After snapping their three-game winning streak with a loss at UTEP, the Bulldogs host the Golden Hurricane on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Oct. 23, 2000
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Fresno State vs. Tulsa
Records: FS (3-3, 2-1 WAC), Tulsa (3-5, 2-2 WAC)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 28
Time: 7:07 p.m. PDT
Location: Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, Calif.
Local TV: None
Radio: KMJ (AM 580) (Bill Woodward, Jon Anabo, Ron Shapley)
The Bulldogs return home to the friendly confines of Bulldog Stadium, where they have won 12 consecutive games, to host Tulsa in the first meeting ever played between these two schools at Fresno.
Fresno State had its three-game winning streak snapped with a 23-13 loss at UTEP. The Golden Hurricane lost at home to No. 10 TCU 17-3.
All-Time vs. Tulsa
The Bulldogs and Golden Hurricane have played just once, last season at Tulsa, a 28-14 Fresno State victory.
Last Time vs. Tulsa
(TULSA, Okla. - Oct. 30, 1999) The Bulldogs overcame a 14-0 first quarter deficit by scoring 28 unanswered points, including two interception returns for touchdowns to earn a 28-14 victory at Tulsa. It was a bizarre week for the Golden Hurricane, which saw the firing of long-time coach Dave Rader. Tulsa battled through an emotional week and downpour of rain on game day to jump out early on touchdown runs by D.J. Barnett and Ken Bohanon. Fresno State's All-WAC kicker Jeff Hanna converted two second quarter field goals to pull the Bulldogs within eight at halftime, 14-6. Billy Volek found Vince Branstetter for a 7-yard touchdown pass on the first possession of the second half. Volek then connected with Billy Jack Pierce for the two-point conversion to tie the game. Anthony Limbrick scored what proved to be the game-winning score on a 76-yard interception return for a touchdown less than four minutes later. It was the second of two interceptions for Limbrick on the day, who was selected the WAC Defensive Player of the Week for his stellar play. The Bulldogs sealed the victory when Curtis Edwards returned a Josh Blankenship pass 52-yards for a touchdown with just three seconds remaining in the game. Alan Harper had two sacks for the Bulldogs, who sacked the Golden Hurricane four times.
Fresno State has many promotional activities scheduled for the upcoming games. This week's game will be Youth Football Day at Bulldog Stadium. Teams associated with players from eighth grade and under can purchase tickets for $8 per person. The ticket includes a tailgate meal and the game. The first 1,500 participants receive a full meal. Also upcoming is a PT Cruiser giveaway, sponsored by the Pacific Yellow Pages. Participating campuses are Fresno State, Northwestern, Kansas, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Texas Tech and Michigan State. Entry cards may be filled out during home games.
Defensive Battle Coming Up?
According to the latest WAC statistics, Saturday's contest could be a defensive battle. Both Fresno State and Tulsa rank near the top of the conference in scoring defense, with the Bulldogs coming in second, allowing 23 points per game, while TU is third at 25.6 per game. In addition, both Fresno State (fourth) and Tulsa (sixth) rank in the middle of the pack in scoring offense. FS is averaged 24.3 points per game while the Golden Hurricane are scoring at a 17.8 per game clip.
...But on the Other Hand
However, not all signs point to a low-scoring game. Although they rank third in scoring defense, Tulsa is seventh in the WAC in total defense, allowing 409.1 yards per game. TU is also eighth in the conference in passing defense while Fresno State's passing offense is third-best in the WAC and 35th in the nation.
Punting Point To Ponder
It would be unwise of fans to plan their trips to the concession stands when FS and TU line up to punt. The Bulldogs and Golden Hurricane are among the nation's best in punt returning, with Tulsa ranking atop the WAC and fifth in the nation with a 17.5 average. Fresno State is right behind them at second in the conference and sixth in the nation with a 16.7 average. In addition, TU has returned two punts for touchdowns while FS has returned one, that coming in the last home game against Nevada when Bernard Berrian scampered 88 yards for a score.
