University of Wyoming running back Shaun Wick (21) finds an opening in Fresno's defense Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 during the first half of the game at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, WY. (AP Photo/Jeremy Martin)The Associated Press
University of Wyoming’s Brett Smith (16), scrambles out of the pocket in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Fresno St. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeremy Martin)The Associated Press
LARAMIE, Wyo. – In a showdown between high-scoring Mountain West Conference offenses, Wyoming found out it isn't in the same league as No. 17 Fresno State.
The Cowboys gained only 82 yards in the second half and Fresno State scored 48 unanswered points for a 48-10 victory Saturday night.
"Our execution wasn't at the level we needed," Wyoming coach Dave Christensen said. "I thought in the first half there were times when we moved the ball, and then we came out in the second half and just sputtered."
Derek Carr threw for 366 yards and four touchdowns, and Josh Quezada rushed for 105 yards to lead the Bulldogs (9-0, 6-0 Mountain West).
Wyoming (4-5, 2-3) is 0-15 against ranked teams under Christensen, in his fifth year as head coach, and hasn't beaten a Top 25 opponent since 2002, when the Cowboys defeated No. 24 Air Force 34-26.
Wyoming's offense, which ranked second to the Bulldogs in the conference with an average of 516.2 yards coming in, was held to a season-low 296. The Cowboys were averaging 36.5 points until Saturday night.
Carr completed 33 of 46 passes with no interceptions before being pulled for the night with 9:45 left and the game well in hand. He has gone 229 pass attempts without an interception.
Quezada had his second consecutive (and second career) 100-yard game on 16 carries.
Brett Smith led the Cowboys, completing 18 of 32 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. His 153 total yards were well below his average of 349.8.
Running back Tedder Easton gained 90 yards.
The game pitted the top two offenses in the Mountain West against each other.
Wyoming got the better of the Bulldogs early, grabbing a 10-0 lead. Smith connected with Shaun Wick on a 2-yard TD pass, which was set up by Easton's 79-yard run through the middle of the Bulldogs' defense, for the only score of the first quarter.
Easton said he made a cut near the line of scrimmage and "looked down the field and no one was there." He was caught at the 2-yard line.
"I was hoping I was fast enough to get there," he said. "This time I wasn't, but it felt good to get there."
It was the first time this season Fresno State had been shut out in the opening period.
Stuart Williams added a 27-yard field goal for the Cowboys early in the second.
"They came out with a lot of energy," Carr said. "Coach hit it on the head: We're going to get everybody's best game. They came out with so much energy and so much passion. We had to take our passion and energy to another level."
Carr got Fresno State both passion and points with back-to-back touchdown drives of 75 and 73 yards — the first ending with a 9-yard TD pass to Marcel Jensen and the second on a 19-yard scoring strike to Isiah Burse. They were the first scores of a 48-0 surge by the Bulldogs, who ended the game with 600 total yards on offense.
Fresno State has gained more than 500 yards in seven games and at least 600 four times this season.
Carr connected once more with Jensen on a 2-yard TD pass and with Davante Adams for a 9-yard score. Josh Harper caught nine passes for 159 yards.
"The game started out the way we wanted it to," Christensen said, citing a lack of execution by his team. "The first half was exactly as we envisioned it. Obviously the second half wasn't."
Christensen fired his defensive coordinator last week after Wyoming allowed more than 50 points in its previous two games — both losses — and hired veteran defensive coach Bill Young to help for the remainder of the season.
During a 44-year career, Young has coached defenses at a number of top programs, including USC, Ohio State and Oklahoma. He was last the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State from 2009-12.
Defensive end Eddie Yarbrough marveled at Fresno State's offense.
"Especially in the second half they came out and really started clicking a lot and really just executed their game plan really well," he said.