|Fresno State (2-0, 0-0 MW) at Colorado (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12)|
||Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013
||11 a.m. PT
||Boulder, Colo. - Folsom Field (53,613)
||Pac-12 Network | Play-by-Play: Kevin Calabro; Analyst:: Yogi Roth | Sideline: Jill Savage
Comcast Ch. 104 (will not be shown on regular Pac-12 Network Channel in California); Dish Network Ch. 406 or 413; Not available on DirecTV
||ESPN Radio (940 AM) | Gameday Live (8 a.m.), Pregame Show (10 a.m.)
Play-by-Play:Paul Loeffler; Analyst: Cameron Worrell; Sideline: Ralph Wood
ESPN Deportes (1600 AM) in Spanish | Play-by-Play: Erwin Higueros; Analyst: Jesse Beltran; Sideline: Octavio Duarte
XM 198/SIRIUS 139
||Fresno State Game Notes | Colorado Game Notes | MW Notes
||Fresno State | Colorado | MW Stats
Fresno State hits the road for the first time this season, traveling Saturday to face the Colorado Buffaloes at 11 a.m. PT from Folsom Field ... the game is being televised by the Pac-12 Network with the broadcast team of Kevin Calabro (play-by-play), Yogi Roth (analyst) and Jill Savage (sideline reporter) ... fans can also listen to the game on the official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs, 940 AM ESPN radio, with `Voice of the Bulldogs' Paul Loeffler, former Bulldog and NFL safety Cameron Worrell as the analyst and sideline reporter Ralph Wood ... Fresno State enters the game with a 2-0 record and in the 11 previous seasons the Bulldogs started 2-0, the 'Dogs averaged nine wins per year ... last season the Bulldogs went 3-4 in games away from Bulldog Stadium and the 'Dogs look to get off to a better start on the road in what is their second season under head coach Tim DeRuyter, who has gone 11-4 overall at Fresno State ... in last season's 69-14 win over CU at Bulldog Stadium, Derek Carr threw for 300 yards and five touchdowns in the first half, as Fresno State led that game 55-7 after two quarters ... senior wide receiver Isaiah Burse, who last week tied the school and Mountain West records with two punt returns for touchdowns, is the nation's active leader in all-purpose yards with 4,842 and is closing in on becoming the third Bulldog to ever go over 5,000 all-purpose yards in a career ... sophomore wide receiver Davante Adams has caught a touchdown pass in 10-straight games, which is the longest active streak in the nation.
Fresno State is looking for its first 3-0 start since 2004.
The Bulldogs are just outside of both official top 25 polls this week, coming in at No. 27 in the AP and Coaches polls. Fresno State was last nationally ranked in 2008.
Isaiah Burse was named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week after returning two punts for touchdowns in last week's win over Cal Poly.
Two to the House
Senior Isaiah Burse became the second Bulldog in program history and the third in Mountain West history to return two punts for a touchdown in a game last weekend when he did so in the win over Cal Poly. Burse's first return went for 61 yards and his second was a 58-yarder to the house. Clifton Smith on Sept. 10, 2005 in a win over Weber State is the only other Bulldog to bring two punts back for TDs in the same game. Smith's returns went for 92 and 84 yards. The two other Mountain West players that Burse tied the record with were Steve Smith from Utah in 1999 and Dallas Davis from Colorado State, also in 1999. In all, Burse returned three punts in the game for 130 yards, or 43.3 yards per return. Prior to the Cal Poly game, Burse had returned 126 kickoffs in his career (15 shy of the all-time FBS record) and 11 punts, but never had a return for a touchdown. Burse earned the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week award for his performance last week vs. Cal Poly. This is the first time in his career he has received the MW weekly award.
