No. 17 Fresno State is set for its first visit to Laramie in 17 years when it travels to Wyoming on Saturday to face the Cowboys at War Memorial Stadium ... kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. PT and the game is being televised nationally on ESPN2 with the broadcast team of Tom Hart (play-by-play) and John Congemi (analyst) ... fans can 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 ... this game matches up the top two offense's in the Mountain West and the only schools in the league averaging over 500 yards per game ... the Bulldogs rank sixth nationally in total offense with 539.9 yards per game and are eighth in the FBS in scoring at 43.9 points per game ... senior quarterback Derek Carr ranks second nationally in both passing (382.6 ypg) and touchdown passes (28) and he enters the game with 183 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, which is 10 off the all-time Mountain West record ... Bulldog receivers Davante Adams (88 receptions), Josh Harper (59 receptions) and Isaiah Burse (56 receptions) have combined for 195 catches this year, which is as many or more than the total completions of 102 out of the 123 teams in the FBS have this season ... under defensive-minded head coach Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State is tied for third nationally in sacks with 3.38 per game and sixth in tackles for a loss with 8.3
Derek Carr was named the Walter Camp Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week and the co-Offensive Player of the Week in the Mountain West after throwing for 487 yards and accounting for four total TDs in last week's win over Nevada.
The Bulldogs remain ranked No. 16 in the BCS Standings after starting 8-0 for the first time since 1989.
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 second nationally with 382.6 passing yards per game and 28 touchdown passes. He leads all active players by having thrown for a touchdown in 28-straight games and he has 11 career games with four or more touchdown passes and five with five TDs.
In The Polls
For the second-straight week, and despite remaining undefeated on the season, the Bulldogs dropped one spot in the Associated Press Top 25 poll from No. 16 to No. 17. However, the 'Dogs also rose one spot in the USA Today Coaches Poll up to No. 17, so Fresno State sits at No. 17 in both official top 25 polls.
Fresno State remained at No. 16 in this week's BCS Standings, two spots ahead of Northern Illinois as the highest rated non-automatic qualifying team and four spots ahead of Louisville, the top rated team out of the American Athletic Conference. To gain an automatic berth in a BCS game, Fresno State -- from a non-AQ conference in the Mountain West -- must be in the BCS final top 12 or in the top 16 and ahead of a champion from an AQ conference (the AAC is one of those).
Fresno State vs. Wyoming - The Series
The Last Meeting
|Wyoming (Football Fiesta)||14
October 20, 2012
Saturday's matchup is the ninth in the series between Fresno State and Wyoming, but the first in Laramie since 1996. The Bulldogs are 0-3 all-time when playing at Wyoming with all three losses coming when both schools were members of the WAC from 1992-97. Since the Cowboys left the WAC for the Mountain West, the two teams have played just once and that came in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl when UW won 35-28. In last season's meeting at Bulldog Stadium, Fresno State opened up a 35-0 halftime lead and won 42-14. The Bulldogs were able to return a punt and interception for a touchdown against the Cowboys last year and the 'Dogs got 268 yards passing and three touchdowns with no interceptions from quarterback Derek Carr.
Wyoming enters Saturday night's contest with a 4-4 record and 2-2 mark in Mountain West play. The Cowboys are coming off its second bye week of their season and have most recently faced San Jose State on Oct. 26. Wyoming lost on the road in a shootout, 51-44 against the Spartans where fell to defeat by a 1-yard TD run with just 8 seconds left in regulation. Wyoming is led by dual threat junior quarterback Brad Smith who ranks third in the Mountain West and 14th in the nation with 295.9 passing yards per game. On the ground Smith has averaged 53.9 yards per game and ranks one spot behind running back Shaun Wick, who is picking up 97.0 yards per game rushing which ranks No. 3 in the MW. Wyoming is led defensively by linebacker Jordan Stanton, who has averaged 11.6 tackles per game and is tied for third in the nation in that category.
The Streaks Continue
The 'Dogs' 41-23 win over Nevada at Bulldog Stadium kept alive the their undefeated season and eight-game win-streak, as well as coach Tim DeRuyter unblemished record (11-0) at home. With the win, Fresno State owns the seventh-best active win streak in the FBS and is one of seven undefeated teams in the FBS while DeRuyter's perfect mark at home ranks as the fifth-best active win streak in the nation. The `Dogs have also won 10-straight games in Mountain West play dating back to last season.
