"I think our team has been tested a few times now and shown resolve," said Fresno State Head Coach Tim DeRuyter. "When we have to get stops, there are three games now that we've had to get a stop to finish the game. And three times our defense stood up when they had to make those stops."
"These close games just get us more focused, and you don't take any team lightly," said Bulldogs Wide Receiver Josh Harper. "You've got to play every team like it's Rutgers or Boise State."
That being said, both players and coaches are disappointed with many aspects of their performance, most notably ball security. Four second half turnovers contributed directly to Hawaii's comeback attempt.
"You've got to give Hawaii credit," admitted DeRuyter. "They physically took the ball away from our guys. But we've got to get that fixed. And Derek's interceptions, he knows the mistakes he made on those and he can get those corrected."
"We preach it every day at practice: We've got to hold on to the ball," said Harper. "We took it pretty tough. We have to hold on to the ball to win games."
The Bulldogs will look to begin the process of correcting those errors against former WAC rivals Idaho, in the two programs' first meeting since a 48-24 Fresno State win in 2011. The Vandals are 1-4 this season, but coach DeRuyter says they're much better than that.
"I think they're a team with some momentum," said DeRuyter. "They're playing with a lot of excitement. You can tell they're being coached well because they're playing hard and fast."
Kickoff at the Kibbie Dome is set for 2:00pm Pacific.