Home Sweet Home
The Bulldogs have won 12 consecutive home games. Since the 1997 season, Pat Hill's first as head coach, Fresno State is 16-3 at Bulldog Stadium and have outscored their opponents by a combined 661-314 for a margin of victory of 35-17. In addition, the 'Dogs are drawing well, averaging 36,488 fans per game since 1997. This season, the Bulldogs shattered their single-season ticket sales record with 30,400, more than 2,000 over the previous record. In their first two games of the season, the Bulldogs have drawn the two largest crowds in school history, with a record of 42,285 vs. Cal.
Success at Bulldog Stadium
Fresno State's 58-21 victory over Nevada on Oct. 14 gave the Bulldogs their 12th consecutive victory at home, a mark that ranks third-best in the nation. FS has not lost at Bulldog Stadium since falling 27-24 to Nevada on Sept. 26, 1998. Since, Fresno State has posted home victories over teams such as Hawai'i, Colorado State, BYU and TCU. Following are the top home winning streaks in the nation:
No Team Win Streak
1) Florida State 33
2) Oregon 19
3) Fresno State 12
4) Southern Mississippi 11
Taking the Attendance to Another Level
After tying for the conference championship and receiving a berth in the EA Sports La Vegas Bowl, the Red Wave has come out in droves to support the Bulldogs this season. In addition to setting program records for season tickets sold, Fresno State currently ranks second among West Coast schools and 19th in the nation in percent of stadium capacity filled. Through their first two games, the Bulldogs have filled Bulldog Stadium (41,031) at 101.65 percent capacity. Fresno State currently ranks above perennial powers Penn State (21st), Notre Dame (23rd), Florida State (27th) and Alabama (29th). Following is a breakdown of where the Bulldogs rate regionally and in the WAC in percent of stadium capacity filled:
-- In the WAC --
No Team G & of Cap. Nat'l Rank
1) Fresno State 2 101.65 19
2) UTEP 4 83.03 57
3) Hawai'i 3 82.04 59
4) TCU 3 68.74 73
5) Tulsa 5 59.91 84
6) Nevada 3 59.55 85
7) SMU 3 36.86 103
8) Rice 4 30.17 111
9) San Jose State 3 29.09 113
WAC Coaching Leader
-- On the West Coast--
No Team G & of Cap. Nat'l Rank
1) Oregon 5 107.78 8
2) Fresno State 2 101.65 19
3) Washington 4 99.15 31
4) BYU 4 94.22 39
5) Colorado State 3 93.70 41
6) Oregon State 4 92.87 44
Pat Hill is the active WAC coaching leader in winning percentage with a record of 17-9 (.654). Here's how the other WAC coaches with one full year of experience rank.
Coach WAC Record Pct Overall Record Pct
Dennis Franchione, TCU 12-6 (3) .667 33-33 (10) .500
Ken Hatfield, Rice 21-14 (5) .600 33-30 (22) .524
June Jones, Hawai'I 6-6 (1) .500 6-6 (1) .500
Mike Cavan, SMU 12-13 (3) .480 12-13 (3) .480
Dave Baldwin, San Jose St. 11-15 (3) .440 11-15 (3) .440
Over the Hill
Under Pat Hill, the Bulldogs are 16-3 at home and 11-1 in WAC home games with nine consecutive home WAC wins. The only WAC team to win at Bulldog Stadium was San Diego State, 20-19 in 1997. His .842 home winning percentages is the best in Fresno State history of coaches with more than three years experience. His conference home winning percentage of .917 is also best in school history. The Bulldogs three home losses over the last four seasons combined to equal the number of home losses Fresno State suffered in 1996, the season before Hill took over as head coach.
