After a disappointing loss at No. 17 TCU, the Bulldogs look to get the win that will make them bowl eligible against SMU on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Nov. 13, 2000
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Fresno State vs. SMU
: FS (5-4, 4-2 WAC), SMU (3-7, 2-4 WAC)
: Saturday, Nov. 18
: 4:07 p.m. PST
: Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, Calif.
: KMPH Fox 26 (Ralph Wood, Vince Wesson)
: Telestar 7, Transponder 6
: KMJ (AM 580) (Bill Woodward, Jon Anabo)
The audio portion of KMJ's broadcast is also available on gobulldogs.com
The Bulldogs return home for their final home game of the 2000 season hosting SMU. The Mustangs are making their first visit to Bulldog Stadium, where Fresno State was won 14 consecutive games.
Fresno State lost to No. 17 TCU 24-7 at Fort Worth. SMU beat Tulsa 24-14 at Tulsa.
All-Time vs. SMU
There has been just one game in this series and the Mustangs defeated the Bulldogs 24-14 last year at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Last Time vs. SMU
(Dallas - Oct. 14, 1999) In of the biggest upsets of the WAC season, the winless Mustangs beat the 4-2 Bulldogs 24-14 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Fresno State entered the game with a three-game win streak with commanding victories over Nevada and Colorado State and an overtime win over TCU. The game, which was moved to Thursday night to accomodate Fox Sports Net for a national broadcast, was played in front of 8,000 fans at the Cotton Bowl. SMU built a 21-7 halftime lead and Fresno State could never recover. Despite 299 passing yards from Billy Volek, who threw touchdown passes of 14 and 83 yards to Rodney Wright, the Mustangs rushed for 194 yards, the second-most FS allowed during the regular season and held the ball for over 38 minutes in the game. SMU followed with a three-game win streak.
Racking Up the Points at Home
Fresno State has not only been winning consistently at home, it has been doing so quite convincingly. The Bulldogs are outscoring their opponents 154-59 in their four games at Bulldog Stadium this year for an average score of 39-15. FS has scored 24 or more points in 14 out of its last 15 home games, the lone exception being the 17-3 victory over California earlier this season.
Home Sweet Home
The Bulldogs have won 14 consecutive home games. Since the 1997 season, Pat Hill's first as head coach, Fresno State is 18-3 at Bulldog Stadium and have outscored their opponents by a combined 740-363 for a margin of victory of 35-16. In addition, the 'Dogs are drawing well, averaging 37,198 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 four games of the season, the Bulldogs have drawn the four largest crowds in school history, with a record of 42,285 vs. Cal.
Success at Bulldog Stadium
Fresno State's 45-27 victory over Hawai'i on Nov. 4 gave the Bulldogs their 14th consecutive victory at Bulldog Stadium, a winning streak which ranks fourth-best in the nation. FS has not lost at home since falling 27-24 to Nevada on Sept. 26, 1998. Since, Fresno State has posted home victories over teams such as Hawai'i (twice), Colorado State, BYU and TCU. Following are the top home winning streaks in the nation:
No Team Win Streak
1) Florida State 34
2) Oregon 19
3) Mississippi State 15
4) Fresno State 14
Taking the Attendance to Another Level
After tying for the conference championship and receiving a berth in the EA Sports Las 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 20th in the nation in percent of stadium capacity filled. Through their first two games, the Bulldogs have filled Bulldog Stadium (41,031) at 101.55 percent capacity. Fresno State currently ranks above perennial powers Florida State (22nd), Notre Dame (23rd), and Georgia (26th). Following is a breakdown of where the Bulldogs rate regionally and in the WAC in percent of stadium capacity filled:
No Team G & of Cap. Nat'l Rank
1) Fresno State 4 101.55 20
2) UTEP 5 87.22 48
3) Hawai'i 5 76.26 62
4) TCU 5 67.28 74
5) Tulsa 4 59.91 81
6) Nevada 4 56.75 86
7) San Jose State 4 34.37 102
8) SMU 5 30.57 107
9) Rice 5 27.40 111
No Team G & of Cap. Nat'l Rank
1) Oregon 6 108.14 6
2) Fresno State 4 101.55 20
3) Washington 6 98.81 29
4) Colorado 5 96.49 34
5) Oregon State 5 93.80 38
6) Colorado State 4 93.12 39
When wide receiver Rodney Wright
went down with a calf strain prior to Fresno State's game with Nevada on Oct. 14, there were questions about how Fresno State would replace his big-play capability. With the emergence of Bernard Berrian
, those questions have been answered. Since Wright went down, Berrian has joined Charles Smith
as the Bulldogs go-to receiver. In his last five games, Berrian has posted 26 catches for 468 yards, an average of 18.0 per catch. In addition, the sophomore has proved to be as exciting a wideout as there is in the WAC. He has touchdown grabs of 55 and 71 yards and a punt return for 88 yards he returned for a touchdown. Berrian has also racked up 100 receiving yards in four of his past five games. Against Hawai'i, he set career-highs in receptions (8) and yards (123). Following a breakdown of Berrian's last four games:
Game No Yds Avg TD Lng
vs. Nevada 5 102 20.4 1* 55
at UTEP 2 12 6.0 0 7
vs. Tulsa 5 110 22.0 1 71
vs. Hawai'i 8 123 15.4 1 42
at TCU 6 121 21.2 1 55
Totals 26 468 18.0 4 71
* does not include an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown vs. Nevada
Over the Hill
Under Pat Hill, the Bulldogs are 18-3 at home and 13-1 in WAC home games with 11 consecutive home WAC wins. The only WAC team to win at Bulldog Stadium was San Diego State, 20-19 in 1997. His .857 home winning percentages is the best in Fresno State history of coaches with more than three years experience. His conference home winning percentage of .929 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. The Bulldogs are going after their second consecutive undefeated home season under Hill.
