But while Coach DeRuyter acknowledged a win is a win, he still couldn't hide his disappointment with the way the Bulldogs played in the second half of Saturday's 41-25 win over Cal Poly.
"The lights are on, the crowd is on, and you've got a different colored jersey across from you," said DeRuyter. "You can get some jitters. It was good to get it out of their system. But we've got to obviously improve."
Leading 41-3 in the third quarter and not wanting to risk injury to starters, DeRuyter inserted his backups, only to watch the Mustangs score 22 unanswered points. That forced DeRuyter to put the starters back in.
"You hate to wholesale paint that everybody on that second unit didn't do well," explained DeRuyter. "But we had too many missed tackles, too many missed assignments, bad eyes and discipline problems that way, that we've got to get fixed."
There were plenty of positives for Fresno State, including Isaiah Burse's breakout performance on special teams, and Senior Offensive Tackle Austin Wentworth finding the end zone on a trick play in the second quarter.
"It was definitely surreal," Wentworth said about his touchdown on a hook-and-lateral play. "Crossing the [goal] line I didn't know what to do. I just kind of looked around and gave the ball back to the ref. Then Burse jumped on me and the whole o-line was there going crazy. So it was a great experience."
But now it's back to work, as the Bulldogs get ready for a rematch against Pac-12 school Colorado. Fresno State embarrassed the Buffaloes 69-14 last year, and is expecting Saturday's game to be personal for the home team.
"You just have to take it as a personal challenge," said Wentworth. You have to look at it as they're going to come out and embarrass you like you did last year to them."
"They've got a totally different staff," said DeRuyter. "We're looking at what they've done this year, and they look very different on tape."
Kickoff at Folsom Field is set for 11:00 a.m. Pacific, and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.