In Case You Missed It
Fresno State has a 2-12-1 all-time record in Texas. The 'Dogs have one more game in Texas this season, against No. 10 TCU on Nov. 18. . .FS has played the last two games without All-WAC receiver Rodney Wright (calf strain), who ranks fourth in the NCAA in receptions. Wright is expected back this week. . .FS allowed a season-high five quarterback sacks against UTEP, the most it has allowed in a game since Sept. 26, 1998, vs. Nevada when the Wolf Pack had five sacks in a 27-24 Nevada victory. . .David Carr's game-high 37 rushing yards vs. UTEP marked the first time a quarterback led the Bulldogs in rushing since Oct. 10, 1992, when Trent Dilfer ran for 46 yards in a 36-24 loss at BYU. Carr's 27-yard run was the longest of his career. . .Fresno State set a single-game attendance record with 42,285 fans vs. Cal on Sept. 23 and followed that up with another 41,128 vs. Nevada.Those attendance marks rank 1-2 in school history. The Bulldogs are 7-1 at home when the crowd is more than 40,000. . .Bernard Berrian's 88-yard punt return for a touchdown was the longest ever by Fresno State player in Bulldog Stadium. It was the first by an FS player since 1998 when Payton Williams scored on a 66-yarder vs. UTEP. . .after scoring two touchdowns vs. Nevada, running back Derrick Ward, Fresno State's 1999 leading rusher, did not have a carry against UTEP. . .the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 181-54 (45-14) in the last four home games. . .Fresno State had its three-game winning streak snapped. The Bulldogs have not won three consecutive games since the 1992 season. They have had five different three-game winning streaks since, including three under Pat Hill. . .four of Fresno State's six games have been played in front of capacity crowds, including both games at home. . .the Bulldog defense has 17 different players who have combined for 59 tackles for losses for -234 yards.
No Holding Harper
Junior defensive tackle Alan Harper was a one-man wrecking crew during his sophomore season, earning first-team All-WAC honors, making him the youngest player selected. Harper, who as the potential to become the best defensive lineman in school history, was Fresno State's nominee for WAC Defensive Player of the Year honors after recording 15 tackles for losses, second-most in school history and second-most in the WAC. He is a consensus preseason All-WAC selection and was rated the 20th best defensive tackle in the nation by The Sporting News, one of seven underclassmen honored. Harper has 10 tackles for losses (-37), which ranks second in the WAC, and one quarterback sack in his first six games. Harper was nominated for WAC Defensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. He was credited with nine tackles, five solo tackles, and two tackles for losses against UTEP.
Senior outside linebacker Orlando Huff has been simply dominating through the first five games. Against Ohio State in the season opener, Huff was all over the field, finishing with a game-high 12 tackles, including two for a loss and a fumble recovery, which he returned 46 yards deep into OSU territory. A Butkus Award candidate, Huff backed that performance up with an equally impressive 10-tackle, two-sack performance against UCLA which saw him manhandle Bruins offensive lineman on several occasions. Through six games this season, the 1999 first-team All-WAC honoree has 51 tackles, seven sacks, nine tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, forced two fumbles and two pass deflections. He ranks sixth in the WAC in tackles with an average of 8.8, is second in sacks and third in tackles for losses.
Counting on Carr
Junior quarterback David Carr continues to develop each week. He ranks 39th in the NCAA in total offense (216.2 yards per game) and is second in the WAC in passing efficiency (120.3). Carr led the Bulldogs in rushing against UTEP with 37 yards, including a career-best 27-yard touchdown run, despite being sacked five times. Carr, who has played in just 17 games in his three-year career, redshirted last season and worked with the Bulldog scout teams, earning the scout team MVP award given by the coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said the best quarterback the Bulldog defense faced last season was Carr. In addition, Carr spend the entire season in the coaching booth on a headset with offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig learning more about the offense. Before this season, Carr had completed 27-52 passes for 281 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions in his career. Carr could be the best all-around athlete to play quarterback for the 'Dogs ever. He bench presses 390 pounds, power cleans 300 pounds and squats 500 pounds. At 6-3, 225 pounds, he runs a 4.67 40-yard dash.
