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Playing 18: Going Over DeBoer's Fresno State Football Scorecard

New Husky football coach track record shows success, quick fixes, clutch finishes.

Kalen DeBoer played 18 at Fresno State. Games, not holes. He took big swings and made long putts.

He won 12 of these outings. Only once did his football team show up not ready to compete. Yet with each issue that arose, such as an overly generous defense at times, it didn't last long. 

That's called coaching.

Otherwise, DeBoer's Bulldogs were everything that he's promised for his new position at Washington. An attacking and explosive team. Unreal numbers on offense. A blitzing style on defense. Entertaining for the fan base in a big way.

Following are summaries of each of his 18 games at Fresno State, his total backlog as an FBS coach, every resume entry for his UW application. 

DeBoer postgame comments are attached to each outing, demonstrating his postgame mindset. 

He went 12-6, posting a record that makes a baseball pitcher highly desirable to the Mariners front office. 

DeBoer is the 30th UW coach. His predecessor got 13 games before he was cast aside. This guy wants at least 13 years to build something memorable. 

Take a look at each game synopsis from his San Joaquin Valley assignment and see if the new Husky head coach fits your expectations for a football turnaround and for prolonged success in Montlake.

2020 FRESNO STATE SEASON

Hawaii 34, at Fresno State 19

In DeBoer's FBS coaching debut, his defense gave up 552 yards and his offense coughed up the ball over four times. He turned Jake Haener loose for the first time and the transfer from the UW passed for 289 yards and a score, but he threw three interceptions. The new coach was satisfied with the effort in a loss, saying, "I think the guys played extremely hard. I can't tell you how many times I had a guy who was cramping or things like that. I think we are just going to get better." Record: 0-1

At Fresno State 38, Colorado State 17

As the Bulldogs' 20th coach, DeBoer earned his first victory on a Thursday night as his team came out fast and rolled up 301 yards of total offense in the first half alone. Haener bounced back with 311 yards and 3 scores through the air, relying on a friend's encouragement. "My good buddy Jake Browning texted me, the UW quarterback — we're still really close," Haener said. "He gave me advice about what happens when you make turnovers and when things don't go your way and how you respond and how you want to handle the next game because quarterbacks aren't defined by one game." Record: 1-1

Fresno State 40, at UNLV 27

DeBoer took his team to Las Vegas and new Allegiant Stadium, and his offense topped 400 yards for the third consecutive game. The Bulldogs finished with 487 yards, showing a nice balance with a 244-243 split in passing and rushing yardage. The Fresno State defense began to evolve by forcing 3 turnovers and coming up with 6 sacks. DeBoer praised his defensive guys, saying, "We talk about a fighter's mentality. We keep punching and playing. It didn't matter what the scoreboard said other than you have to know the situation. We just kept playing hard, and if you keep doing that, then good things are going to happen." Record: 2-1

Fresno State 35, at Utah State 16

In his fourth outing, Haener aired it out in Logan, Utah, with a 422-yard, 4-TD passing performance, completing 29 of 38 attempts. It was the most passing yards for a Fresno State quarterback since Derek Carr rang up 404 in the 2013 Mountain West title game against Utah State. Haener had 15 throws for 10 yards or more, including TD passes of 44, 59 and 71 yards. The Bulldogs also had 6 more sacks, giving them 12 in two games. "I am proud of how we go about our business during the week," DeBore said. "I am proud of how we respond to the good and the bad, and how we stay together." Record: 3-1

At Nevada 37, Fresno State 26

In an offensive shootout in Reno, DeBoer's team outgained the Wolf Pack 599-416, but couldn't keep up on the scoreboard. Haener launched 65 passes, completing 41 for 485 yards and 3 scores. However, the Fresno State secondary couldn't slow Nevada QB Carson Strong, a top NFL prospect who tossed 5 touchdowns on 23-for-39, 354-yard passing. DeBoer was content with the effort, saying, "Obviously we're disappointed with the outcome of the game. We have a locker room of guys who came here expecting to win. That is the expectation we have every time we step on the football field. We fought until the very end." Record: 3-2

New Mexico 49, Fresno State 39

Playing in Las Vegas for a second time, this time at Sam Boyd Stadium, DeBoer's team dropped a second consecutive shootout to finish a pandemic-shortened season 3-3. Fresno State was outgained 495-408 in total yards and outscored 28-0 from midway in the third quarter to the end of the fourth. Haener threw for 350 yards and 3 scores. However, New Mexico converted 12 of 16 third-down plays. "You are always discouraged when you lose," DeBoer said. "It is hard for me to find the words to say, especially here at the end, when you're so used to winning over the years. I know a lot of guys are hurting, and that's a good thing because it means it's important." Record: 3-3

Kalen DeBoer coaches Fresno State against UCLA.

Kalen DeBoer guided Fresno State past UCLA. 

