FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Less than one week after beating No. 13 UCLA at the Rose Bowl, Fresno State struggled at home against 0-3 UNLV.
The Bulldogs entered Friday’s game as 30-point favorites, yet they trailed the Rebels for most of the night.
No. 22/25 Fresno State (4-1, 1-0) took its first lead of the game at the 3:47 mark of the third quarter when Jake Haener connected with Jalen Cropper on a 23-yard touchdown. Haener threw five touchdown passes on Friday night, four of which went to Cropper.
“It was hard. Credit to (UNLV),” said Fresno State head coach Kalen DeBoer. “I knew they were a better team than what their record showed. The schedule they had up to this point in our game was misleading. And so, proud of the guys the way they fight. They wanted it bad, and sometimes a little too bad because they press a little bit.”
Jake Haener, the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week, is the current FBS leader in passing yards. He added 378 yards to that total on Friday night, with most of that yardage going to Keric Wheatfall (5 rec, 115 yards) and Cropper (10 rec, 108 yards).
UNLV’s Charles Williams rushed for 102 yards in the loss. It is the third time in his career he has rushed for more than 100 yards in a game against Fresno State. Williams, a Fresno native (Bullard High School), had 19 carries and also scored a touchdown.