Fresno State (3-2, 1-0 MW) at Colorado State (1-4, 0-1 MW)
Oct. 6, 2012 Hughes Stadium (32,500) Fort Collins, Colo. 4 p.m. PT
Game Day Quick Facts
TELEVISION: CSN Bay Area | Play-by-Play: Barry Tompkins; Analyst: Jay Leeuwenburg;
Comcast Ch. 37 (720 HD); DirectTV Ch. 696; Dish Network Ch. 419; AT&T U-Verse Ch. 770
KMJ (AM 580); Bulldog Live (2 p.m.), Countdown to Kickoff (3:30 p.m.) | Play-by-Play: Paul Loeffler; Analyst: Tom Brandstater; Sideline: Ralph Wood
ESPN Deportes (1600 AM) in Spanish | Play-by-Play: Erwin Higueros; Analyst: Jesse Beltran; Sideline: Jose Salas
INTERNET AUDIO & LIVE STATS: gobulldogs.comThe Fresno State football team hits the road for the first of back-to-back road games when the Bulldogs play at Colorado State on Saturday at 4 p.m. PT ... Time Warner Cable SportsNet is televising the game with the broadcast being carried by CSN Bay Area in California ... Fans can listen to the game on the radio at KMJ 580 AM with the Bulldog Sports Network team of Paul Loeffler (play-by-play), Tom Brandstater (analyst) and Ralph Wood (sideline reporter). Bulldog Live begins at 2 p.m. and the pregame show starts at 3:30 ... Fresno State is looking for its first road win of the season in what is its first-ever Mountain West road game ... The Bulldogs opened up MW play last weekend with a 52-40 win over San Diego State ... Quarterback Derek Carr set new school and league records with 42 completions and 579 yards of total offense and tied the school record with 536 yards passing ... Carr was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week for his record game and defensive lineman Andy Jennings earned MW Defensive Player of the Week accolades after recording five tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles ... Fresno State leads the nation with 16 forced turnovers and the Bulldogs rank second in the Mountain West in total defense and scoring defense. They are going up against the Ram offense that is dead last in the MW in scoring offense with just 17.8 ppg ... Phillip Thomas leads the nation with five interceptions and the Bulldogs' 11 interceptions are two more than any other team in the nation has ... Fresno State ranks 16th nationally in scoring at 41.8 points per game.
Derek Carr and Andy Jennings were both named the Mountain West Players of the Week on Monday.
Running back Robbie Rouse ranks No. 11 nationally in rushing and is tied for No. 3 in the FBS with 10 total touchdowns this year.
Derek Carr Has Record Night
Junior quarterback Derek Carr had a record-setting night while leading Fresno State to a 52-40 win over San Diego State last weekend. Carr set new school and Mountain West single-game records with 42 completions and 579 yards of total offense. He also tied the Fresno State passing record with 536 yards in the game, which was one yard shy of the MW record held BYU's Max Hall in 2007. Carr was 42-of-56 passing in the contest with five touchdowns and two interceptions. His 500-yard passing game was the fourth in Bulldog history, the last coming on Dec. 31, 2001 when his older brother David threw for 531 yards against Michigan State. It was also the sixth 500-yard passing game in Mountain West history and sixth in the FBS in 2012. Carr's five touchdown passes tied his career best and it marked the second time in the last three games he has thrown for five TDs. For his big outing, Carr was named the MW Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
For the season, Carr has thrown for 1,599 yards, 14 touchdowns and he is completing 69.1 percent of his passes. He ranks sixth nationally in total passing yards and is tied for fifth with 14 touchdown passes. His 14 TDs are five more than any other Mountain West quarterback has. In just 18 career starts, Carr has already moved into the top 10 in the Bulldog record books for career passing yards (5,255), completions (423), passing attempts (654), touchdown passes (40), total offense (5,375) and his 64.7 career completion percentage is the highest in program history.