In Case You Missed It
The Bulldogs dropped their third consecutive game this season to a ranked team. . . Fresno State is now 2-13-1 all-time in the state of Texas. . .the Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season when they led after the first quarter (4-1). . .FS has not won a game this season when trailing at halftime (0-4). . .Rodney Wright missed his fifth consecutive game with a calf injury. . .Bernard Berrian had his fourth 100-yard receiving game in the last five games. He has 26 receptions for 468 yards and four touchdown receptions in the last five games. He is averaging 18 yards per reception. . .only two of David Carr's 10 interceptions this season have come at home. He is completing .654 of his pass attempts in Bulldog Stadium. . .junior defensive tackle Alan Harper had a career-high 11 tackles vs. TCU. . .Fresno State has not had a 100-yard rusher in a game this season. It had four last season. . .the Bulldogs had a season-low two third down conversions on 12 attempts vs. TCU. . .Fresno State is 1-3 when having more turnovers than its opponents and 4-0 when having fewer. . .the Bulldogs had a season-low of five penalties for 25 yards against TCU. The yardage total was the fewest in over two years. . .freshman safety Bryce McGill ranks fifth in the WAC with five quarterback sacks. . .senior nose tackle Thabiti Lockhart had a career-high 11 tackles vs. TCU. . .defensive end Jason Stewart did not play against the Horned Frogs due to a hip pointer, missing his first game of the season. . .Fresno State ranks second in the WAC in quarterback sacks with 27 for 175 yards. . .Bulldog underclassmen lead the team in rushing (sophomore Josh Levi), passing (junior David Carr) and receiving (sophomore Bernard Berrian) this season.
WAC Coaching Leader
Pat Hill is the active WAC coaching leader in winning percentage with a record of 19-10 (.655). Here's how the other WAC coaches with one full year of experience rank.
Coach WAC Record Pct Overall Record Pct
Ken Hatfield, Rice 22-16 (5) .579 34-32 (22) .515
Dennis Franchione, TCU 14-7 (3) .667 35-34 (10) .507
Mike Cavan, SMU 14-14 (3) .500 14-14 (3) .500
June Jones, Hawai'i 6-8 (1) .429 6-8 (1) .429
Dave Baldwin, San Jose St. 13-15 (3) .464 13-15 (3) .464
Block That Kick
Fresno State's special teams have thrust themselves into the nation's elite in blocking punts and kicks. Since Pat Hill took over as head coach prior to the 1997, the Bulldogs have blocked 24 punts and kicks, including four this year. In the last two weeks alone, FS has blocked one punt and two kicks, including Terence Brown's
second block kick of the year which Dante Marsh
scooped up and returned 81 yards for a touchdown. Following is a breakdown of Fresno State's kick blocking prowess since 1997:
Year Punts Kicks Total
1997 3 1 4
1998 2 4 6
1999 4 6 10
2000 2 2 4
Totals 11 13 24
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 12 tackles for losses (-44), which ranks third in the WAC. He had a career-high 10 tackles vs. TCU.
Senior outside linebacker Orlando Huff has been simply dominating this season. He was selected a Midseason All-American by Pro Football Weekly. 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, the 1999 first-team All-WAC honoree has 59 tackles, seven sacks, 10 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, forced two fumbles and two pass deflections. He ranks ninth in the WAC in tackles with an average of 8.7, leads league lead in sacks with nine and third in tackles for losses with 12 for a league-high 68 yards. Huff had 14 tackles, matching his career-high, last week against TCU.
