And then there were four.
Fresno State fell from the ranks of the unbeatens on Friday against San Jose State, losing 62-52.
Yes, you read that score correctly. And after the first half, you would have been expecting more. At halftime, San Jose State led the Bulldogs 42-41. The teams combined for 1,006 total first half yards and quarterbacks Derek Carr and David Fales had 12 touchdown passes between them.
The teams finished with 1,382 yards and all the second half touchdowns were on the ground. That meant that the total yards record of 1,640 set between San Jose State and Nevada in 2001 remains, as does the FBS passing touchdown record of 13, which was set three times.
Fresno State's BCS hopes don't remain. The Bulldogs were able to play the disrespect card after Northern Illinois jumped them in the BCS standings after last week. While Northern Illinois won Tuesday, two convincing wins by Fresno State would give the Dogs a chance to win over some voters and get a bump. Oops.
And let's be blunt, no defense that gives up 42 points in one half and 62 points in a game to San Jose State deserves to go to a BCS bowl. The Fresno offense is BCS worthy; Carr leads the country in passing yards and touchdown passes. But that defense, no thanks. Fales threw for 547 yards and six touchdowns, and remember, all of those tosses came before halftime. The Spartans' recipe for second half success came by controlling the clock on offense, which it did authoritatively, and its defense was able to get stops. That was unfathomable in the first quarter. (And remember, this was the defense that gave up seven touchdowns to Navy's Keenan Reynolds last week.)
Carr's Heisman hopes are gone too. You could make the case that he's been as exceptional as NIU's Jordan Lynch has been. But both quarterbacks' cases rest largely on their teams' undefeated records. Lynch still has it with the MAC Championship to go and a BCS berth that's theirs to lose on the line. Fresno does not.
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