'Dogs Picked to Win MW West Division, Five Named Preseason All-Conference
    Derron Smith has now been selected the MW Preseason Defensive Player of the Year back-to-back seasons
    Derron Smith has now been selected the MW Preseason Defensive Player of the Year back-to-back seasons

    July 22, 2014

    By: Matt Burkholder
    mburkholder@csufresno.edu
    GoBulldogs.com

    LAS VEGAS - For the second consecutive season the Fresno State football team was selected to finish atop the West Division standings in the Mountain West conference, as revealed by the league Tuesday morning prior to kicking off the 2014 MW Media Days at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

    Additionally, the conference announced five Bulldogs to its 2014 Preseason All-MW football team, highlighted by senior free safety Derron Smith, who was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

    Joining Smith on the 25 member preseason all-conference team, were senior offensive lineman Cody Wichmann, senior defensive tackle Tyeler Davison, junior linebacker Ejiro Ederaine and junior punter Garrett Swanson.

    In total, 16 players named to the 2014 Preseason All-Conference team were either first or second-team All-MW selections for the 2013 season. Smith, Ederaine and Davison return as three of the 16, while Wichmann and Swanson are candidates to breakthrough a first time for the All-MW postseason award.

    Smith, now a back-to-back Preseason Defensive Player of the Year selection, is a 2012 and 2013 All-MW first-team honoree. The Banning, Calif., native led the conference and was second in the nation with seven interceptions a season ago and now returns as the NCAA active leader in career interceptions with 14. (Video highlight reel of Smith's INT's).

     

     

    Smith was named the Defensive MVP of the inaugural MW Championship Game following six tackles, one sack, one interception and one pass breakup to help lead the Bulldogs to a 24-17 win over Utah State for its second consecutive MW title, and its first outright conference championship since 1989.

    Fresno State earned 15 first-place votes and 174 points to claim the top spot in the West Division poll, and will compete to be the second school to ever claim three consecutive MW titles - TCU (2009-11). The last time the Bulldogs won three-straight conference titles was back from 1958-61 when the `Dogs captured four-straight California Collegiate Athletic Association championships. The Bulldogs return 16 starters, including eight on defense that will aim to defend the preseason prediction.

    The `Dogs narrowly topped San Diego State, who garnered 15 first-place votes and 172 points to earn second-place. Nevada finished third in the voting thanks to three first-place nods and 130 total points. UNLV (95 points), San José State (87 points) and Hawai`i (35 points) complete the West Division poll.

    2014 MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

    WEST DIVISION
    Rk. Team (first-place votes) - Pts.
    1. Fresno State (15) - 174
    2. San Diego State (15) - 172
    3. Nevada (3) - 130
    4. UNLV - 95
    5. San José State - 87
    6. Hawai`i - 35

    MOUNTAIN DIVISION
    Rk. Team (first-place votes) - Pts.
    1. Boise State (20) - 183
    2. Utah State (12) - 176
    3. Colorado State (1) - 135
    4. Wyoming - 90
    5. New Mexico - 56
    6. Air Force - 53

    2014 MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

    Offense
    QB - Chuckie Keeton, Sr. - Utah State
    WR - Matt Miller, Sr. - Boise State
    WR - Devante Davis, Sr.** - UNLV
    RB - Jay Ajayi, Jr.* - Boise State
    RB - Donnel Pumphrey, So - San Diego State
    OL - Ty Sambrailo, Sr.** - Colorado State
    OL - Cody Wichmann, Sr. - Fresno State
    OL - LaMar Bratton, Sr. - New Mexico
    OL - Brett Boyko, Sr.** - UNLV
    OL - Robert Waterman, Sr. - UNLV
    TE - Kivon Cartwright, Sr. - Colorado State

    Defense
    DL - Tyeler Davison, Sr.** - Fresno State
    DL - Brock Hekking, Sr.* - Nevada
    DL - B.J. Larsen, Sr.** - Utah State
    DL - Eddie Yarbrough, Jr.* - Wyoming
    LB - Ejiro Ederaine, Jr.** - Fresno State
    LB - Kyler Fackrell, Jr.** - Utah State
    LB - Zach Vigil, Sr.** - Utah State
    DB - Donte Deayon, Jr.** Jr. - Boise State
    DB - Jeremy Ioane, Sr.** - Boise State
    DB - Derron Smith, Sr.* - Fresno State
    DB - J.J. Whittaker, Sr. - San Diego State

    Specialists

    P - Garrett Swanson, Jr. - Fresno State
    PK - Jared Roberts, Sr.* - Colorado State
    Ret. - Carlos Wiggins, Jr.* - New Mexico

    Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Chuckie Keeton, Sr., QB, Utah State
    Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Derron Smith, Sr., DB, Fresno State
    Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year: Carlos Wiggins, Jr., KR, New Mexico

    * - member of the 2013 All-Mountain West first team.
    ** - member of the 2013 All-Mountain West second team.

    All selections were voted upon by working members of the media.

    "Be Bold!"- The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.

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