‘Big Mac’ looking to sack the Pack
By Steve Yingling
Tribune sports editor
Each time Garrett McIntyre brings down a quarterback behind the line of scrimmage, it shouldn’t come as any surprise.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Fresno State defensive tackle has all of the qualities to trap a quarterback in the backfield: good speed, relentless effort and experience.
“A big part of getting sacks is second effort,” said the junior from South Lake Tahoe. “Very rarely do you get a sack on your first move. Usually you are fighting and the quarterback is scrambling and you just need to keep running and chase them down.
“It’s a matter of working hard and good things will happen. That’s something I take pride in.”
And it’s shown.
McIntyre is fourth in the Western Athletic Conference in quarterback sacks with six and was leading the conference until he was shut out in a 70-14 romp over Hawaii last week.
The 2001 Sierra Division Defensive Player of the Year has two more games to reclaim the sack lead and he’ll have plenty of motivation to get at least one on Saturday. McIntyre and the Bulldogs will play host to Nevada, the school that overlooked him coming out of South Tahoe High.
“It’s a team I grew up watching and it was the closest team to Tahoe,” said McIntyre, who made eight QB sacks last year. “It’s always fun when they come to town or we go over to Reno to play them.”
Ironically, the quarterback standing across the line from McIntyre on Saturday night will be the same one that tormented the Vikings and the rest of the Northern Nevada 4A League several years back: Jeff Rowe, a McQueen High alum.
“I just found out that was him,” McIntyre said. “I didn’t know it was him until I looked at the (roster) with the names on it. It’s good to be on a good team and actually have a chance again him.”
Since losing three straight games in midseason, including a 33-16 setback to unbeaten Boise State, the Bulldogs have been on a roll. They’ve won their past three games by a collective 164-35 score to improve their bowl chances and record to 6-3.
“We’re starting to play like the football team that we were earlier in the season,” McIntyre said. “It just feels like at the beginning that we can go out and dominate the opponent. Team football is helping us win right now.”
June Junes, who has had his share of blowout victories at Hawaii, experienced the harsh side of one last Friday as the Bulldogs decimated the Rainbows 70-14. McIntyre broke up a pass and made four tackles in the lopsided win.
“They play tough. I can’t count how many times they had tipped balls on key third downs,” Jones told the Fresno State Sports Information Department. “I think we had three, or maybe four, tipped balls on third downs that killed our drives. They played hard, they played really hard. My hat’s off to them.”
That’s the only way McIntyre knows how to play and the only way to get a quarterback sack.