CARR BY THE NUMBERS
G-GS Att Comp Int Yds Pct TD LG
1997 4-0 11 5 1 53 .455 0 19
1998 7-0 41 22 1 228 .537 1 26
Ohio State 1-1 44 26 4 238 .590 0 50
UCLA 1-1 33 20 0 249 .606 3 34
Cal 1-1 41 22 1 325 .537 2 38
Rice 1-1 31 20 2 220 .645 3 39
Nevada 1-1 12 7 0 92 .583 0 22
UTEP 1-1 31 14 1 142 .452 1 23
Totals 17-6 244 136 10 1,547 .557 10 50
Note: Career highs are underlined
Little Big Man
Senior middle linebacker Tim Skipper continues to be Fresno State's leader on defense and will be the defensive captain for the second consecutive year. Skipper is an excellent student who has been a WAC scholar-athlete. Despite being the smallest middle linebacker in the country (5-7, 215 lbs.), Skipper has played very large throughout his career. Skipper, who has started 34 of 37 games in his career, was a first-team All-WAC selection as a sophomore and despite missing two-and-a-half games and four starts with a knee injury, was selected second-team All-WAC last season. He had started 27 consecutive games before the injury. He finished second on the team in tackles last season with 86, missing his third consecutive 100-tackle season. With his 12-tackle performance against Cal, Skipper moved into second place on the Fresno State career tackle chart. He was a consensus preseason All-WAC selection and called the WAC's Most Underrated Player by The Sporting News. Skipper is a nominee for both the Butkus Award and the Nagurski Award. Information on Skipper can be found on www.gobulldogs.com.
Fresno State record 17 tackles for a loss in 1998
First-team All-WAC in 1998
Second-team All-WAC in 1999
Third on Fresno State's career tackle list with 306 tackles
WAC's Most Underrated Player by The Sporting News
No. 10 on Fresno State list for most tackles in a single season with 117 in 1998
Ninth in the WAC in tackles in 1999, 8.1 per game
Career-high 17 tackles vs. Baylor in 1997
Has 12 games of double-digit tackles in his career
WAC defensive player of the week (9/25/00) vs. California with 12 tackles, two for losses.
Fresno State Career Tackle Leaders
1. Omar Stoutmire (1993-96) 458
2. Tim Skipper (1997-) 349
3. A.J. Gass (1993-97) 334
Fresno State's tough non-conference schedule has helped it in the second half of the season. The Bulldogs are 13-5 in the second half of the regular season over the last three seasons.
Despite their diminutive stature, the duo of Charles Smith and Rodney Wright could be the most explosive receiving combo in the nation. With 50 receiving yards against UTEP by Smith, the duo has now surpassed 3,000 combined receiving yards for their career. Smith is averaging 17.1 yards per catch, second in the WAC. They are also Fresno State's top two return specialists and rank in Fresno State's career top 10 list for receptions and yards.
Rec Yards Avg TD Rec Yards Avg TD
Charles Smith 115 1,562 13.6 13 17 290 20.8 3
Rodney Wright 111 1,484 13.4 11 30 297 9.9 2
Totals 220 2,996 13.7 23 41 537 13.1 4
Fresno State Career Receptions
Rec Yards Avg TD
4. Henry Ellard (1979-82) 138 2,947 21.4 25
5. Jaime Kimbrough (1995-98) 116 1,092 9.4 6
6. Rodney Wright (1998-) 111 1,484 13.4 11
7. Charles Smith (1998-) 115 1,562 13.6 13
Fresno State Career Receiving Yards
Rec Yards Avg TD
5. Malcolm Seabron (1990-93) 90 1,874 20.8 18
6. Charles Smith (1998-) 115 1,562 13.6 13
7. Rodney Wright (1998-) 111 1,484 13.4 11
Senior right tackle Kevin Jordan should be one of the WAC's best this season. Jordan, who started 12 games at right tackle last season, started the season at left tackle to protect David Carr's blind side, but moved back to right tackle before the Cal game to match-up against All-American Andre Carter. Jordan, a defensive tackle in his first two years in the program, is a good athlete who ran a 4.7 40-yard dash as a defensive lineman. He currently runs just under 5.0 seconds. Jordan is very strong, bench pressing 405 pounds. He was outstanding through the first three quarters of the Cal game before leaving with cramps. Jordan held Carter to just two tackles. Jordan was given a "Bad Dog" Award for his performance against Nevada, who called his game "the best performance by an offensive linemen in four years" by line coach Dennis Wagner. He has allowed just two quarterback sacks in his career, just one last season in over 340 pass plays. He gave up his first sack of the 2000 season last week against UTEP.
