No. 23/25 Fresno State Travels to Hawai'i
Bulldog hit the road for the first time this season, look to avoid letdown after big win over Boise State
Sept. 23, 2013
|No. 23/25 Fresno State (3-0, 1-0 MW) at Hawai'i (0-3, 0-1 MW)|
||Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013
||9 p.m. PT
||Aloha Stadium (50,000) - Honolulu, Hawai'i
||KSEE-TV 24 | Play-by-Play: Robert Kekaula; Analyst:: Dick Tomey | Sideline: Lori Santi
Comcast Ch. 04; AT&T U-Verse: Ch. 24; DirecTV: Ch. 15: Dish Network: Ch. 24
||Game also available online at the Mountain West Network
||ESPN Radio (940 AM) | Gameday Live (6 p.m.), Pregame Show (8 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 | Hawai'i Game Notes | MW Notes
||Fresno State | Hawai'i | MW Stats
||@FresnoStateFB | Facebook | @DC4Heisman Twitter | DC4Heisman Facebook
After three home games to begin the year, Fresno State now travels to Hawai'i to face the Rainbow Warriors on Saturday in a game that kicks off at 9 p.m. PT ... it is being televised locally on KSEE-TV 24 with Robert Kekaula (play-by-play), Dick Tomey (analyst) and Lori Santi (sideline reporter) calling the game ... 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 to No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and enters the Associated Press Top 25 at No. 25, its first appearance in the AP poll since 2008 ... Fresno State is off to a 3-0 start and looks to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2001 ... Fresno State Athletics has launched a national campaign for Heisman Trophy candidate Derek Carr, who is throwing for 373.7 yards per game and has 12 touchdowns against one interception this season ... the Bulldogs return to Aloha Stadium, the site of their 43-10 loss to SMU in the 2012 Sheraton Hawai'i bowl, but Fresno State has won its past two games against Hawai'i in their home stadium ... the 'Dogs rank 12th in the FBS in scoring with 44.7 points per game and have scored 40 or more points in eight out of their last nine games ... junior linebacker Karl Mickelsen had 16 tackles, including 14 solo stops, in last week's win over Boise State and that ties for the most tackles by a Bulldog in the last 12 years ... Fresno State has forced a turnover in 16-straight games ... free safety Derron Smith, who has two interceptions this season, is tied for eighth nationally among active players for career interceptions with nine.
Wide receiver Davante Adams' continues to have the nation's longest streak of consecutive games with a touchdown catch. He has caught a TD in school and Mountain West record 11-straight games.
The Bulldogs are 11-0 when scoring 30 or more points and have scored 40-plus in eight out of their last nine games.
Heisman Trophy Candidate Derek Carr
Fresno State Athletics has launched its website DC4Heisman.com to promote the Bulldogs' Heisman Trophy candidate, Derek Carr. Carr is one of the nation's top quarterbacks and ranks third nationally with 373.7 passing yards per game and he has 12 touchdowns against one interception. He leads all active players by having thrown for a touchdown in 23-straight games and his 14 career games with three or more touchdown passes is the third-most in the nation.
Cracking the Top 25
Fresno State, which cracked the USA Today Coaches Poll last week for the first time since 2008 at No. 25, has entered into the Associated Press Top 25 this week as well. The Bulldogs are currently No. 23 in the Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the AP Poll. The last time Fresno State was inside the top 20 was on Nov. 20, 2005 when the 'Dogs were No. 16 in both polls.
AFCA to hold its sixth annual Coach to Cure MD effort
The Fresno State and Hawaii coaching staffs will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches this week to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.
Fresno State vs. Hawai'i - The Series
Saturday's game will be the 46th meeting in the series between Hawai'i and Fresno State. After winning three of the last four games, the Bulldogs own a 23-21-1 all-time record against the Rainbow Warriors. The 'Dogs are 10-14 all-time when playing Hawai'i on the road, but have also won three of their past four games against UH in Honolulu. In last seasons victory, Fresno State led 42-3 at halftime and had 428 yards of offense in the first two quarters. Playing only in the first half, Derek Carr threw for 304 yards on 15-of-23 passing with four touchdowns in 2012 against Hawai'i.
Hawai'i, in its second season under head coach Norm Chow, enters the game with an 0-3 record having lost to a pair of Pac-12 schools and at Nevada last weekend in its conference opener. The Rainbow Warriors have averaged 12 points per game while giving up 31.3. Opposing teams have outgained UH 404-282 and it has 11 turnovers in three games. Hawai'i opened the season at home against then 24th-ranked USC, falling 30-13. On Sept. 7 the Rainbow Warriors fell 33-14 at Oregon State then after a bye weekend, UH lost 31-9 at Nevada. Hawai'i outgained the Wolf Pack 376-340 in that game, but six turnovers (four interceptions and two lost fumbles) derailed its offense.
After their Sept. 14 game at Colorado was postponed by the flooding in Boulder, Colo., Saturday's game will now be the Bulldogs' first on the road this season. The last time Fresno State opened a season with three-straight road games was in 1986. Fresno State is 4-11 in its first road game of the season over the previous 15 years, 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.