In addition, Fresno State has won its last 13 regular season contests, which trails only Ohio State (21 games) and Northern Illinois (20 games). This is the longest winning streak, counting regular season games only, since Fresno State won 16-straight over the 1988 and 1989 seasons.
Last season Fresno State played in two games where the temperature was below 40 degrees at kickoff. On Oct. 6 at Colorado State it was 37 degrees and there was snow flurries throughout the day in Fort Collins. Fresno State went on to rack up 408 yards of offense and 28 points in the 21-point victory. Then on Nov. 10 at Nevada, the game-time temp was 33 degrees. The 'Dogs put up 52 points and 500 yards of offense in that late-evening game. Combining those two games, quarterback Derek Carr threw six touchdown passes against no interceptions and averaged 218.5 yards per game through the air.
Clutch When It Counts
When the game is on the line is when Derek Carr is at his best. The Heisman Trophy candidate has completed better than 80 percent of his throws over the last two games in the fourth quarter and the overtime period against San Diego State. On the season, Carr has completed 71.4 percent of his passes for 562 yards and five touchdowns against one interception in the fourth quarter and overtime. Furthermore, his success has been no fluke as he owns a career 70.3 percent passing completion percentage (211-300-4) in the fourth quarter and in overtime.
Harper Sets School Record
Josh Harper's 17 receptions against Nevada last weekend set a new school record for the most catches in a game, besting the 16 that Davante Adams had at Idaho and the 16 that Ron Jenkins (1987) and Larry Willis (1984) previously had. Harper's 17 receptions are the second-most in a game in Mountain West history and the second-most by any receiver this season in the FBS. Harper finished the game with 253 yards receiving and two touchdowns and his yardage is the third most in school history and tied for the fourth-most in Mountain West history.
Wide Receiver Production
Looking at the production of the Bulldog wide receivers this year under offensive coordinator Dave Schramm and receivers coach Ron Antoine, several of the biggest games in school history by a wide receiver have happened in 2013. Before this season, there had been only 21 games in school history where a Bulldog had caught 10 or more passes, and that was in the first 976 games in school history. This year in eight games it has happened nine times. Davante Adams has done it four times this year, doing so in every other game of the season, so if that holds true he is due for 10+ catches against Wyoming. Isaiah Burse has done it three times and Josh Harper has done it twice. Adams leads the MW and ranks second nationally with 10.0 catches per game, Harper is third in the MW and tied for 13th in the FBS with 7.38 while Burse ranks fourth in the league and tied for 18th nationally with 7.0 catches per game. The three have combined for 195 receptions, which is only 10 less than the total completions Wyoming has as a team.
Fresno State is also the only school in the nation to have two wide receivers that each have nine or more touchdown catches. Adams is tied for the national lead with 14 and Harper is tied for fourth with nine.
Ball Hawk in the Backfield
Derron Smith grabbed his fourth interception of the season when he jumped a route in the second quarter picking of Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo - just his second INT of the season in his eighth game. Smith returned the pick 47 yards to the Nevada three-yard line, his longest return of his career that surpassed a run back of 39 yards last season against Hawai'i. Smith also posted an interception last season at Nevada that he returned 34 yards to the end zone for a touchdown in the second quarter of last year's game at Mackay Stadium.
Smith now owns 11 career interceptions that ties him with three other Bulldogs - James Burton (1991-93), Marquez Pope (1988-91) and Matt McKnight (1981-82) - at No. 8 for most in school history. His 11 picks also places him in a tie for seventh in active career interception in the FBS and is one of 14 active FBS athletes that owns double-digit career interceptions. Smith was voted as the 2013 MW Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Leader Up Front
Nose guard Tyeler Davison continues to be Fresno State's anchor on defense in its 3-4 scheme. Last week against Nevada, Davison had four tackles, two of which were behind the line of scrimmage, and one sack. Additionally, he also blocked a PAT attempt, which was the second block of his career. The junior has 24 tackles on the year, 6.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks.
Fresno State's 3-4 defense is predicated on creating turnovers, pressuring the quarterback and getting tackles behind the line of scrimmage. So far this year, the Bulldogs have been successful in all three of those categories. The Bulldogs lead the Mountain West with 27 sacks and rank third nationally, are second in the league in tackles for a loss with 66 and
ranked sixth nationally and are fourth in the MW with 15 take-aways.
In last seasons' win over Wyoming, the Bulldogs picked off two passes (returning one for a touchdown), had two sacks and eight tackles for a loss while holding Wyoming to just 243 yards of offense on 74 plays - which was the fewest yards the Bulldogs allowed in all of 2012.