Blackshirts & Bad 'Dogs
Fresno State has a unique way of honoring strong defensive efforts during games. Every week after defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle reviews game film, he makes note of the Bulldogs players who thoroughly dominated their position during the game. These players then receive plain black shirts to wear during practice the following week. Players not receiving blackshirts wear their normal practice uniform. On rare occasions, the coaching staff will give a "Bad 'Dog" award, going to any player who gave an extraordinary effort. Only six "Bad 'Dog" awards have been given in four years, and three coming this season.
Game Blackshirt Players
at Ohio State..........DE Jason Stewart, DT Alan Harper, DE Jake Probst
at UCLA................DE Jason Stewart, DT Alan Harper, LB Tim Skipper, LB Orlando Huff,
SS Vernon Fox
vs. Cal................*LB Tim Skipper, CB Dante Marsh, CB Marcellus Armstrong,
SS Bryce McGill, SS Vernon Fox, DE Jason Stewart, DT Alan Harper,
LB Orlando Huff
Rice LB................LB Tim Skipper, DT Alan Harper, SS Vernon Fox, CB Lawrence Deck,
DE Nick Burley
Nevada LB..............LB Tim Skipper, DT Alan Harper, SS Vernon Fox, CB Tierre Sams,
SS Bryce McGill, CB Dante Marsh, LB Giachino Chiaramonte,
LB Orlando Huff, *WR Bernard Berrian, *RT Kevin Jordan
UTEP...................DT Alan Harper, CB Lawrence Deck
* Bad Dog Award
Here's a look at some of the first-year players who have made an impact this season.
Redshirt freshman Marc Dailey has 19 tackles, three for a losses and one sack.
Transfer Asen Asparuhov leads the team in scoring with 28 points.
Sophomore Jason Simpson, a transfer, averages 39.0 yards per punt.
Freshman Fitu Tu'ua started four games right guard.
Jeremy Johnson has 18 receptions for 215 yards and two TDs, second on the team.
Redshirt freshman tight end Alec Greco has a touchdown reception.
'Dog Bones (Team) FS is 16-3 under Pat Hill at home, including 12 consecutive wins and 12 victories in the last 13 games.
FS is 12-1 in its last 13 WAC home games.
The 'Dogs allowed a school record-low 13 quarterback sacks in 1999 and 11 this season.
FS had 40 more sacks than its opponents over the last two seasons season 64-24.
FS has nine more sacks than its opponents this season (20-11).
The FS defense has 59 tackles for losses this season for -234 yards.
The 'Dogs held NCAA rushing leader LaDainian Tomlinson of TCU to a season-low 49 yards on 20 carries in 1999.
FS has thrown 42 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions over the last two years.
FS had three interception returns for touchdowns last season, the same number of total interceptions by the opponents.
The Bulldogs have not been shutout in the last 124 home games dating back to Oct. 25, 1980, vs. Utah State (14-0). Fresno State has scored in 148 of the last 149 home games.
FS was 6-1 last season when rushing for more than 140 yards in a game. The lone loss was at Hawai'i.
FS was 6-0 last season when throwing more touchdowns than its opponents.
FS is 16-3 under Pat Hill when the 'Dogs throw more touchdown passes than their opponents.
FS is 16-5 under Pat Hill when the 'Dogs have less turnovers than their opponents.