2021 FRESNO STATE SEASON

At Fresno State 45, Connecticut 0

Opening his second season with the Bulldogs, DeBoer's defense pitched a shutout and Haener put the ball in the air for 331 yards and 3 scores, including an 86-yard strike to Jalen Cropper. DeBoer had his team ready to go for the first morning game ever at Bulldogs Stadium, saying, "Seeing the defense use the energy coming out of the locker room to start the game, and feeding off that, I know we were probably a little over the top but excited." Record: 1-0

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At Oregon 31, Fresno State 24

The Bulldogs went toe to toe with one of the nation's best and even led the Ducks 24-21 with 13 minutes left to play. Yet Oregon pulled it out on Anthony Brown's quarterback keeper with 2:57 left to play. Haener completed 30 of 43 passes for 298 yards and a score against the Pac-12 secondary. DeBoer's team didn't pull the upset, but the coach was pleased with what he saw. "We never looked overwhelmed, we lined up right and we were physical," he said. "We are becoming stingy. We have a one-yard-is-too-many mindset." Record: 1-1

At Fresno State 63, Cal Poly 10

DeBoer's offense piled up a whopping 671 yards of total offense and scored touchdowns on eight consecutive offensive possessions over an overmatched opponent. Haener threw for 4 touchdowns and ran for 2 more. "Yeah, I think it was a great performance by our team all around," DeBoer said. "The defense continues to be stingy and I love the way they just play consistently through the course of the game." Record: 2-1

Fresno State 40, at UCLA 37

The Bulldogs beat the 13th-ranked Bruins for the fourth consecutive time in the series, but this one was special: Some called it one of the greatest victories in school history. Practically on one leg, a banged-up Haener took Fresno State the length of the field for a game-winning, 13-yard TD pass to Cropper with 40 seconds left to play as part of a 455-yard passing night. DeBoer was elated with his team's performance, saying, "I think the biggest thing was the belief that we would win. There was never a question coming into the game and we fought for all four quarters." Record: 3-1

At Fresno State 38, UNLV 30 

DeBoer's team pulled off another comeback, rallying from 14-0 and 21-9 deficits. Haener threw for 378 yards and 5 touchdown passes, and 4 went to Cropper, the last covering 26 yards and coming with 4:53 left to play for a go-ahead score. DeBoer talked about his team's resilience, saying, "There's no question the guys in that locker room care so much and sometimes they maybe care too much, and they just have to go out there and have fun and play ball. I'm proud of this team because the way it kept playing until the very end." Record: 4-1

At Hawaii 27, Fresno State 24

The Bulldogs' comeback magic ran out in the islands as they committed 6 turnovers, 4 interceptions and a pair of fumbles. DeBoer's team took a 24-10 lead into the fourth quarter, but gave up three unanswered scores. Haener threw 50 passes, completing 28 of them for 388 yards and 3 TDs, but he was victimized for 4 interceptions. Fresno State was driving at the end for a game-winning score, but Haener threw a pick at the Hawaii 2 with nine seconds left. Record: 4-2

Kalen DeBoer has coached Fresno State to a 9-3 record.

Kalen DeBoer led Fresno State to 12 wins in 18 outings. 

Fresno State 17, at Wyoming 0

In a defensive struggle, the Bulldogs posted their second shutout of the season. Haener threw for a season-low 98 yards, but DeBoer's defense came up big with 4 interceptions to hand the Cowboys their first blanking in 11 seasons. DeBoer liked what he saw from his guys, saying, "I think we beat Wyoming at their own game. We took care of the football and got the turnovers. There are still a lot of things we can get better at, but I am excited that we are finding different ways to win. I think that's a sign of a great football team." Record: 5-2

At Fresno State 34, Nevada 32

Two of the Mountain West's best offenses went at it and DeBoer's team won the game with defense, collecting 11 tackles for loss, among them 5 sacks, while holding the Wolf Pack to just 47 yards rushing. The quarterbacks locked into another high-level passing duel. Haener completed 26 of 38 passes for 256 yards and 2 TDs, while Reno's Strong hit 49 of 61 attempts for 476 yards and 4 scores. DeBoer's take, "I guess if you want to watch a game till the last second just come watch us play, right? About every game comes down to the last drive." Record: 6-2

Fresno State 30, at San Diego State 20

The Bulldogs defeated another ranked team on the road, the unbeaten No. 20 Aztecs, to take home the Old Oil Can. They did it the old-fashioned way, running Jordan Mims for 186 yards and a pair of scores. Haener added another 306 yards on 25-of-42 passing for a TD. DeBoer was pleased with his team's toughness, saying, "This was a huge team win for us. The defense did a great job all game long by consistently shutting down the run. We brought a lot of physicality from the start which set the tone." Record: 7-2

Boise State 40, at Fresno State 14

Trailing 13-7, DeBoer's team gave up 27 unanswered points and weren't their normal invincible selves at home to a Boise State entry in a rebuild, which was a rarity for this coach. He acknowledged his team didn't come ready to play, saying, "That's not how we obviously saw that going tonight and it's simply on all of us together. It starts with me. We've got to be better and I have to coach better and get our guys in the right mindset." Record: 7-3

At Fresno State 34, New Mexico 7

Bouncing back from their bad loss, the Bulldogs turned to their defense and limited the Lobos to just 34 yards passing and 7 first downs. Haener tossed passes for 300 yards and 3 scores. Everyone was emotional on Senior Day. "Probably the only thing I was concerned about was the emotions I saw from the seniors when they were getting introduced and coming down the ramp," DeBoer said. "I could see how important this place is to them. I know that's the type of guys we have on this football team. There were a lot more tears shed than I even imagined." Record: 8-3

Fresno State 40, at San Jose State 9 

In what would be DeBoer's final game with Fresno State, his team collected more hardware, taking the Valley Trophy back from the Spartans. The Bulldogs permitted just 3 field goals and Haener threw for 343 yards and 4 TDs. DeBoer liked the effort everyone provided, saying, "This team is all about character and it showed that. The players don't take anything for granted and they enjoy the opportunities that they get to play together." Record: 9-3

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