Six home games highlight the 2006 Fresno State football schedule, as the action begins on Sept. 1 in the season opener when the Bulldogs take on WAC rival Nevada at 7 p.m.
Fresno State, which owns a 127-29-2 overall record in games played at Bulldog Stadium since 1980, has notched a 40-5 combined record in home games over the last eight years. That type of dominance has made opponents think twice about paying a visit to Bulldog Stadium.
The most significant change to the football schedule is the return of early afternoon home games at Bulldog Stadium. The final three games of the 2006 home schedule will begin at 2 p.m.
That being said, this year's home schedule appears to be one of the best in recent memory. Here's a closer look:
Fresno State will be looking for a little payback against Nevada, the defending WAC co-champion. It marks the first time Fresno State has ever started a season with a WAC game. The game will be a rematch of last year's WAC championship game, won by the Wolf Pack 38-35 in Reno. WAC Coach of the Year Chris Ault returns several starters, including quarterback Jeff Rowe.
Arguably the most intriguing game on the ledger, Oregon is coming off a 10-2 record and finished the season ranked No. 10 in the polls. This will be Oregon's first appearance at Bulldog Stadium since 1996, when the Ducks beat the Dogs 30-27 in overtime. Each of the last four meetings between Fresno State and Oregon have been decided by four points or less, including last year's game at Autzen Stadium, won by the Ducks 37-34.
The Rams, coached by Sonny Lubick, are making their first trip to Fresno in five years. The series between Fresno State and Colorado State is tied at five wins each. The Rams, which have won six league championships and been to nine bowl games under Lubick, finished second in the Mountain West Conference last season and lost to Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl.
The Hawai'i game has been designated as Homecoming and represents the first of three straight 2 p.m. starts. The Dogs and the Warriors resume one of the WAC's top rivalries. Fresno State beat the Warriors 27-13 last season at Aloha Stadium.
The Dogs will host the Aggies, coached by former Kentucky head coach Hal Mumme, for the first time since 1990. New Mexico State struggled in its first season in the WAC in 2005, going winless in eight league contests. Despite showing some improvement down the stretch, the Aggies were one of two winless teams in Division 1 (Temple: 0-11).
The Idaho game marks the return to Fresno State of former Bulldog assistant coach Dennis Erickson. Erickson, the former head coach of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, returns to college football and Idaho, where he began his head coaching career. Erickson had successful coaching stints at Idaho, Oregon State, Washington State and Miami (Fla.), where he won two national championships.
Join the State - Fresno State! Get tickets online 24/7 at www.gobulldogs.com or by calling the Bulldog Ticket Office (559-278-DOGS), Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Ticket Office is located at the south entrance of the stadium off Bulldog Lane. Fresno State's 2006 home schedule- which kicks off Sept. 1 against Nevada- features opponents such as Oregon, Colorado State, Hawai'i, New Mexico State and Idaho.