Fresno State vs. Colorado - The Series
Colorado leads the all-time series with the Bulldogs, 4-2, with four of the six games being played in Boulder. The school's first met in 1965 when Colorado topped the 'Dogs 10-7. Fresno State again traveled to Colorado in 1988, losing 45-3. In 1993, Fresno State and CU squared off in the Aloha Bowl when the 'Dogs entered the game with an 8-3 record. Colorado prevailed in the bowl game thanks to three rushing touchdowns from Rashaan Salaam, who went on to win the Heisman Trophy the next season. In 1998, Fresno State lost a tight game against the Buffs, 29-21, but three years later the Bulldogs would break through behind a strong performance from quarterback David Carr. Carr passed for one touchdown and ran for another, and Fresno State converted three Colorado turnovers into 17 points en route to a 24-22 victory over the Buffs in Boulder in 2001. Then last season David Carr's younger brother, Derek, now starring for Fresno State, led the Bulldogs in the 69-14 win in Fresno.
With season-opening wins over Colorado State and Central Arkansas, the Buffs are off to their first 2-0 start since 2008. Last weekend, CU scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to rally past Central Arkansas 38-24 in the Buffs home opener. Quarterback Connor Wood ranks fifth nationally with 370.5 passing yards per game and he has six touchdown passes against two interceptions. Four of his six TD tosses have gone to wide receiver Paul Richardson, who leads the FBS with 417 receiving yards and is tied for second with 21 receptions. Defensively, the Buffs are allowing 25.5 points per game and 317.5 yards of total offense (240.5 passing, 77.0 rushing). CU has given up big plays on special teams, as opponents have averaged 35.6 yards per kickoff return and 20.4 yards on punt returns against the Buffs.
Messing With The "Big Boys"
Since 2003, Fresno State has defeated 14 teams from BCS conferences. That is the second-highest number from any non-BCS team, trailing Navy's 20 wins over the so-called big boys. The Bulldogs have won their last two games over BCS programs, defeating Rutgers in the 2013 season opener and the Colorado Buffaloes last season on Sept. 15. The 'Dogs won that game 69-14, which is Fresno State's largest victory over a BCS team in program history. Fresno State led 35-0 after the first quarter in that game and 55-7 at halftime. The 35 first-quarter points and 55 first-half points in that game set new Mountain West records.
Other BCS schools the 'Dogs have knocked off since 2003 include Cincinnati, Illinois (twice), Oregon State, another win at Rutgers in 2008, Kansas State (twice), Georgia Tech, UCLA (twice), Virginia and Washington.
Adams' Streak Reaches Double-Digits
Bulldog sophomore wide receiver Davante Adams has extended his nation-leading streak of consecutive games with a touchdown catch to 10. Last week he caught a five-yard touchdown pass in the win over Cal Poly. His streak, along with being the longest active streak in the nation, is also the longest ever in school or Mountain West history. The NCAA record for consecutive games with a touchdown catch is 18 held by Pittsburgh's Larry Fitzgerald (2002-03).
In the first half of Fresno State's win over Cal Poly last week, the Bulldogs only allowed the Mustangs to gain 44 total yards and just two first downs. The 44 yards is the fewest a Tim DeRuyter team at Fresno State has allowed in an opening half, beating the 64 yards Colorado State got in 2012. The strong defensive effort came after Fresno State had surrendered 543 yards to Rutgers in the season opener.
The Bulldogs led 34-0 at the half and after going up 41-3 with 10:52 left in the third quarter, Fresno State pulled its starters on defense. So, for the first-teamers night, they only allowed Cal Poly to gain 100 yards on 34 plays and just three points in a little over two quarters. Cal Poly went on to finish the game with 416 total yards, but basically three-fourths of that yardage came against the Bulldog twos and threes.
Carr Continues His Climb In The Record Books
Senior quarterback Derek Carr continues to make his climb up the charts in the Bulldog record book. Last week with three touchdown passes, he moved ahead of his brother David for the second-most in school history. Carr now has 71 career touchdown passes and he needs 13 more to tie the school record of 84 that is held by Paul Pinegar (2002-05). Carr was 22-of-31 passing for 205 yards last week and in the process he went over 700 completions for his career. Carr, who holds the school record for completion percentage at .658, has 707 completions on 1,075 attempts. His 71-to-17 touchdown-to-interception ratio (4.18) is the second highest among all active bowl subdivision quarterbacks. Only Alabama's A.J. McCarron has a higher ratio at 50-to-9 (5.6). Carr is fourth nationally in both career passing yards (8,421) and touchdown passes.