Ending That Skid to Boise State
Fresno State snapped a seven-game losing streak to Boise State with last week's 41-40 come-from-behind win over the Broncos. Fresno State did not trail in the game until Boise State went up 40-34 with 7:04 to play after the Broncos scored 21 unanswered to erase a 34-19 deficit. The Bulldogs had been in this position before, being down twice to Rutgers in the final six minutes and coming back from both deficits to force overtime and eventually win that game. This time, they needed just the one game-winning drive, which stretched over 87 yards on 13 plays. Quarterback Derek Carr was 8-of-11 passing on the game-winning drive for 63 yards and running back Josh Quezada scored the winning TD on a one-yard run.
Fresno State has started 3-0 for the first time since 2004 and is looking to go 4-0 for the first time since 2001, a year in which the Bulldogs won six-straight games to open the season. There have been 16 seasons in school history where Fresno State opened a year with four-straight victories. In those 16 seasons, the Bulldogs have averaged 8.75 wins per year and had five seasons with 10 or more victories. The school record for wins in a season is 11, which has been done four times in 2001, 1989, 1985, 1982.
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 11. That streak is also the longest in school and 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 10-straight games with a touchdown reception.
Adams hauled in 12 passes for 110 yards and the one touchdown in last week's win over Boise State. It was his fifth career game where he recorded 10 or more catches, which is the most in school history. Larry Willis did so three times in his career from 1983-84 and Rodney Wright also did it three times from 1998-01. In just 16 career games, Adams ranks 11th in school history with 133 receptions and his 31 catches this season are tied for the fourth-most in the nation, doing so while playing in only three games thus far. Adams has caught 18 touchdown passes total in his 16 career games.
Burse Surpasses 5,000 All-Purpose Yards
Isaiah Burse caught 10 passes for 148 yards and had a 20-yard rush in the win over Boise State. In the process he became the third Bulldog to ever eclipse 5,000 all-purpose yards in a career. He now only needs 820 yards to become Fresno State's all-time leader in all-purpose yardage.
Last week against Boise State, Burse was especially clutch for the Bulldogs and quarterback Derek Carr. Averaging 14.8 yards per catch, he had four receptions of over 20 yards with a long of 41 in the game and also had the 20-yard run. All 10 of his receptions last week came in the final three quarters and six of his catches went for first downs. Burse is tied for sixth nationally this season with 9.0 receptions per game. He now has five 100-yard receiving games in his career and two this season.
Emerging As Defensive Leader
Junior linebacker Karl Mickelsen, in his first season as a starter, has become a leader and playmaker for the Bulldogs on defense. His 30 tackles on the season are eight more than any other Bulldog and 24 of his 30 have been solo stops. Last week against Boise State, Mickelsen recorded a career-high 16 tackles to go along with one forced fumble and one pass breakup, which came with a minute remaining in the game, the Bulldogs leading 41-40 and it was on a third-and-six from the Bulldog 49-yard line. His 16 tackles were the most in a game by a Bulldog since Ben Jacobshad 16 tackles in a triple overtime loss at No. 23 Texas A&M in 2007. Mickelsen ranks fourth in the Mountain West with 10.0 tackles per game.
Fresno State had a pair of relatively unknown players step up defensively in the win over Boise State. Sophomore outside linebacker Ejiro Ederaine finished with a career-high five tackles and had two sacks, one of which came on a fourth-and-10 from the Bulldog 36-yard line. On the third-down play before that, senior Jonathan Norton had a six-yard sack, which was the first of his career. Norton, who has moved into the role as the Bulldogs' nickle back, had three tackles in the game. His biggest play came on a fourth-and-six from the Bulldog 49-yard line when the 'Dogs held a 41-40 lead with just under a minute remaining. Norton was able to knock the ball out of Kirby Moore's hands to effectively end the game by getting the Broncos to turn the ball over on downs. Norton is a former walk-on who was just put on scholarship during fall camp of this season.
Fresno State has now won nine-straight games at home and has averaged 47.4 points and 525.8 yards of offense in those wins where the average margin of victory has been 22 points. That winning streak is tied for the ninth-longest active streak in the bowl subdivision. Fresno State won 17-straight home games from 1998-01 and 15-straight from 1985-87.
In the last nine home games, quarterback Derek Carr has averaged 364.3 yards passing, has 35 touchdown passes against four interceptions and completed 72.4 percent of his passes.
Fresno State's Magic Number
The Bulldogs are a perfect 11-0 under head coach Tim DeRuyter when scoring 30 or more points in a game. 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 when they do not. Over the past 10 seasons, and including the three games from this year, Fresno State owns a 56-14 record when scoring 30 or more points. That's a winning percentage of 80 percent when scored 30 or more points in a game. Fresno State has scored 40 or more points in eight out of its last nine games.
Smith Makes Another Pick
Junior free safety Derron Smith recorded his second interception of the season last weekend against Boise State when he also had six tackles, one tackle for a loss and another pass breakup. Smith's interception was the ninth of his career, which ties for the eighth-most among active players in the bowl subdivision. Smith, who was voted as the Mountain West Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, needs two more picks to tie for 10th in the Bulldog record books for most picks in a career. The school record is 17, held by Rod Webster (1984-87).
