Fresno State's opens the 2008 season at Big East power Rutgers.
Aug. 31, 2008
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -
Fresno State opens the 2008 season ranked No. 25 in the nation and playing at a tough venue, Rutgers Stadium. This game has been sold out for two weeks.
This is the first meeting between the two schools and the furthest east Fresno State has ever played a game.
Rutgers and Fresno State are scheduled to play at Bulldog Stadium in the 2012 season.
The Fresno State-Rutgers game is one of two college football games on Labor Day and will kickoff an ESPN double-header at 1 p.m. PT. Tennessee and UCLA play at 5 p.m. PT at the Rose Bowl in the second game. This will be the 55th nationally televised game for the Dogs this decade.
Rutgers starts the season against a Top 25 opponent for just the second time in its history. The Scarlett Knights lost to No. 13 Penn State 45-7 in 1977 in its only previous opener against a ranked team ... The Scarlet Knights hosted the first college football game ever played, beating Princeton 6-4 in 1869. At that time, the State of California was just 19 years old ... Rutgers has won 11 of its last 13 games non-conference games at Rutgers Stadium ... Mike Teel enters his fifth and final season as quarterback for the Scarlet Knights. He needs just 35 passing yards for 6,000 in his career ... Senior defensive end Jamaal Westerman has 20 career sacks, fifth-most in Rutgers history ... With the loss of outstanding running back Ray Rice, Rutgers' top returning ball carrier is Mason Robinson. He had 202 yards and didn't score a touchdown last season ... Greg Schiano is 38-46 in seven seasons as head coach at Rutgers. Schiano was the 2006 national coach of the year.
Keep an Eye on
Biggest Challenge for the Dogs
Senior safety Jake Jorde will be making his first career start. As one of the most improved players on the team, Jorde has won the starting job at free safety with an excellent spring and fall camp. In his last game, Fresno State's win over Georgia Tech in the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl, he had four tackles and his first career interception. Jorde will face Rutgers fifth-year quarterback Mike Teel, who's thrown for nearly 6,000 career yards and 34 touchdowns.
Fresno State must overcome a long travel day on Saturday. The team left the Fresno State campus at 8 a.m. PT and arrived at the team hotel at 7:45 p.m. ET. The team had a short layover in Wichita, Kans., where the plane stopped to refuel but no one was allowed to leave the plane. The Dogs stretched upon reaching the hotel and head coach Pat Hill
is keeping the players hydrated to avoid jet lag or cramping during the game. This is one of two trips to the eastern time zone this season. Fresno State plays at Toledo Sept. 20.
Fresno State's home opening opponent No. 12 Wisconsin opened its season with a 38-17 win over Akron at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers used a 210-yard rushing day by their outstanding running back P.J. Hill in front of 80,910 fans. Wisconsin will play Marshall next Saturday before coming to Bulldog Stadium on Sept. 13.
Did you Know?
Rutgers has allowed just 18 quarterback sacks since the 2006 season, fewest in the nation.
"Join the State - Fresno State!" - The first Big Ten team will travel to the Valley on September 13 as the No. 25 `Dogs take on Wisconsin in the home opener at 7:30 p.m. The game can be seen nationally on ESPN2. All tickets are on sale now. Get your official Wisconsin game day t-shirt at the Bulldog Shop for only $10 with any purchase. To purchase tickets, click on the tickets icon at the top of this page, call the Bulldog Ticket Office at (559) 278-DOGS, or stop by the Bulldog Ticket Office.