Wyoming (1-5, 0-2 MW) at Fresno State (4-3, 2-1 MW)
Oct. 20, 2012 Bulldog Stadium (41,031) Fresno, Calif. 7:30 p.m. PT
Game Day Quick Facts
TELEVISION: CSN California | Play-by-Play: John Shrader; Analyst: J.J. Stokes
Comcast Ch. 34 (721 HD); DirectTV Ch. 698; Dish Network Ch. 409; AT&T U-Verse Ch. 767 (1767 HD)
KMJ (AM 580); Bulldog Live (5:30 p.m.), Countdown to Kickoff (7 p.m.) | Play-by-Play: Paul Loeffler; Analyst: Jordan Christensen; 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.com
Fresno State returns home this weekend to host Wyoming for the fourth-annual Football Fiesta night at Bulldog Stadium. The eighth all-time meeting between the 'Dogs and Cowboys is set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ... $18 tickets to the game are still available through Friday, Oct. 19, at 6 p.m. ... The game is being televised on CSN Bay Area with John Shrader (play-by-play) and J.J. Stokes (analyst) calling the game ... Fans can listen to the Mountain West league game on the radio at KMJ 580 AM with the Bulldog Sports Network team of Paul Loeffler (play-by-play), Jordan Christensen (analyst) and Ralph Wood (sideline reporter). Bulldog Live begins at 5:30 p.m. and the pregame show starts at 7 p.m. ... Saturday's game begins a stretch where the Bulldogs will play three of their final five games this season at home ... Fresno State is 3-0 at home this year and has outscored opponents 158-64 in Bulldog Stadium ... The 'Dogs lead the Mountain West in passing offense, as quarterback Derek Carr ranks sixth nationally with 2,082 passing yards and is tied for third in the FBS with 19 touchdown passes ... Senior running back Robbie Rouse needs one more 100-yard rushing game to tie Ron Rivers for the most 100-yard games in school history ... Wyoming ranks ninth in the MW and 110th nationally in rushing defense ... The Bulldog defense leads the MW in sacks and ranks second nationally in both take-aways (19) and interceptions (13) ... Fresno State has intercepted a pass in five-straight games, the longest stretch since picking off a pass in six-straight games to end the 2002 season.
The Bulldogs are third in the MW, scoring 35.3 points per game and rank second in the league by giving up just 22.9 points on average. Fresno State has allowed just 27 points over its last nine quarters.
Robbie Rouse needs 55 yards rushing to become the first Bulldog to rush for over 4,000 yards in a career.
Fresno State leads the conference in third-down defense, holding opposing teams to a conversion rate of 32.4 percent. That figure ranks No. 17 nationally.
The Last Meeting
December 19, 2009
Fresno State vs. Wyoming - The Series
Wyoming and Fresno State are meeting Saturday for the eighth time overall in the series that began in 1992. The Cowboys lead the all-time series 4-3, but the Bulldogs are a perfect 3-0 vs. UW at home. From 1992-97, both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference and the teams split its six meetings in league play until Wyoming left for the Mountain West in 1998. Fresno State won the last WAC game between the schools 27-7 at home on Nov. 22, 1997. Since that 1997 meeting, the two teams have played just once and that came in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl. That game needed extra time, as it was decided in the second overtime. The Bulldogs kept Wyoming off the scoreboard to open the first overtime period and then had a first down from the one-yard line on their first overtime possession. However, Wyoming stopped Ryan Mathews on three-straight rushes and held stern on a fourth-down quarterback sneak to force a second overtime. There, Wyoming freshman Austyn Carta-Samuels threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to David Leonard and stopped Fresno State on downs to win the game 35-28.
Wyoming got off to a slow start this year, losing its first three games of the season. It started with the tall task of playing at No. 15 Texas on the road in Austin. The Cowboy's held a 9-7 first-quarter lead in that game, but were outscored 30-8 the rest of the way in the loss. After the Texas game, Wyoming returned home for two-straight games, both losses to Toledo and Cal Poly. The Cowboys then hit the road, winning at Idaho on Sept. 22 before receiving a bye. Their last two losses have been heartbreakers, falling 35-28 in overtime at Nevada and 28-27 last weekend at home vs. Air Force. The Cowboys are ninth in the MW and 110th in the country in rushing defense, giving up 228.2 yards per game on the ground. Wyoming allows 460 yards of total offense to also rank ninth in the league in total defense. Offensively, the Cowboys average 27.5 points and 398 yards of total offense per game.
Home Sweet Home
Fresno State returns home Saturday after playing on the road the past two weeks. The numbers the Bulldogs have put up in three home games this year are impressive. Fresno State has averaged 608.7 yards of offense in Bulldog Stadium and 52.7 points, scoring 37 vs. Weber State, 69 vs. Colorado and 52 vs. San Diego State in three victories. The Bulldogs have averaged 23.3 points in the first quarter and 35.3 points in the first half of the three home games.