Adams The National Leader
Bulldog sophomore wide receiver Davante Adams is the nation's active career leader in receptions per game with 8.7. He has 182 catches and 28 touchdowns in just 21 career games. Adams is the school's all-time record holder in career TD receptions and is third nationally among active players, trailing BYU's Cody Hoffmann (31 TDs) and Texas Tech's Eric Ward (29 TDs). Both Hoffmann and Ward have played in 24 more career games than Adams has. Adams is only two TD catches away from tying the Mountain West record that is held by BYU's Austin Collie (2004, 2007-08).
This year, Adams is tied for the national lead with 14 TD catches and he needs one more touchdown catch to tie the school record for the most in a season. Over his last four games, Adams has 44 catches for 577 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is one pace to finish the regular season with 19 touchdown catches, which would set a new MW single-season record. Last year, West Virginia's Stedman Bailey had a streak of nine TDs in four games and he had 25 TDs on the season.
For the third time in the last four games, the Bulldog offense racked up over 600 yards of offense last weekend when they went for 647 yards against Nevada. It was its second-highest tally of the season, trailing the 731 yards the 'Dogs had at Idaho on Oct. 5 and more than the 641 yards the Bulldogs totaled against UNLV on Oct. 19. Fresno State leads the Mountain West and ranks sixth nationally by averaging 539.9 yards per game. The 'Dogs are also eighth in the FBS in scoring at 43.9 points per game and under head coach Tim DeRuyter, sport a 16-0 record when scoring over 30 points, which they have done in every game this season.
The up-tempo spread offense run under coordinator Dave Schramm has the Bulldogs averaging 87.6 plays per game this year, which ranks No. 4 in the nation.
Derek Carr Tidbits
Has thrown for over 400 yards in five of Fresno State's eight games this season.
Was 32-of-48 passing for 268 yards and three touchdowns against no interceptions last season against Wyoming.
Is nine touchdown passes away from 100 in his career, which would make him the 17th QB in FBS history to have over 10,000 career passing yards and 100 TD passes.
Needs 16 more pass attempts to break the Fresno State record for the most in a career. He enters the game with 1,390 pass attempts and only has 20 career interceptions with 91 TDs. He has a career interception percentage of 1.4 percent, just off the Fresno State school record for lowest INT percentage that is held by Billy Volek (1.25 %).
Currently has not thrown an interception in 183 consecutive pass attempts, which is 10 off the Mountain West record that Nevada's Cody Fajardo set this season. Carr also had a streak earlier this season where he went 180-straight passes without throwing a pick.
He owns 17 school records and 17 Mountain West records.
Has thrown a TD pass in 28-straight games, which is the longest active streak in the FBS.
Quezada Joins the Party
Earlier this season running back Marteze Waller became the first Bulldog to rush for over 100 yards in a game when he had 157 yards on 19 carries at Idaho. Last weekend against Nevada, Josh, or Juice as he likes to be called, Quezada rushed 17 times for 115 yards for his first 100-yard rushing game as a Bulldog. Juice averaged a healthy 6.8 yards per carry and finished the game with 155 all-purpose yards, as he also caught five passes for 40 yards. Quezada is fourth on the team this year with 37 receptions that has gone for 210 yards and one touchdown. He is also the team's leading rusher with 488 yards on 98 carries and he has three scores on the ground.
This is the second time in three weeks that the Bulldogs will face a team coming off a bye. San Diego State, Fresno State's Oct. 26 opponent, had 16 days off before facing the Bulldogs. Wyoming last played on Oct. 26 at San Jose State in a game where it allowed 642 yards of total offense and 482 yards and five touchdowns passing.
Fresno State has scored 351 points this season in eight games and is on pace to score 571 points (that is if the Bulldogs play in 13 games). The all-time school record for points in a season is 560, done by the 2001 team. The Bulldogs, averaging 539.9 yards per game, can also beat the school record for average yards per game if they keep at this pace. The current record for yards gained per game over an entire season is 537.1 yards, done in 1991.
The Bulldogs rank second in the Mountain West in third-down defense, only allowing opponents to convert 36.2 percent of their third-down tries. Wyoming ranks second in the league and 19th nationally by converting 49.2 percent of its third downs.
Sophomore outside linebacker Ejiro Ederaine has four sacks in his last three games. He is second in the league and tied for seventh nationally with 1.0 sacks per game and he ranks No. 3 in the MW and tied for 12th nationally with 1.5 tackles for a loss per game.