|Boise State (2-1, 1-0 MW) at No. 25 Fresno State (2-0, 0-0 MW)|
||Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
||6 p.m. PT
||Fresno, Calif. - Bulldog Stadium (41,031) | Buy Tickets
||ESPN | Play-by-Play: Carter Blackburn; Analyst:: Danny Kanell | Sideline: Allison Williams
Comcast Ch. 32 (724 HD); AT&T U-Verse: Ch. 602; DirecTV: Ch. 206: Dish Network: Ch. 140
||ESPN Radio (940 AM) | Gameday Live (3 p.m.), Pregame Show (5 p.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
||Fresno State Game Notes | Boise State Game Notes | MW Notes
||Fresno State | Boise State | MW Stats
||@FresnoStateFB | Facebook
No. 25 Fresno State and Boise State, the two preseason favorites in the Mountain West, square off Friday night in an early season showdown at Bulldog Stadium ... the game, which kicks off at 6 p.m., is being televised nationally on ESPN with the broadcast team of Carter Blackburn (play-by-play), Danny Kanell (analyst) and Allison Williams (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 has climbed into the national rankings for the first time since 2008 and are ranked No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll ... the Bulldogs' game last week at Colorado was postponed due to the tragic flooding in Boulder and no make-up date has been set, thus Fresno State will play three-straight home games to start the season for the first time since 1986 ... Saturday's game marks the start of Fresno State's second season of Mountain West play, the Bulldogs went 7-1 in league action last year with their only loss being a 20-10 defeat at Boise State ... the 'Dogs are looking to snap a seven-game losing streak to Boise State and their last win over the Broncos was in 2005 in Bulldog Stadium ... 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 ... sophomore wide receiver Davante Adams has caught a touchdown pass in 10-straight games, which is the longest active streak in the nation ... the Bulldogs have won their last eight home games and averaged 48.3 points and 526.3 yards of offense during that time, which is the best eight-game offensive streak in Bulldog Stadium history.
Fresno State is looking for its first 3-0 start since 2004.
The Bulldogs enter the game ranked No. 25 nationally, marking the first time they've been nationally ranked since 2008.
The Bulldogs are 10-0 under head coach Tim DeRuyter when scoring 30 or more points in a game.
Due to the tragic flooding in Boulder County, Fresno State's game last weekend at Colorado was postponed. No make-up date has been set. This is the first game since 9/11 that the Bulldogs had a game canceled. Fresno State was set to face Utah State on Sept. 15, 2001 before the terrorist attacks on America forced the cancelation of all games that weekend. The 'Dogs were able to reschedule that game against Utah State at the end of the year and defeated the Aggies 70-21 to end the regular season. With CU and Fresno State not sharing a bye weekend, it is unclear at this time if the game will be made up.
Drive to Help Flood Victims
Fresno State and the American Red Cross have teamed up to help raise money for the flood victims back in Colorado. Led by the Fresno State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), around 25-30 student-athletes and another 25-30 Red Cross volunteers will be collecting monetary donations from 4:30-6:15 p.m. in and around Bulldog Stadium on Friday night. All proceeds raised will go to the American Red Cross in helping the residents of Colorado recover from the devastation of the floods.
Cracking the Top 25
Fresno State is nationally ranked for the first time since 2008, entering this week's USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 25. Fresno State received 75 points in the USA Today Coaches Poll to climb into the top 25. The Bulldogs were last nationally ranked in the Sept. 28 poll back in 2008 following a 3-1 start to the season. The `Dogs were No. 21 in the Coaches Poll that week and No. 22 in the Associated Press poll, which are considered the two official top 25 polls in the FBS. The Bulldogs also received 27 points in this week's Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The 'Dogs are two spots outside of the AP top 25, trailing Michigan State who had 59 points in this week's AP poll.
