for 419 yards and five touchdowns. All his TD passes were in the first half, and three went to receiver Davante Adams.
With the Bulldogs rolling, Saturday’s most interesting subplot came following FSU coach Tim DeRuyter’s halftime radio interview. He accused Petrino of telling his players to hit Carr late and said his team was “gonna score 100” in response.
“He’s yelling on the sideline to hit our QB late,” DeRuyter said, according to ESPN 940 in Fresno. “He’s going to get what he deserves.”
Petrino, who clashed with WSU coach Mike Leach during their postgame handshake two weeks ago, laughed off the incident after the game.
“I tried to recruit that kid in high school,” he said of Carr. “I love that kid. I told him that before the game. I think (DeRuyter) might have heard at sometime somebody on the sideline say, ‘Hit the quarterback.’ But I don’t think we ever touched him. He surely wasn’t targeted.”
The Vandals didn’t register a sack or a QB hurry against Carr, and they weren’t able to muster a scoring drive until the fourth quarter with backup quarterback Josh McCain in the game.
McCain left with an apparent shoulder injury.
Chalich, a redshirt freshman from Coeur d’Alene, finished with three interceptions after going 155 pass attempts to start his career without being picked off.