Quarterback Derek Carr, who holds the school record for career completion percentage, has completed 77.5 percent of his passes at home and has averaged 378 yards and four touchdowns in three home games. Carr's last outing in Bulldog Stadium was one for the record books. In the 52-40 win over San Diego State on Sept. 29, Carr set new school and Mountain West records with 42 completions and 570 yards of total offense. He also tied the school record with 536 yards passing in the game where he tossed five touchdowns.
Carr Nearing 6,000 Career Passing Yards
Junior quarterback Derek Carr is 262 yards away from 6,000 yards passing in his career. He would become the eighth Bulldog to reach the milestone if he can do so this weekend. Carr also went over 700 passing attempts last weekend at Boise State, and his 735 career passes ranks eighth in program history. He is leading the Mountain West by averaging 297.4 passing yards per game this season and ranks sixth nationally with 2,082 passing yards. Carr's 19 touchdown passes are tied for the third most in the nation and his 16 TDs over the last five games are tied for the second-most in any five game stretch a Bulldog quarterback has ever posted.
Jennings Emerges As Star on Defensive Line
Defensive end Andy Jennings leads the Mountain West with 8.0 tackles for a loss and ranks fifth in the league with 4.5 sacks. He is also tied for the national lead with four forced fumbles this year. Jennings' emergence this season has been impressive, as he entered the year as a backup. However, in fall camp Jennings asserted himself as a playmaker and that has become evident throughout the season. He was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 1 and last week Phil Steele named him to his 2012 Midseason Mountain West first-team.
Robbie Rouse Showing Versatility in Spread Offense
Fresno State's all-time leading rusher is more than just a threat running the ball. Over the last three games, Robbie Rouse has caught 25 passes for 183 yards. He has finished each of the last two games with a career-high nine receptions and last weekend at No. 22 Boise State, his nine catches went for a personal best 68 yards. Rouse ranks second in the Mountain West, behind teammate Davante Adams, with 42 receptions this season. Combining his 157 rushing attempts with his receptions and Rouse has 199 touches this year.
Rouse is second in the Mountain West with 1,064 all-purpose yards and his 10 total touchdowns are tied for second in the league. Rouse is approaching 4,000 yards rushing in his career and 800 rushing attempts. He enters this weekend's game with 773 carries for 3,945 yards. There has only been one running back in Mountain West history to rush for over 4,000 yards and have over 800 carries and that was New Mexico's DonTrell Moore, who had 4,973 yards on 1,028 carries from 2002-05. Rouse is not eligible to break those conference records since his first three seasons were in the WAC. He already owns or is tied for seven school records and with his next 100-yard rushing game, he will tie that program record held by Ron Rivers with 18.
Smith Gets Fourth Interception of the Season
Redshirt sophomore safety Derron Smith intercepted his fourth pass of the season at No. 22 Boise State last weekend. His four picks are the second most in the conference, right behind teammate and fellow safety Phillip Thomas. Thomas leads the nation with those six interceptions while Smith is tied for third nationally with four. Smith continues to lead the team with 51 tackles this season and he posted eight stops last weekend at Boise State.
Streak of Interceptions Reaches Five
Smith's pick last weekend gave the Bulldogs an interception in five-straight games. The Bulldogs are second in the nation with 13 interceptions this year, which comes after the 'Dogs only had five picks all of last season. Fresno State's streak of five-straight games with an interception matches the longest streak since 2003. The 2005 and 2010 teams both posted five-straight games with an interception. The last time the Bulldogs had a pick in six-straight games came in the 2002 season, when the 'Dogs had two different streaks of six consecutive games with a pick.
One streak that ended last weekend was winning the turnover battle. The Bulldogs had won the turnover battle in each of the first six games of the season, but lost that at Boise State when they turned the ball over twice and had just one take-away. Fresno State is now tied second nationally in total turnovers forced this year, as TCU passed them in both passes intercepted (14) and take-aways (20). Wyoming enters the game having turned the ball over just nine times this season (six interceptions, three fumbles lost).
More on the Bulldog Defense
Fresno State's defense continued with its strong play despite losing the game at Boise State. The Bulldogs held the Broncos to 20 points and 335 yards of total offense (120 passing, 215 rushing). Fresno State is second in the Mountain West in four defensive categories, including pass defense and total defense. The Bulldogs are 16th nationally by allowing just 178.3 yards per game through the air and 29th in the FBS in scoring defense, giving up only 22.9 points per game.
Victor Dean Joins Party
Sophomore wide receiver Victor Dean had the best game of his career at Boise State and showed opposing teams that they have to account for yet another threat among a deep group of wide receivers. Dean caught seven passes for 68 yards against the 22nd-ranked Broncos last weekend. His biggest reception in the game was a 32-yard grab in the second quarter that gave the Bulldogs the ball on the Boise State 16-yard line. For the year, Dean has 15 catches for 223 yards. He is one of six players on the team with 15 or more catches.