Fresno State vs. Boise State - The Series
Boise State leads the all-time series with the Bulldogs 11-4 and has won seven-straight in the series. This is the first time since 2005 that Fresno State enters the game with a better record than the Broncos and that coincidentally was the last time the 'Dogs defeated BSU. Fresno State entered that 2005 game ranked No. 20 and defeated the Broncos 27-7 to push its record up to 8-1. Boise State has been nationally ranked in the five previous meetings, but enter this contest unranked. Fresno State is 3-5 all-time at home against the Broncos.
Scouting Boise State
The Last Meeting
October 13, 2012
Boise State enters Friday's game with a 2-1 record, having won two-straight after dropping its season opener at Washington, 38-6. The Broncos are averaging 450.3 yards of offense and 37 points while opponents have averaged 413.7 yards and 24 points. The Broncos run for 206.7 yards, with nearly 100 of that average coming from running back Jay Ajayi, and throw for 243.7 yards with quarterback Joe Southwick completing 73.4 percent of his passes. The Broncos give up 202.7 rushing yards per game and 211.0 passing yards. Wide receiver Matt Miller has a team-high 21 receptions for 188 yards and one touchdown.
Fresno State opens its second season of Mountain West play Friday night with its first conference game of the season against the Broncos. Since 1992 when the Bulldogs joined the WAC, Fresno State is 36-10 in conference openers and has won three-straight league openers. Last season, Fresno State came back from a 14-point first-half deficit to defeat San Diego State 52-40 in its first-ever Mountain West league game. Quarterback Derek Carr set new MW single-game records for completions (42) and total offense (570) while finishing just one yard shy of the MW single-game passing record, as he threw for 536 yards and five touchdowns in the win over the Aztecs.
MW's Best Receivers On Display Friday
Friday's game will feature four of the best wide receivers in the Mountain West. Fresno State's Davante Adams ranks fifth nationally with 9.5 receptions per game, Isaiah Burse is tied for ninth with 8.5 and Josh Harper is tied for 13th with 8.0 per game. Boise State's Matt Miller is tied for 23rd with 7.0 catches per game.
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. Two weeks ago 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). Louisville's DeVante Parker is second with nine-straight games with a touchdown reception.
In the first half of Fresno State's win over Cal Poly on Sept. 7, the Bulldogs only allowed the Mustangs to gain 44 total yards and just two first downs. The 44 yards are 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 vs. Cal Poly 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 54-to-9 (6.0). Carr is fourth nationally in both career touchdown passes and fifth in passing yards (8,421).
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.
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 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.
Looking for the Football Cycle
Isaiah Burse has scored a touchdown four different ways and needs one more for the football version of the cycle. A high school quarterback, Burse threw a 43-yard touchdown pass as a true freshman at San Jose State. He has two career rushing touchdowns, 10 career touchdown receptions and after the last game now has two punt returns for TDs. Burse now only needs a kickoff return for a touchdown. He has returned 126 kickoffs in his career, which is 15 returns shy of the NCAA record held by Houston's Tyron Carrier (2008-11). The last know FBS player to score a touchdown five different ways was Clemson's C.J. Spiller in 2009.
Fresno State has now won eight-straight games at home and has averaged 48.3 points and 526.3 yards of offense in those wins where the average margin of victory has been 25.9 points. That winning streak is tied for the ninth-longest active streak in the bowl subdivision. 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.
In the last eight home games, quarterback Derek Carr has averaged 352.4 yards passing, has 31 touchdown passes against four interceptions and completed 73.8 percent of his passes.
Wentworth Finds the End Zone
Normally left tackle Austin Wentworth is protecting Derek Carr's blind side when he throws touchdown passes. However, in the last game 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 for the Cal Poly game. Burch was actually lined up as a tight end for that play.
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.
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 two weeks ago 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.
With last Saturday's road opener being postponed, Fresno State will now open up the season with three-straight home games for the first time since 1986 and just the seventh time since 1950.
Fresno State has only allowed opponents to convert 9-of-33 third-down attempts, or just 27 percent of their tries.
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.