Fresno State vs. Colorado State - The Series
The Last Meeting
December 20, 2008
Colorado State leads the all-time series with the Bulldogs 7-5, having won three-straight in the series, and Fresno State has a 1-3 record all-time in Fort Collins. The teams last met in the 2008 New Mexico Bowl when the Rams scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 28-20 deficit and win 40-35. Before that 2008 bowl game, the teams played five non-conference games between 1999-06, with the Bulldogs winning the first three and CSU taking the final two, which included a 35-23 win over Fresno State at home in 2006. When both teams were conference foes in the WAC from 1992-97, CSU won four of the five games.
Scouting Colorado State
Colorado State enters this weekend's game riding a four-game losing streak. The Rams opened the season with a 22-17 win over Colorado, the same Buffalo team Fresno State beat 69-14 on Sept. 15. Since CSU's season-opening win, the Rams have lost their last four games and all four losses have been by 15 points or more. Last weekend, Colorado State opened up Mountain West play with a 42-21 loss at Air Force. CSU is coached by Jim McElwain, who was Fresno State's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2007 when the 'Dogs went 9-4 and beat Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl. The Rams are giving up 30.4 points per game and scoring only 17.8, which is the lowest scoring average in the MW. CSU has turned the ball over eight times this year and has nine take aways.
Jennings Making A Name For Himself
Junior defensive lineman Andy Jennings had a career-high five tackles in Fresno State's 52-40 win over San Diego State. Jennings recorded two sacks, three tackles for a loss and forced two fumbles, both of which led to touchdowns. His first forced fumble came on a sack in the second quarter when the game was tied at 21, giving Fresno State the ball at the SDSU 18. On the very next Aztec drive, Jennings' nine-yard tackle for a loss forced another fumble that the 'Dogs recovered on the 50-yard line. His two forced turnovers helped Fresno State score 27 unanswered points in the second quarter. Jennings had two of Fresno State's season-high five sacks and was part of the defensive unit that forced five total turnovers in the game. The Bulldogs held SDSU to 82 total yards in the second half and only 339 for the game. Jennings was named the MW Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for the first time in his career.
Bulldog Defense Leads the Nation in Turnovers Forced
One year after tying for dead last in the FBS with just nine take aways, Fresno State's new ball hawking 3-4 defense has done a complete 360 and now leads the nation with 16 turnovers gained. The Bulldogs have forced at least one turnover in every game and over the last four games they have recorded three or more take aways. Last weekend in the win over SDSU, Fresno State recorded a season-high five turnovers. Those five turnovers in the one game are more than 19 other FBS teams have for the entire season. Fresno State has recovered five fumbles this season and it also leads the nation with 11 interceptions, which are two more than any other team in the country has. The Bulldogs have picked off 10 passes in the last three games. Safety Derron Smith has intercepted a pass in each of the last three games and Fresno State as a team has returned four interceptions for touchdowns. The four INT returns for scores are the most in the country and have tied the 2002 and 2004 seasons for the most pick sixes in Fresno State single-season history. For the season Fresno State has scored 85 points off the turnovers, which accounts for 41 percent of the total points the Bulldogs have scored this year.
Senior safety Phillip Thomas has anchored Fresno State's pass defense this season, as he leads the nation with five interceptions. Thomas picked off two passes this past week against San Diego State. It was his third career multi-interception game and the second this season, as he picked off three passes in the Sept. 15 victory over Colorado. Thomas returned two of those three picks vs. CU for touchdowns and he is also tied for the national lead with two pick sixes. Thomas now has 10 career interceptions and his five picks this year are the most by a Bulldog since Cameron Worrell picked off five passes in 2002. In comparison, Fresno State as a team only had five interceptions all of last season. He also ranks second on the team with 31 tackles and tied for third with 3.0 tackles for a loss.
