FRESNO, Calif. (ABC 4 Sports) - Weber State opened the 2012 season with a 37-10 loss to the Fresno State Bulldogs late Saturday night in front of 27,663 fans at Bulldog Stadium.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead early in the second quarter and led 24-3 at halftime. Fresno State had 295 yards of total offense compared to 117 for the Wildcats at halftime.
The Wildcats came out stronger in the second half and Mike Hoke found Shaydon Kehano for a 36-yard touchdown pass and cut the FSU lead to 24-10 with 9:37 to play in the third quarter. That remained the score until mid-way through the fourth quarter. After a Hoke interception the Bulldogs responded the very next play with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to Davante Adams that gave the Bulldogs the 30-10 lead. They added a four-year run five minutes later to seal the victory.
“I thought we played extremely hard and I was really proud of our effort and intensity,” said WSU head coach Jody Sears, who was coaching his first game as a head coach. “I thought we were a little tentative on defense early on but we started to settle down and made some adjustments and played better. Fresno State is a really talented team and they played a great game.”
Weber State finished the game with 274 yards of total offense and allowed the Bulldogs to total 515 yards of total offense. WSU had difficulty running the ball against the Bulldogs as they totaled just 67 yards rushing compared to 217 for Fresno State.
Senior quarterback Mike Hoke returned for the Wildcats and had a strong game, finishing 25-32 for 202 yards and one touchdown and one interception. Hoke started the game a perfect 10-10 passing. He also rushed 12 times for 34 yards.
Junior Jordan Clemente led the WSU receiving core with nine catches for 51 yards. Clemente had a total of nine receptions all season long as a tight end but moved to wide receiver this season.
“We were able to make some adjustments after the start and were able to get more comfortable with our offense,” Clemente said. “There were a lot of things we can learn from this game and Fresno State was a really strong and fast team.”
The Wildcats were playing without the services of their top two defenders and co-team captains Anthony Morales and Trevor Pletcher who both missed the game with injuries. Luke King and Willie Okwuonu led the Wildcat defense with nine total tackles.
Weber State continues on the road next week when they head to Provo to take on BYU next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the first meeting with the Cougars since 1979.