Jake Haener and Fresno State SHUTOUT UConn in 2021 Debut
Fresno State took on UConn at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno on Saturday. The Bulldogs finished
3-3 last year, but did not reach a bowl. Fresno lost their 3 games against Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico. They won against UNLV, Colorado State, and Utah State, but had their rivalry game against San Jose State canceled. UConn did not play in 2020 and have changed conferences since then. They switched from the American Athletic Conference to become FBS Independent. In 2019, they went
2-10 on the season with their only wins coming against UMass and Wagner. They went 0-8 in conference play. The only teams from the AAC the Huskies are playing are UCF and Houston. Fresno State came into the game as a 27.5 point favorite and they showed betters why they were.
UConn recieved the opening kickoff and went theee and out. Both teams punted on their forst two possesions. Fresno State's first TD came with 2:45 left to go in the 1st Quarter when Aaron Mosby strip sacked Jack Zergiotis, recovered the ball, and ran the ball all the way back for a 31 yard strip six touchdown. Both teams punted on the next three possessions, but in the 2nd quarter, Fresno State boomed. After a punt from UConn, Fresno State marched 69 yards down the field over 4 plays and scored a touchdown on a 9 yard TD pass from Jake Haener to Ty Jones to make it 14-0. 3 possessions later, after a punt from UConn, the Bulldogs scored on 1 play. Jake Haener threw a 20 yard pass to Fresno State HB Star Ronnie Rivers, who was on a wheel route, and Ronnie turned it into a 61 yard TD pass for his 45th career TD. Ronnie broke the all-time Fresno State Running Back TD record on that catch. Fresno State did it all again a possession later after a UConn punt. On 1 play, Fresno State expanded their lead to 28. Haener threw an 86 yard TD pass to Jalen Cropper, and after another UConn punt, Fresno State marched down the field and Cesar Silva kicked a 24 yard field goal as time ran out, to make the score at halftime, 31-0.
To open the 2nd Half, the Bulldogs marched down the field behind backup QB Logan Fife, but on the Conneticut 12 yard line, Fife threw a pass that was picked off for no gain at the Conneticut 3 yard line. Conneticut went three and out, though. Fresno turned the punt into a 48 yard drive that ended in a 8 yard TD pass from Haener to Jordan Mims to make it 38-0. After a turnover on downs, the Bulldogs marched down the field and Logan Fife threw a 1 yard TD pass to Raymond Pauwels Jr. to make it 45-0. After a punt, Fresno State missed a 51 yard FG after a 9 yard drive. Fresno State kneeled it out and won 45-0 to open up their season 1-0.
Fresno State had 587 yards while UConn had only 107 yards. The Bulldogs had 25 first downs while the Huskies had only 9. Jake Haener was 20 for 26 with 311 yards and 3 TDs for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs won their first season opener since 2018 when they beat the Idaho Vandals 79-13.