A Rare Receiving Feat
Fresno State had three players go over 100 yards receiving last weekend in the win over SDSU. It marked the second time in school history that three Bulldogs have had over 100 yards receiving in the same game. In 1987 at Pacific Ron Jenkins had 16 catches for 158 yards, Anthony Williams caught seven balls for 151 yards and one TD and Brock Smith had four receptions for 138 yards and a score. Last weekend, Rashad Evans had 10 receptions for 100 yards and three touchdowns, Josh Harper set new personal bests with nine grabs for 120 yards and one score and Davante Adams added eight catches for 102 yards. Isaiah Burse was close to being a fourth 100-yard receiver last weekend for the 'Dogs, as he finished the game with five catches for 84 yards and one score. The one similarity between the two games is that the quarterbacks in those games (Dave Telford in 1987 and Derek Carr last weekend) both threw for a school single-game record 536 yards.
More on the Bulldog Receivers
Fresno State has four of the top eight receivers in the Mountain West. Davante Adams leads the league with 36 catches and 437 yards receiving. Isaiah Burse is third in the MW with 27 receptions and also ranks third with 389 yards receiving. Josh Harper is fourth in the conference with 5.75 catches per game and running back Robbie Rouse is tied for seventh in total receptions with 24. Adams, Burse, Evans and Harper all have three touchdown receptions this season, which is tied for the league lead.
The receiving corps got a boost this past weekend with the return of Rashad Evans, who missed the first four games of the season. Evans' 10 catches against SDSU set a new career-high and he recorded his first-ever 100-yard receiving game. He became the seventh player in school history to catch three or more touchdowns in a single-game, the first since Bernard Berrian had three TDs vs. Utah State on Dec. 1, 2001 and is the only player in the MW this year to catch three TDs in one game. Behind the receivers and quarterback Derek Carr, Fresno State leads the Mountain West and ranks 11th nationally with 335.2 passing yards per game.
Rouse Continues His Scoring Streak
Senior running back Robbie Rouse, the school's all-time leading rusher with 3,744 career yards, has now scored a rushing touchdown in nine-straight games. He has 33 rushing touchdowns in his career, which is the third most in school history and 38 total touchdowns. Rouse needs six more rushing TDs to tie the school record and six more total touchdowns to tie that record as well. Rouse ran for two touchdowns last weekend against the Aztecs, giving him 11 career games with two rushing touchdowns. This year, Rouse has scored eight touchdowns on the ground and has caught a pair of TDs. He is tied for sixth nationally in scoring with 12.0 points per game and his 10 total touchdowns tie for the third-most. He is 11th in the FBS with 117.4 rushing yards per game and has run for over 100 yards in four of the five games this year and 16 times total in his remarkable career.
Fresno State recorded five sacks last weekend against San Diego State, which are the most by the Bulldogs since they posted six sacks on Nov. 27, 2010 against Idaho. Andy Jennings had two sacks in the win while Patrick Su'a, Tristan Okpalaugo and Donavon Lewis each had one. Last year at Texas A&M, head coach Tim DeRuyter's defense led the nation in sacks with 51. This year, his Bulldog unit leads the Mountain West with 16 sacks and is tied for 13th in the nation. On the other side of the ball, Fresno State's offensive line has only allowed six sacks in five games.
Defense Ranks Second in the Mountain West
Fresno State's defense is second in the league in scoring defense (26.6 ppg), passing defense (186.8) and total defense (356.4 ypg). Last year, the Bulldogs gave up 435.8 yards and 35.2 points per game, but the `D' this year is much improved running its new multiple 3-4 under head coach Tim DeRuyter and defensive coordinator Nick Toth. The defense has allowed under 360 yards of offense in four of the five games this season and last weekend vs. SDSU the 'Dogs only gave up 339 yards, including just 82 in the second half. The Bulldogs under secondary coach Tim McDonald have held three of their five opponents to under 200 yards passing. Last year in 13 games, the Bulldogs only held one opponent to under 200 yards passing. The most impressive part of the secondary is that they are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete just 54.6 percent of their passes, including just 38-of-92 (41.3 percent) over the last three games.