Burse Approaching 5,000 All-Purpose Yards
With 338 all-purpose yards in the first two games of the season, senior Isaiah Burse now has 4,842 all-purpose yards and is closing in on becoming the third Bulldog to gain 5,000 yards in a career. Bernard Berrian (1999-03) is the school record holder with 5,828 all-purpose yards and Burse is now 986 yards behind him. Burse has been Fresno State's most productive player, as he has averaged 16.7 yards per touch. That is the most among all players in the top 10 for all-purpose yardage at Fresno State.
Fresno State is 4-11 in its first road game of the season over the previous 15 seasons, but two of those wins were over Pac-12 schools, including at Colorado to open the 2001 season. In the 29 years before that, the Bulldogs went 16-13 in road openers. Jim Sweeney, who coached Fresno State from 1976-77 and '80-96, was 15-11 in road openers. The 'Dogs are 2-3 in their first road game over the last five seasons and the three losses were at No. 4 Oregon (2012), at No. 10 Nebraska (2011) and at Wisconsin in overtime (2009). In the last 25 years, Fresno State's largest victory in its first road game of a season came on Sept. 3, 1988 in the season opener when the 'Dogs beat New Mexico by 47 points (68-21) in Albuquerque. In 1992 and 1990, Fresno State had 21 and 24-point wins, respectively, in road openers.
Fresno State has now won eight-straight games at home and has averaged 48.3 points and 526.3 yards of offense in those victories. That winning streak is tied for the eighth-longest active streak in the bowl subdivision and tied for the longest from any non-BCS program.
Looking only at the time since Bulldog Stadium first opened at the end of the 1980 season, this has been the best eight-game stretch in Bulldog Stadium history, at least offensively that is. The 48.3 points per game and 526.3 yards of offense is the most in any eight-game stretch the 'Dogs have posted in Bulldog Stadium history. The second best offensive stretch at home came from Sept. 24, 1988 through Sept. 23, 1989 when Fresno State averaged 44.5 points and 509.9 yards of offense in eight wins. Those eight games were a part of a 20-game home winning streak, which is the longest in school history. Fresno State also won 17-straight home games from 1998-01.
Wentworth Finds the End Zone
Normally left tackle Austin Wentworth is protecting Derek Carr's blind side when he throws touchdown passes. However, last week against Cal Poly Wentworth was the one taking a Carr pass into the end zone. The Bulldogs pulled a trick out of their hat and ran a hook-and-ladder. With the ball on the Cal Poly 13-yard line, Carr hit Davante Adams for six yards, who pitched it to Wentworth running down the sideline and he went in untouched for his first career touchdown. The TD for Wentworth came in the game where he was making his 30th consecutive start and 32nd overall in his career. The last time a Bulldog offensive lineman scored a touchdown was on Nov. 14, 1998 in a 51-12 win over Hawai'i. Donnell Burch scored on a one-yard touchdown pass from Bill Volek, Fresno State's honorary captain this past weekend at the Cal Poly game. Burch actually moved over to tight end in 1999 for his sophomore season.
Holding Up Against the Pressure
Through two games this season the Bulldog offensive line has given up just one sack in 107 pass attempts and 170 total offensive plays. They have protected quarterback Derek Carr well, allowing Carr to throw for 661 yards and eight touchdowns in the first two games. Last season, Fresno State tied for 78th in the nation by allowing 40 sacks.
Room For Growth
One area where the Bulldog offensive line would like to improve is opening up bigger holes for the Bulldog tailbacks. Fresno State is averaging 453.5 yards of offense, but only 121.5 of that has come on the ground. The Bulldogs are averaging just 3.9 yards per carry this season. Josh Quezada leads the team with 94 rushing yards followed by Marteze Waller with 78. Using the running back by committee approach, that also utilizes Malique Micenheimer in the backfield, Quezada and Waller have been the two primary backs for the 'Dogs in their first season without the school's all-time leading rusher Robbie Rouse, who graduated last year. In 2012, Rouse had 282 carries for 1,490 yards and 63 receptions for 435 yards, so the Bulldogs had a lot of production to replace with his departure.
Quezada seems to have picked off where Rouse left off in terms of catching the football. In two games, Quezada has 10 receptions for 63 yards and is the team's fourth-leading receiver. Micenheimer has caught three passes for 18 yards and Waller has two receptions for four yards.
