NCAA FB

Sat, Oct 19, 2013 - 10:00 PM ET
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Derek Carr has helped lead Fresno State to its best start since his brother's days at the school.

To match that mark, he'll have to dissect a strong passing defense.

Carr and the 17th-ranked Bulldogs return home for the first time in nearly a month Saturday night seeking their 10th straight series win over UNLV.

Fresno State (5-0, 2-0 Mountain West) is 5-0 for the first time since David Carr led the program to a 6-0 mark in 2001. The younger Carr has been at the forefront this time, ranking second nationally in both passing yards per game (372.8) and touchdowns (19).

The Bulldogs' last game was a 61-14 win at Idaho on Oct. 5, and they haven't played at home since beating Boise State 41-40 on Sept. 20 for their ninth straight victory there.

Carr is three TD passes and 33 completions shy of Fresno State's career records after going 37 of 48 for 419 yards, five scores - all in the first half - and an interception versus Idaho. He's also 376 yards short of 10,000 for his career.

"I'm fired up to be that close," he said. "Hopefully, I'll have a chance to do those things. But again, my focus is to win. If we don't win, and I break a record, I promise it's going to be the worst day."

Receivers Davante Adams and Josh Harper have been his primary beneficiaries, both tied for fourth nationally with seven TD catches each.

The Bulldogs are averaging 47.4 points - fifth in the FBS - and 538.0 yards, which ranks seventh. They've won 10 straight regular-season games, scoring at least 41 points in each, to earn their highest ranking since they were No. 16 on Nov. 20, 2005.

In the wake of several Top-25 upsets, Fresno State moved up four spots from last week's poll despite being idle.

"My thought is: Let's take another couple of weekends off, and be in the top 10," coach Tim DeRuyter said. "To me, that's what it means."

"It's kind of fun to talk about right now but doesn't mean anything. I don't think (No.) 17 is a stop sign for our guys. We just have to get better every week and see how it goes."

Fresno State's prolific offense could be tested by a hot UNLV squad (4-2, 2-0) riding a four-game win streak after dropping its first two games by a combined 73 points.

The Rebels got a 44-yard field goal from Nolan Kohorst as time expired for a 39-37 home victory over Hawaii last Saturday. The senior's first career game-winning field goal capped a 12-play, 51-yard drive after the team surrendered 20 unanswered fourth-quarter points.

UNLV's narrow win came despite running a Mountain West-record 114 offensive plays.

"We had a lot of chances to make plays on both sides of the ball, and the kicking game ... and we didn't do it," coach Bobby Hauck told the team's website. "The one thing we do take from the game is we're a united football team and we know how to win games."

The Rebels allowed a season-high 325 passing yards, though it came on 48 attempts. They rank fourth and eighth in the country, respectively, limiting opponents to 45.1 percent passing and 165.8 yards per game.

Quarterback Caleb Herring's 183 passes without an interception, dating to last year, tied the conference record until he was picked off on the first half's final play.

Fresno State leads the all-time series 11-4, though this is the first meeting since a 46-28 Bulldogs win on Oct. 25, 1997.

UNLV is winless in the series since a 27-13 victory in 1984.

Tagged: Fresno State, UNLV, Derek Carr

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