Then in the run game, there has only been one game this year where the Bulldogs allowed an opposing running back to rush for over 100 yards and that came in week 2 at No. 4 Oregon. If you take out the Oregon game, Fresno State is allowing just 120.5 rushing yards per game. Oregon ranks sixth nationally, averaging 303 rushing yards per game.
Looking To Carry Momentum On The Road
Fresno State is coming off an electric 52-40 victory over San Diego State at home. Now with the Bulldogs set to play on the road over the next two weeks, the 'Dogs are looking to keep the momentum rolling after that win. Fresno State is 0-2 on the road this year. The one area where the momentum can help the Bulldogs is on the offensive side of the ball. In three home games this year, Fresno State has averaged 52.7 points and 611.7 yards of total offense. In the two road games, the 'Dogs have put up 25.5 points and 364.5 yards of offense.
Davison Records Career-High
Sophomore nose tackle Tyeler Davison recorded a career-high seven tackles last weekend vs. San Diego State. He also had one tackle for a loss and blocked a point after attempt, which redshirt freshman Charles Washington returned all the way for two points. A first-year starter, Davison has anchored a productive defensive line in the new 3-4. He has 13 tackles on the season, two tackles for a loss, one sack, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Brown Nearly Misses Another Double Digit Tackle Game
Senior linebacker Travis Brown posted a season-high nine tackles last week vs. SDSU to lead the Bulldog defense. His career-high for tackles in a game is the 11 he had at Idaho last year. Brown was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Week following that 11-tackle performance. Brown has three career double-digit tackle games and he has started in 31 consecutive games for the Bulldogs.
Back In Action
Injured players Jeremiah Toma and Todd Hunt returned to the field this past weekend for the Bulldogs. Toma, a team captain, has been held out of the first four games of the season with a foot injury. He returned last weekend, but saw limited action. Hunt, who tore his ACL last March during spring football, had a speedy recovery to get back onto the field. The redshirt freshman played in his first career game last weekend and recorded one tackle. The return of both players will provide a boost to the defense that is already having a great season. Toma started all 13 games last year for the 'Dogs and Hunt is a key backup at defensive end that will help the Bulldog rotation to keep their defensive line fresh.
Bulldogs Return Blocked PAT for Two Points
Redshirt freshman Charles Washington picked up a Tyeler Davison blocked point after attempt and returned it all the way for two points. It was Fresno State's first return for two points on a blocked PAT since Nov. 30, 2007 when Damion Owens returned a PAT for two points at New Mexico State. The play came with 1:17 left before the half and after a SDSU touchdown that ended a streak of 27 unanswered points for the Bulldogs. Davison's block and Washington's return for two points kept the momentum on Fresno State's side heading into the half. Washington had one tackle in the game and he also recovered a fumble in the second quarter.
Robbie Rouse's 65 yards receiving last weekend set a new career-high and his seven catches matched his personal best.
Senior outside linebacker Tristan Okpalaugo is tied for the Mountain West lead with 7.0 tackles for a loss. He also leads the team and is tied for fourth in the league with three sacks.
Fresno State has yet to score on its first drive of the second half this season. Fresno State has gone three-and-out two times on its first drive of the second half and turned the ball over another time, which came last weekend against SDSU. Opposing teams have scored two touchdowns on its first drive of the second half this year. Looking at the very first drive in the first half, Fresno State started the season by scoring on their first possession in the first three games, but have not done so in the last two. Opposing teams have scored just once - an Oregon touchdown - on their first drive of a game against the Bulldogs.
Redshirt freshman Dillon Root caught his first career pass and attempted the first rush of his career last weekend. His run went for three yards and his catch was a 26 yard reception, one of 10 Bulldog passes that went for over 20 yards against SDSU.