Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams has turned heads with back-to-back huge efforts.
Now he and quarterback Derek Carr will try to take advantage of one of the nation’s worst passing defenses in a showdown for first place in the West Division of the Mountain West Conference.
The No. 15 Bulldogs hit the road Saturday night in search of a seventh straight win when they face a San Diego State team that has won three straight overall and seven in a row in conference play.
Adams finished with career highs of 221 yards receiving and four scores from Carr in a 38-14 rout of UNLV last Saturday. In his previous game, he had 16 catches for 185 yards and three scores in a 61-14 win at Idaho on Oct. 5.
The junior says he is taking advantage of one-on-one coverage.
“I think of it as just guys being stubborn or running what they run,” he said. “We just have to keep attacking it and get them out of it. They kept going back to it and we just kept going and attacking it.”
Carr is second in the FBS with 23 touchdown passes and sixth in yardage with 2,276. He has guided Fresno State (6-0, 3-0) to its best start since brother David Carr led the Bulldogs to the same mark in 2001, and sees no reason not to keep targeting Adams.
“Our mind-set is if anyone is going to play us man we treat it like they are disrespecting us,” Carr said. “Davante loves one-on-one coverage, so hopefully we continue to see it. He continues his level of play each week, and it just so happened (Saturday) that half his catches were TDs.”
Whether San Diego State (3-3, 2-0) can offer any resistance is questionable. The Aztecs are allowing 280.2 yards per game through the air for the 15th-worst mark in the nation.
San Diego State has recovered from an 0-3 start, and will be well rested after being off since a 27-20 win at Air Force on Oct. 10.
Aztecs coach Rocky Long, however, is concerned about his team.
“We’re inconsistent,” Long said. “At times, we look pretty good. And other times, we don’t look like we even practice. So that just must be this team’s personality, and hopefully we’ll play good enough to win some more games.”
Both teams are unsure of the status of injured running backs.
San Diego State’s Chase Price has missed the three-game win streak with a separated shoulder, while the Bulldogs’ Marteze Waller is questionable after spraining his foot last Saturday.
Waller’s loss may not be a huge one since Josh Quezada started the first five games, even though he is second on the team with 351 rushing yards to Waller’s 408.
Fresno State’s offensive focal point remains Carr, who went 42 of 55 for a career-high 536 yards and five touchdowns in a 52-40 victory over San Diego State on Sept. 29, 2012, the Aztecs’ last MWC defeat.
The Bulldogs will be facing first-year San Diego State starter Quinn Kaehler, who has six touchdowns and 535 yards passing in his last two games. Kaehler has a higher yards per attempt figure (8.05) than Carr (7.41).
Fresno State has the 16th-worst pass defense in the nation, yielding 278.0 yards per game.
San Diego State has taken the last four home meetings with the Bulldogs. The Aztecs are trying to become the second FBS team since 2002 to open with three defeats and win their next four contests.
The Aztecs lead the all-time series 27-21 with four ties. San Diego State has scored 1,092 points and Fresno State 1,091 in the 52 previous matchups.