Adams Grabs Yet Another TD
Last season, Josh Harper had five touchdowns catches in his redshirt freshman season and that number tied for the most by a Bulldog freshman in the last 10 seasons. This year, redshirt freshman Davante Adams has already surpassed that mark with six TDs in seven games. Adams' three-yard touchdown reception at Boise State gave him three TDs in the last two games. The Palo Alto native continues to lead the Mountain West in receptions (45), touchdown receptions (6), receiving yards (530) and yards per game (75.7). His six TDs are tied for the most in the nation among freshmen receivers and he is third among freshmen in total receptions and fourth in total receiving yards.
Tyeler Davison the Unsung Hero
Sophomore nose guard Tyeler Davison is the unsung hero on the Bulldogs' defense. Davison is one of the players the coaching staff points out when asked who is playing at the highest level. He might not put up the biggest numbers, as he draws numerous double teams, but the fact that he does that opens up teammates to make plays. Davison still makes a number of plays on his own and is often found in the offensive backfield. Last weekend at No. 22 Boise State, Davison posted six tackles. Over his last three games he has posted 17 tackles, two tackles for a loss and one sack. He has 23 tackles for the season, 3.0 TFL, two sacks, four quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one rumble recovery, one pass breakup and he has blocked one PAT. That's an all-around impressive stat line for a nose guard.
Isaiah Burse Cracks Top 10
Junior wide receiver moved into 10th place for the most all-purpose yards gained in school history. He now has 3,795 all-purpose yards and moved ahead of Charles Smith (1998-01) for 10th place in school history. Burse has 85 career receptions for 1,088 yards and seven touchdowns, 19 carries for 75 yards, returned 33 kickoffs for 2,557 yards and seven punts for 75 yards. This season, he has caught 32 passes for 462 yards and four touchdowns and is fifth in the Mountain West in total receiving yards.
Bulldogs That Have Faced Wyoming
Several players remain on the team that played against Wyoming in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl. Safety Phillip Thomas, then a redshirt freshman, recorded seven tackles and one pass breakup. Shawn Plummer had four tackles and one tackle for a loss and Travis Brown had one tackle. Running back Robbie Rouse had one carry for eight yards back in 2009 against Wyoming, as Ryan Mathews had 31 carries for 144 yards and two TDs in the game.
Upon Further Research
In the first quarter vs. Colorado on Sept. 15, Fresno State had two offensive plays of 90-or-more yards. Since the start of the 2004 season, no other FBS team had two 90-yard plays from scrimmage in the same game, let alone a single quarter. In the first seven weeks of the season, there were a total of eight offensive plays of 90 or more yards. That number includes Derek Carr's 97-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Burse (second longest pass in school history) and Robbie Rouse's 94-yard touchdown run (ties for the longest in school history). Carr's pass is still the longest pass in the nation this year while Rouse's run is the fourth longest.
Which Leads To...
Fresno State has completed 35 passes that went for 20 or more yards this year, with Carr throwing for 33 of those. Davante Adams has nine receptions of over 20 yards, Josh Harper has seven, Isaiah Burse six and Victor Dean five. The Bulldogs have six rushes of over 20 yards, with five of those coming from Robbie Rouse. However, Fresno State has not had a run of over 20 yards since Rouse's 37-yard touchdown run at Tulsa on Sept. 22.
Fresno State has a 4-0 record this year in games when gaining over 400 yards of offense. The Bulldogs are 0-3 when they don't rack up over 400 yards of offense.
The last four opponents Fresno State have faced have combined to post a total of eight yards on their first drive of the game. The Bulldogs have held opponents scoreless on their first drive in 6-of-7 games this year. Offensively, Fresno State started the season scoring on its first drive of the game in each of the first three games, but have not scored on their first possession in its last four games.
Senior wide receiver Rashad Evans needs one more catch to tie for the 10th most in school history. Evans has 123 career receptions for 1,160 yards and 10 touchdowns. With three more receptions, he can move all the way into ninth place on the school's record list for career receptions.
Robbie Rouse, who scored a rushing touchdown in nine straight games - four to end the 2011 season and the first five in 2012 - has not rushed for a touchdown in the last two games. Rouse still is third in school history with 33 rushing touchdowns and also ranks third in total touchdowns with 38.
Fresno State's 2,159 passing yards this year is 310 yards more than any other team in the Mountain West. Derek Carr has thrown for 2,082 of that yardage and his total is 311 more yards than any other QB in the league.
The Bulldogs continue to lead the league in sacks with 21, which is six more than any other team in the Mountain West has. Fresno State's 21 total sacks are tied for the ninth-most in the country and its 3.0 sacks per game is tied for 14th nationally.
Redshirt freshman kicker Quentin Breshears is 7-for-10 on field goal attempts this year and is third in the Mountain West in field goals made. His 70 percent clip on field goal tries is up from Kevin Goessling's 58.8 percent last year. Goessling is the school's all-time leading scorer and made 61 field goals in his career, so it is impressive that the redshirt freshman Breshears is posting better numbers than the veteran Goessling did last year.