FS has outscored its opponents 684-446 over the last 23 games (30 - 19 per game average).
The 'Dogs have led the WAC in scoring in three of the last eight years, including a nation's best 40.5 average in 1992.
FS has produced two quarterbacks (Trent Dilfer and Billy Volek) who set NCAA records in the last seven years. Both are in the NFL, Dilfer with the Baltimore Ravens and Volek with the Tennessee Titans.
FS has produced a first-team All-WAC punter (Jeff Roberts, 1998) and kicker (Jeff Hanna, 1999) since the 1998 season.
FS ranks sixth in the NCAA in punt returns (16.7 yards per return).
'Dog Bones (Individual) Cornerback Marcellus Armstrong was a running back in 1999 who averaged 4.6 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns.
Safety Devon Banks had a career-high 14 tackles in his first career start vs. UCLA.
Receiver Bernard Berrian ranks third in the NCAA in punt returns (20 yards/game).
Berrian was selected WAC Special Teams Player of the Week (10/14) after an 88-yard punt return for touchdown vs. Nevada.
Right tackle Ahmad Bhatti held UCLA All-American Kenyon Coleman to just three tackles.
Safety Terence Brown blocked four kicks (three field goals and one PAT) in 1999.
Brown was named MVP of the EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl with two blocked kicks.
Quarterback David Carr ranks 39th in the NCAA in total offense (216.2/game).
Carr threw for a career-high 325 yards, completing 24-of-41 passes, vs. Cal.
Cornerback and special teams captain Lawrence Deck had a career-high nine tackles vs. Utah in the EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl. He missed two of the first three games with a concussion.
Deck is an honor student who will graduate in December with a degree in kinesiology.
Strong safety Vernon Fox has at least one tackle in 25 consecutive games.
Fox led the team with 103 tackles in 1999.
Running back Paris Gaines suffered a torn ligament in his right knee in the EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl. He has 1,049rushing yards in his career.
Defensive tackle Alan Harper has at least one tackle in 26 straight games, the longest streak on the Fresno State defense.
Harper ranked second in the WAC in 1999 in tackles for a loss with 15 for 47 yards. He has 10 for minus 37 yards the first five games.
Linebacker Orlando Huff, a Butkus Award nominee, had double-figure tackles in each of the first two games vs. Ohio State and UCLA.
Huff ranks second ine the WAC in sacks (7-43) and is third in tackles for losses (9-49).
Right tackle Kevin Jordan has allowed just two quarterback sacks in his career. He only gave up one in over 340 pass plays in 1999 and has one sack through the first six games this season (208 plays).
Free safety Anthony Limbrick was rated as the ninth-best safety in the nation by Lindy's.
Limbrick broke his right thumb vs. Ohio State and is out indefinitely.
Nose tackle Thabiti Lockhart was second-team preseason All-WAC by The Sporting News.
Cornerback Dante Marsh is tied for the team lead with two interceptions and has six in his career.
Center Rodney Michael was named second-team preseason All-WAC by Lindy's.
Cornerback Tierre Sams ran a 10.46 100 meters in high school, which was the fastest time by a high school athlete that year for a brief time. He has two interceptions this season.
Linebacker Tim Skipper was selected WAC Defensive Player of the Week (9-25-00) after getting 12 tackles and two tackles for losses in a 17-3 win over the Bears.
Receiver Charles Smith had caught at least one pass in 26 consecutive games before having that streak snapped against Rice. He suffered a sprained ankle and didn't play in the second half and missed the Nevada game.
Smith has seven touchdown receptions in the last nine games he has played.
Defensive end Jason Stewart is Fresno State's eighth leading tackler with 27, including three for losses and two sacks.
Junior guard Mike Stovall has started 22 games on the offensive line, more than any current player.
Running back Derrick Ward has blocked three punts in his career.
Receiver Rodney Wright has caught at least four passes in each of the last 13 games.
Wright ranks fourth in the NCAA in receptions (7.5) and 15th in all-purpose yardage (153.2).