No. 15 Fresno State is set to host New Mexico on Saturday for Senior Day at Bulldog Stadium ... kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT and the game is being televised nationally on ESPNews with the broadcast team of Joe Davis (play-by-play), David Diaz-Infante (analyst) and Shelley Smith (sideline) ... 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 ... the Bulldogs can clinch the West Division title in the Mountain West with a win on Saturday and assure themselves a spot in the inaugural MW Championship game that will be played on Dec. 7 ... Fresno State has several winning streaks on the line - the 'Dogs have won 14-straight regular season games, 11-straight at home and 11-straight Mountain West games ... the Bulldogs will also be going for their 10th win of the season, which would be the programs eighth 10-plus win season and the first since Fresno State went 11-3 in 2001 ... the 'Dogs rank in the top 10 nationally in passing (fourth - 384.0 ypg), total offense (fifth - 546.6 ypg) and scoring (seventh - 44.3 ppg) while New Mexico ranks No. 3 in the Mountain West in pass defense, allowing only 231.5 yards per game ... quarterback Derek Carr is responsible for 30 more touchdowns than he is turnovers this year, which ranks second among all FBS players, and he has not thrown an interception in 229 consecutive pass attempts ... outside linebacker Ejiro Ederaine is tied for sixth nationally with nine sacks and free safety Derron Smith is tied for seventh in the FBS with five interceptions.
Fresno State is looking for its first 10-win season in 12 years.
In five home games this season, Derek Carr has averaged 404.0 passing yards per game and has 19 touchdown passes against one interception. He has thrown 249 consecutive passes at Bulldog Stadium without being picked off.
In The Polls
Fresno State, who was idle this past weekend, dropped one spot in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll from No. 14 to No. 15 and remained at No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Bulldogs remain the top-ranked non-BCS team, five spots ahead of Northern Illinois in both polls. This is the 10th-straight week the Bulldogs have been ranked in the coaches poll and the ninth for the AP Poll. Prior to this season, the most weeks in a season that the Bulldogs were ranked in the AP Poll was 11 in 2001 and for the Coaches Poll it was eight in 2005.
Fresno State dropped back one spot this week in the BCS Standings to No. 15, but still remains the highest ranked non-automatic qualifying team. The Bulldogs are one spot ahead of Northern Illinois and also remain ahead of Central Florida, who at No. 18 is the highest ranked team from 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 a AQ conference (such as the American).
Fresno State vs. New Mexico - The Series
This will be the 14th meeting in the series between Fresno State and New Mexico that dates all the way back to 1947. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series with UNM 9-4 and have won five of the six meetings that have been played in Fresno. The 'Dogs have won the last three games in the series, although the first two wins in the streak came in 1995 and 1998 before the Lobos exited the WAC for the Mountain West. Last seasons meeting, the first between the schools as MW foes, was a challenging one for the Bulldogs. Fresno State saw itself down 21-0 in the second quarter and 24-14 at the half before scoring 35 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters to win the game 49-32. The 21-point deficit was the largest the Bulldogs have faced in a victory since 1982.
Scouting New Mexico
New Mexico enters this weekend's game with a 3-7 overall record and 1-5 mark in Mountain West play. The Lobos have gone 1-3 on the road this year, with that one win coming in overtime at UTEP on Sept. 7. The Lobos have averaged 34.8 points per game after scoring 42 or more points in their last two games, but defensively allow a league-low 39.9 points per game to rank 117th in the FBS out of 123 teams. New Mexico running back Kasey Carrier ranks 16th nationally in rushing with 112.2 yards per game. Cole Gautsche adds 86.3 yards per game on the ground and has also rushed for eight touchdowns, as the Lobos option rushing attack as scored 35 TDs on the ground. Defensively, UNM is giving up 262.7 yards on the ground and 231.5 through the air.
Bulldogs Seek First 10-win Season Since 2001
The last time Fresno State won 10 or more games was back in 2001, led by a senior quarterback by the name of David Carr. Now, the Bulldogs, led by Derek Carr, David's younger brother who is also now a senior QB, have a chance to reach the 10-win mark with a win over the Lobos. The Bulldogs have won 10 games seven different times in program history and are looking for No. 8. The school record for wins in a season is 11, which has happened four times.
For Fresno State, this is just the third time in school history that the Bulldogs have started a season 9-0. The other two times were in 1961 and 1989.
Keeping the Streaks Alive
Fresno State has several streaks going for it entering this weekend's game against New Mexico. The 'Dogs have won 14-straight regular season games, which is the third longest streak in the nation. Fresno State has also won 11-straight games in Mountain West play and 11-straight games at home, which is the fifth-longest active home winning streak in the country. This is the longest regular season winning streak for the Bulldogs since winning 16-straight over the 1988 and 1989 seasons and the longest home winning streak since winning 17 consecutive games at Bulldog Stadium from 1998-01.