Fresno State has now forced a turnover in 16-straight games, recording one in every game during the Tim DeRuyter era. Last season, Fresno State ranked fifth nationally with 35 take-aways and was third in the FBS with 22 interceptions. This year, Fresno State has recovered one fumble in all three games and has the two interceptions from Derron Smith. The Bulldogs now have 24 interceptions over their last 16 games. Before DeRuyter's arrival, Fresno State only had 12 total interceptions in the 26 games over the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Fresno State was also able to take care of the ball last week, not turning it over on offense for the first time all season and doing so for the fourth time under DeRuyter. However, the 'Dogs did not recover a pooch kickoff in the Boise State game, which was a costly mistake that gave the Broncos the ball on the Bulldog 32-yard line. Boise State then proceeded to score four plays later to take its first lead of the game, 40-34, with 7:04 left in the game.
Harper Another TD Machine at Wide Receiver
Along with Davante Adams' impressive line of 18 career touchdowns in 16 games, junior wide receiver Josh Harper sports impressive numbers for touchdown receptions as well. Harper has 13 career TDs in 19 career games. For his career, Harper has caught 78 passes for 971 yards and 13 touchdowns. Last week against Boise State, two of Harper's three catches went for touchdowns. He now has caught two TDs in two different games this season. For the year, Harper has 19 receptions for 141 yards and he is tied for ninth nationally with the four touchdown catches.
Loaded at the Position
There is Davante Adams, Isaiah Burse and Josh Harper who all rank in the top seven in the Mountain West in receptions per game, with Adams and Burse ranking as the top two. But in addition to those three, junior quarterback-turned-receiver Greg Watson and tight end Marcel Jensen give Derek Carr more options to go to with the ball. Watson caught four passes for 85 yards in last week's win and had a career-long reception of 68 yards in the first quarter. This season he has six catches for 118 yards and one touchdown, which was the game-winning TD in overtime against Rutgers on Aug. 29. Jensen has eight catches this season for 130 yards, averaging 16.2 yards per reception - a pretty good average for a 6-6, 270-pound tight end.
Protecting the QB
Fresno State has only allowed two sacks this year, which is quite impressive given the fact the Bulldogs have thrown the ball 167 times in three games. The 'Dogs gave up one sack for a loss of two yards last week against Boise State and one sack for a loss of four yards in the season-opener against Rutgers. The Bulldogs are tied for fifth nationally, allowing just 0.67 sacks per game. Fresno State's offensive line has allowed it to play fast in the up-tempo spread offense that the Bulldog run. Fresno State is averaging nearly 85 plays per game and 476.3 yards of offense. The 'Dogs lead the Mountain West and ranks 12th nationally in scoring at 44.7 points per game.
Fresno State had a sellout crowd of 41,031 for last week's game against Boise State. It was the first sellout since Sept. 13 2008 and the 17th sellout since 2000. Since Bulldog Stadium opened there have been 30 games with crowds of over 40,000 and Fresno State has a 22-8 record in those games. The 'Dogs are 156-45-2 (.768) overall in Bulldog Stadium and 72-22 in the past 16-plus seasons.
L.J. Jones posted a career-high 11 tackles in the win over Boise State and he also had one tackle for a loss, returned a fumble 14 yards and had four pass breakups. Jones, who has started in 31 consecutive games for the Bulldogs, has 136 career tackles, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, four interceptions and 31 pass breakups.
Derek Carr will be making his 30th career start on Saturday at Hawai'i. In two career games against the Rainbow Warriors, Carr has thrown for 576 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions while completing 65.4 percent of his throws.
Fresno State is the only non-BCS team in either top 25 poll and one of three non-AQ teams still undefeated. Northern Illinois (3-0) and Navy (2-0) are the other two undefeated teams not in a BCS conference.
Isaiah Burse ranks second nationally with a punt return average of 25.1 yards. He has returned seven punts in three games for 176 yards and two touchdowns - a 61 yard return and a 58-yarder against Cal Poly on Sept. 7. Burse has thrown for one touchdown in his career, rushed for two, returned two punts for TDs and caught 10 touchdowns in his career.
Fresno State ranks third in the Mountain West and 20th nationally with a net punting average of 41.0 yards. First-year punter Garrett Swanson has averaged 41.7 yards per punt with three boots of over 50 yards and three of his seven have been downed inside the opposing 20-yard line. Opponents have returned four of his seven kicks, but for a total of negative seven yards. Derek Carr has also punted twice for an average of 31.5 yards.
Fresno State and Hawai'i are both tied for ninth nationally with 8.7 tackles for a loss per game. The Bulldogs have six sacks in three games while Hawai'i has eight in three games. Fresno State is led by outside linebacker Ejiro Ederaine, who has 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. Hawai'i is led by linebacker Art Laurel, who has five tackles for a loss and two sacks.
Entering 2013 Fresno State never had two or more receivers catch 10-plus passes in one game. Davante Adams and Isaiah Burse have done it twice now in three games this year.