Counting on Carr
Junior quarterback David Carr has played in just 20 games in his three-year career is coming off a redshirt season when he 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
Tulsa 1-1 23 16 1 249 .696 4 71
Hawai'i 1-1 28 23 0 257 .821 2 42
TCU 1-1 30 15 1 183 .500 1 42
Totals 20-9 325 200 12 2,236 .615 17 71
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-) 372
3. A.J. Gass (1993-97) 334
Despite their diminutive stature, the duo of Charles Smith and Rodney Wright were the most explosive receiving combo in the nation until Wright's injury which has seen him miss five games. Smith moved past Jamie Kimbrough for fifth place on the FS career receptions chart. He now has his sights on Henry Ellard, who is fourth with 138 receptions. 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 123 1,638 13.3 15 25 366 14.6 5
Rodney Wright 111 1,484 13.4 11 30 297 9.9 2
Totals 231 3,077 13.4 26 55 663 12.1 7
Fresno State Career Receptions
Rec Yards Avg TD
4. Henry Ellard (1979-82) 138 2,947 21.4 25
5. Charles Smith (1998-) 123 1,638 13.3 15
6. Jaime Kimbrough (1995-98) 116 1,092 9.4 6
7. Rodney Wright (1998-) 111 1,484 13.4 11
Fresno State Career Receiving Yards
Rec Yards Avg TD
5. Malcolm Seabron (1990-93) 90 1,874 20.8 18
6. Charles Smith (1998-) 123 1,638 13.3 15
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 has allowed just one sack in 231 attempts this season. He has not played in the last two games with an ankle sprain.
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 Tim Skipper, DT Alan Harper, SS Vernon Fox, CB Lawrence Deck,
DE Nick Burley
Nevada ................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
Tulsa..................CB Tierre Sams, SS Bryce McGill, LB Orlando Huff, DE Nick Burley
Hawai'i................DT Alan Harper
at TCU.................DT Alan Harper, LB Orlando Huff, LB Giachino Chiaramonte,
DE Nick Burley, DE Jake Probst, NT Thabiti Lockhart
* Bad Dog Award
'Dog Bones (Team)
FS is 18-3 under Pat Hill at home, including 14 consecutive wins
FS is 14-1 in its last 15 WAC home games.
The 'Dogs allowed a school record-low 13 quarterback sacks in 1999 and 16 this season.
FS had 44 more sacks than its opponents over the last two seasons season 73-29.
FS has 13 more sacks than its opponents this season (29-16).
The FS defense has 83 tackles for losses this season for -318 yards.
FS has thrown 49 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions over the last two years.
The Bulldogs have not been shutout in the last 126 home games dating back to Oct. 25, 1980, vs. Utah State (14-0). Fresno State has scored in 150 of the last 151 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 is 17-4 under Pat Hill when the 'Dogs throw more touchdown passes than their opponents.
FS is 18-5 under Pat Hill when the 'Dogs have less turnovers than their opponents.
FS has outscored its opponents 770-509 over the last 26 games (30 - 20 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 ninth in the NCAA in punt returns (15.4 yards per return).
'Dog Bones (Individual) Safety Devon Banks had a career-high 14 tackles in his first career start vs. UCLA.
Receiver Bernard Berrian was selected WAC Special Teams Player of the Week (10/14) after an 88-yard punt return for touchdown vs. Nevada.
Berrian has four100-yard receiving games in the last five games and leads FS in receiving yardage with 518.
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 and has two this season. He was named WAC Special Teams Player of the Week vs. Hawai'i.
Brown was named MVP of the EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl with two blocked kicks.
David Carr ranks 33rd in the NCAA in total offense (228.8/game) and19th in pass efficiency (135.9).
Carr threw for a career-high 325 yards, completing 24-of-41 passes, vs. Cal.
Senior linebacker Giachino Chiaramonte was named to the Verizon Academic All-District second team. He has a 3.34 GPA in speech communication.
Chiaramonte had a career-high 12 tackles against TCU.
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 28 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 1,193 rushing yards in his career.
Defensive tackle Alan Harper has at least one tackle in 29 straight games, the longest streak on the Fresno State defense. He has been awarded a black shirt every game but one this season.
Harper ranked second in the WAC in 1999 in tackles for a loss with 15 for 47 yards. He has 11 for minus 43 yards the first seven 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 in the WAC in sacks (7-43) and is tied for second in tackles for losses (11-61).
Huff was selected a Midseason All-American by Pro Football Weekly, the only WAC player honored.
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 nine games this season (231 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.
Lockhart had a career-high 13 tackles against No. 17 TCU.
Cornerback Dante Marsh has scored two defensive touchdowns this season and has eight career interceptions, three this season.
Freshman safety Bryce McGill ranks second on the team in quarterback sacks with five for 30 yards.
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 leads the team with four interceptions this season.
Sophomore left tackle Joe Scheywas named to the Verizon Academic All-District second team. He has a 3.3 GPA in sociology.
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 nine touchdown receptions in the last 12 games he has played.
Defensive end Jason Stewart is Fresno State's sixth leading tackler with 35, including three for losses and two sacks.
Junior guard Mike Stovall has started 24 games on the offensive line, more than any current player.