Facing Option Rushing Teams
This will be Fresno State's fourth game in two seasons under head coach Tim DeRuyter going up against an option rushing team. The Bulldogs have gotten better and better against this unique type of offense the more they have faced it. The first game against an option team was at New Mexico in 2012. The Lobos racked up 349 yards and two TDs on the ground in a game the Bulldogs won 49-32, but after a tough first half, Fresno State only allowed UNM to gain 81 yards on the ground in the second half. Then in the 2012 regular season finale, Air Firce ran for 254 yards and one touchdown on the ground. Air Force had averaged 335.5 yards rushing on the season before losing to the Bulldogs. This season, Cal Poly is the only option rushing team the Bulldogs have faced. Fresno State gave up 172 yards on the ground, but only 24 in the first half with the first-team defense in. Totaling up the three games, the 'Dogs have allowed an average of 258.3 yards per game and 4.6 yards per rush.
Tim DeRuyter has become the first head coach in Fresno State history to win nine games in each of his first two seasons on the job. He has also become the fourth coach in Mountain West history to win nine or more games in their first two seasons in the league, joining Urban Meyer (Utah), Gary Patterson (TCU) and Chris Peterson (Boise State). DeRuyter is looking to become the first coach in school history to win 20 games in his first two seasons at the helm of the program. He is currently 18-4.
Carr Looks to Join Elite Company
Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr enters the game five touchdown passes shy of 100 in his career. With 11,181 career passing yards and 95 TDs, he would become the 18th player in FBS history to throw for over 10,000 yards and 100 touchdowns in a career. Carr has five career games with five TD passes, so it is not out of the question. Georgia's Aaron Murray & Old Dominion's Taylor Heinicke are the most recent FBS quarterback to join the club, doing so this season.
Derek Carr Tidbits
Owns 20 school records and 17 Mountain West records.
He is responsible for 99 touchdowns in his career (95 passing, four rushing) and looks to become the first player in school history to be responsible for 100 touchdowns.
Has become the first quarterback in school history to throw for over 3,000 yards in three separate seasons.
Ranks second nationally in passing yards per game (380.1) and touchdown passes (32). He is one TD pass behind Oregon State's Sean Mannion, who has 33 TD passes in 10 games, which is one more than Carr has played in.
Carr has an active streak of 229 consecutive passes without throwing an interception, which is the longest streak in Mountain West history. Carr has 32 TD passes against four interceptions this season.
Is responsible for 30 more touchdowns this season than he is turnovers, which is tied for the second most in the nation and he has played in one less game than every other player in the top five.
Adams Remains National Leader in TD Catches
Fresno State sophomore wide receiver Davante Adams remains as the FBS leader in touchdown catches with 15 on the season, even coming off a bye weekend. His 15 TDs have tied the school record for the most in a season and is one off of the Mountain West record of 16 that Boise State's Tyler Shoemaker set in 2011. Adams also leads the country with 10.1 receptions per game this season and is the FBS active career leader in receptions per game (8.8) and receiving yards per game (103.6). His 29 career touchdown catches is the fourth most among active players and he has done that in only 22 career games. Adams has caught a touchdown pass in 16 out of his last 17 games and has five TD receptions in his last two games. Adams is also looking to become just the 10th player in FBS history to catch 20 or more touchdown passes in a season. The last player to do so was West Virginia's Stedman Bailey last year with 25 TD receptions.
After setting the school's single-game record for most catches in a game (17) and posting 253 yards receiving, the third-highest in Fresno State history, along with two touchdowns against Nevada, Josh Harper responded with nine receptions for 159 yards last time out at Wyoming to give him a two-game total of 26 catches for 412 yards and two TDs. Harper hauled in a game-high 56-yard catch in the third quarter to give him three-straight games with a 50-yard plus catch (50-San Diego State, 57-Nevada, 56-Wyoming). Prior to the recent success with the deep ball, Harper's longest career reception was 49 yards at Idaho on Sept. 24, 2011.
Ejiro Ederaine has reeled off four-straight games with at least one quarterback sack, bringing his season total to nine sacks. In his past four games Ederaine has posted 23 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks, two QB hurries and one 78-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. The sophomore sensation has nine sacks on the season, which ranks No. 6 in FBS at 1.0 sacks per game, while his 13.0 tackles for a loss on the season ranks No. 16 in the FBS at 1.44 TFL per game. Ederaine's stellar year is inching him closer to the all-time single season ranks, he is two tackles for a loss shy of joining four other former Bulldogs tied at No. 10 with 15.0 TFL in a season and 1.5 sacks shy of joining the all-time top 10 for sacks in a season. Ederaine has potentially four more games to climb the all-time ladder.