Fresno State's Magic Number
The Bulldogs are a perfect 10-0 under head coach Tim DeRuyter when scoring 30 or more points in a game. In fact, when the Bulldogs score at least 30 those games aren't even close. Fresno State's average margin of victory when it has scored 30 or more under DeRuyter has been 24 points. Only one of those 10 games has been decided by 12 points or less and that was the 2013 season opener when Fresno State defeated Rutgers 52-51 in overtime. Since DeRuyter and offensive coordinator Dave Schramm took over in 2012, there have only been five games where the 'Dogs did not score 30 points and they are 1-4 in those games.
Over the past 10 seasons, and including the two games from this year, Fresno State owns a 55-14 record when scoring 30 or more points. That's a winning percentage of 80 percent when scored 30 or more points in a game.
Eyeing the Top 25
Fresno State received 26 votes in this week's Associated Press Top 25 Poll and 59 votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Those figures have the 'Dogs just outside of the top 25 and would put them at No. 27 in both polls (actually tied for 27th in the AP poll with Michigan State). Arizona State has 38 more votes than Fresno State has in the AP poll while Michigan State has 15 more votes in the Coaches Poll as the teams one spot ahead of the 'Dogs. Fresno State was last nationally ranked in the Sept. 28, 2008 polls, when it was No. 22 in the AP poll and No. 21 in the Coaches poll. ASU has a rare second-consecutive bye this weekend while Michigan State hosts Youngstown State.
First Two Career Starts
Sophomore linebacker Kyrie Wilson has shown well in the first two starts of his career, recording 10 tackles including two behind the line of scrimmage. In the season opener against Rutgers he had four tackles and a half sack. Last weekend against Cal Poly, Wilson tied for the team lead with six tackles and he had another sack, this one a solo one.
Aside him at the other inside linebacker position is junior Karl Mickelsen, who has also started the first two games of his career these past two weeks. Mickelsen is leading the team in tackles with 14 after two games and he has one tackle for a loss.
Interception Streak Comes to an End
Fresno State's streak of 12-straight games where it had intercepted at least one pass came to an end last weekend when the Bulldogs did not pick off a Cal Poly pass. Their streak was the longest active one in the FBS until it ended. It was just the second game under Tim DeRuyter where the 'Dogs did not pick off a pass. Before DeRuyter's arrival, Fresno State only had 12 total interceptions in the 26 games over the previous two seasons. Even without intercepting a pass last weekend, Fresno State has recorded 23 interceptions in 15 games under DeRuyter.
The Bulldogs did however continue their streak of recording at least one take-away. With one fumble recovery in the win over the Mustangs, Fresno State has caused a turnover in 16-straight games.
Fresno State has only allowed opponents to convert 9-of-33 third-down attempts, or just 27 percent of their tries.
The Bulldogs have a 4-7 all-time record when playing in the state of Colorado, but the 'Dogs have won four of their past six games in the Centennial State going back to the 1997 win at Air Force.
Fresno State has 18 tackles for a loss in two games this season. Last season the Bulldogs tied for 17th in the bowl subdivision by averaging 7.23 tackles for loss per game. Fresno State also was ninth in the FBS last season with 40 sacks (3.08 per game). This year, the Bulldogs only have two sacks.
Punter Garrett Swanson is averaging 40.4 yards per punt in his first two games since taking over for Andrew Shapiro, who handled the punting duties from 2010-12. The Bulldogs have been able to net 40.9 yards off his punts, which early in the season ranks third in the Mountain West.
Fresno State has run 170 total plays in its first two games this season. Since 2000 (13 previous seasons), the next highest total of plays run by the Bulldogs in their first two games is 157 done by the 2007 team, which used a triple-overtime game in week two (a 47-45 loss at No. 23 Texas A&M) to help get that total close to what the Bulldogs have run this season.
Temperature at kickoff of last week's Cal Poly game was 100 degrees. The expected high in Boulder on Saturday is 74 degrees, which if that holds would be a difference in 26 degrees in temperature from last Saturday to this Saturday. It was 102 degrees at kickoff in Fresno when these two teams met last season.