Redshirt freshman Jamal Ellis has played very well in his first two career starts over the past two games for the Bulldogs. Ellis, filling in for the injured L.J. Jones, has recorded eight tackles and three pass breakups in his two starts. He and the rest of the Bulldog secondary have helped Fresno State hold its two opponents to just 173.0 yards passing and to a 57.9 completion percentage
The Secondary Leader
Fresno State's unquestioned leader in the secondary is free safety Derron Smith. Smith, who was the preseason defensive player of the year in the league, has picked off a pass in each of his last two games. Smith has five interceptions this season, which is tied for the Mountain West lead and tied for the seventh most by any player in the bowl subdivision. Smith now has 12 career interceptions, which is five off the Fresno State record and tied for the fifth most among all active players in the country. All of the other players in the FBS with 12 or more career picks are seniors while Smith is a junior.
Burse Surpasses 5,000 All-Purpose Yards
Isaiah Burse has become the third Bulldog to ever eclipse 5,000 all-purpose yards in a career and three games ago at SDSU became the ninth player in school history to go over 2,000 receiving yardage in a career. He now only needs 429 yards to become Fresno State's all-time leader in all-purpose yardage and just 42 yards to surpass Robbie Rouse for second place on the Bulldog record list.
DeRuyter's High-Flying Offense
Under head coach Tim DeRuyter the Bulldogs are 17-0 when scoring 30-plus points, which they have done in each and every game this year, and have scored 40-plus points in 12 of their last 15 games. The `Dogs posted 600 yards offense at Wyoming, marking the fourth time in the last five games the Bulldog offense has racked up at least 600 yards offense in a game. Fresno State leads the Mountain West and ranks No. 5 in the nation averaging 546.6 yards per game while posting 44.3 points per game, which also leads the MW and ranks No. 7 in the FBS.
Last season, the first under offensive coordinator Dave Schramm, running back Robbie Rouse was the man. He ran for 1,490 yards and 12 touchdowns while also catching 63 passes for 435 yards and two TDs. This year, it has been a two-back show between tailbacks Josh Quezada and Marteze Waller. Quezada has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the past two games while Waller has one 100-yard rushing game this year. Together the duo has helped Fresno State rush for more yards this year than the team did last year, even with the school's all-time leading rusher with Robbie Rouse. Through nine games last season, Fresno State averaged 159.6 yards per game on the ground with 14 touchdowns while Rouse also added 49 catches for 330 yards and two TDs. This year with the combination of Quezada and Waller, the Bulldogs have averaged 162.6 yards per game running the ball with 17 TDs and the duo have combined for 58 catches for 366 yards and one TD.
Fresno State is one of two programs in the FBS, along with SMU, to have two different players record a 200-yard receiving game this year. Josh Harper had 253 yards on Nov. 2 against Nevada, which is the third-most in school history, and Davante Adams had 221 yards on Oct. 19 against UNLV. SMU's Jeremy Johnson had 217 yards against Rutgers on Oct. 5 and Keenan Holman had 209 yards vs. Temple on Oct. 26.
Davante Adams needs 33 receiving yards to join Larry Willis (1983 and 1984) and Rodney Wright (1999 and 2001) as the only receivers in school history to register two different 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
Fresno State ranks second in the Mountain West in third-down defense, only allowing opponents to convert 35.7 percent of their third-down tries.
The Bulldogs are tied for sixth in the FBS by averaging 8.0 tackles for a loss per game and are tied for eighth in sacks with 3.11 per game.
Fresno State did not turn the ball over in their its game against Wyoming. It was the second time in the last three games that the Bulldogs did not turn the ball over. In the first five games of the season, Fresno State had 12 turnovers. In the last four games, the 'Dogs have turned the ball over just twice. The improvement with ball security over the last four games has helped Fresno State improve its turnover margin that now stands at +3 to rank No. 4 in the Mountain West. The Bulldog defense has created 17 turnovers on the season.
The Bulldogs have only allowed eight sacks on the season in 475 pass attempts. Fresno State is tied for sixth in the FBS in fewest sacks allowed.
Fresno State inside linebackers Karl Mickelsen and Kyrie Wilson continue to lead the team in tackles. Mickelsen has a team-high 69 stops while Wilson has 59, including 1.5 sacks.
Feed the Valley Food Drive
The Fresno State football coaches' wives and families are sponsoring the second annual Feed the Valley Food Drive at Saturday's game against New Mexico. The coaches' families will be collecting non-perishable food items and monetary donations at all entrances to Bulldog Stadium one hour prior to kick off. All proceeds benefit the Community Food Bank.