The Bulldogs will look to continue their six-game winning streak against the Spartans in a game with major bowl implications.
Nov. 20, 2000
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Fresno State at San Jose State
: FS (6-4, 5-2 WAC), San Jose State (7-4, 4-2 WAC)
: Saturday, Nov. 25
: 12:37 p.m. PST
: Spartan Stadium -- San Jose, Calif.
: KMPH Fox 26 (Ralph Wood, Randy Rosenbloom, Vince Wesson)
: Posted later this week
: KMJ (AM 580) (Bill Woodward, Jon Anabo)
The audio portion of KMJ's broadcast is also available on gobulldogs.com
Fresno State travels to San Jose State to renew a rivalry that began in 1921. This will be the 65th meeting in the series.
Fresno State won its 15th consecutive home game with a 14-7 win over SMU. San Jose State lost at Tulsa 28-17, its first loss in the last four games.
All-Time vs. San Jose State
San Jose State owns a slight edge in this series, 32-29-3, but that's only because the Bulldogs have had success since the mid-1980s, winning 10 of the last 15 games in the series, including six consecutive. That's the longest winning streak for Fresno State in the history of the series. The Spartans dominated the series from 1932 through 1954 as the Bulldogs managed just two wins over a 16-game stretch. The Spartans own a 16-10-2 record at home, including five wins in the last eight meetings. Fresno State won 53-12 in the last meeting at San Jose in 1997.
Last Time vs. San Jose State
(Fresno, Calif. - Nov. 20, 1999) In Fresno State's biggest offensive explosion of 1999, the Bulldogs rolled-up a season-high 685 yards and scored at least two touchdowns in every quarter in a 63-12 win over the Spartans at Bulldog Stadium. The win clinched a share of the WAC championship and was concluded with an onfield ceremonial invitation to the EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl. Offensively, the Bulldogs were led by quarterback Billy Volek, with five touchdown passes, and Josh Levi, who scored on a school-record 94-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs jumped to a 35-0 second quarter lead then added another 28 consecutive points after a Spartans touchdown.
Fresno State is bowl eligible for the second consecutive season. The Bulldogs have not been to a bowl in consecutive years since 1992 and 1993 when they went to the Freedom Bowl and the Jeep Eagle Aloha Bowl. The Bulldogs are eligible to receive invitations from either the Silicon Valley Football Classic or the Humanitarian Bowl.
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 168-66 in their four games at Bulldog Stadium this year for an average score of 34-13. FS has scored 24 or more points in 14 out of its last 16 home games.
Fresno State has not been as successful as coach Pat Hill would like in the road. All four of Fresno State's losses this season have been on the road. The 'Dogs are 1-4 on the road this season and 6-17 on the road under Hill, including 4-7 in WAC road games.
Home Sweet Home
The Bulldogs have won 15 consecutive home games. Since the 1997 season, Pat Hill's first as head coach, Fresno State is 19-3 at Bulldog Stadium and have outscored their opponents by a combined 754-370 for a margin of victory of 34-17. In addition, the 'Dogs are drawing well, averaging 37,387 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, and the season average attendance record with 41,369. In their first four games of the season, the Bulldogs drew the four largest crowds in school history, with a record of 42,285 vs. Cal. Fresno State drew more than 40,000 for every game this season, the first time that has happened.
Success at Bulldog Stadium
Fresno State's 14-7 victory over SMU on Nov. 18 gave the Bulldogs their 15th consecutive victory at Bulldog Stadium, a winning streak which ranks third-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) Fresno State 15
Over the Hill
Under Pat Hill, the Bulldogs are 19-3 at home and 14-1 in WAC home games with 12 consecutive home WAC wins. The only WAC team to win at Bulldog Stadium was San Diego State, 20-19 in 1997. His .866 home winning percentages is the best in Fresno State history of coaches with more than three years experience. His conference home winning percentage of .933 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.
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 came 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 22nd in the nation in percent of stadium capacity filled. In their five home games, the Bulldogs filled Bulldog Stadium (41,031) at 100.82 percent capacity. Fresno State currently ranks above perennial powers Kansas State (24th), Notre Dame (25th), and Georgia (30th). 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 5 100.82 22
2) UTEP 5 87.22 47
3) Hawai'i 6 74.20 65
4) TCU 6 70.94 68
5) Tulsa 5 54.38 85
6) Nevada 5 53.95 87
7) San Jose State 4 34.37 102
8) SMU 5 30.57 106
9) Rice 5 27.40 111
WAC Coaching Leader
No Team G & of Cap. Nat'l Rank
1) Oregon 6 108.14 6
2) Fresno State 5 100.84 22
3) Washington 6 98.81 28
4) Colorado 5 96.49 33
5) Oregon State 6 95.16 37
6) BYU 6 93.26 39
Pat Hill is the active WAC coaching leader in winning percentage with a record of 20-10 (.667). Here's how the other WAC coaches with one full year of experience rank.
Coach WAC Record Pct Overall Record Pct
Dennis Franchione, TCU 15-7 (3) .682 36-34 (10) .514
Ken Hatfield, Rice 22-17 (5) .564 34-33 (22) .507
Mike Cavan, SMU 14-15 (3) .483 14-15 (3) .483
June Jones, Hawai'i 6-8 (1) .429 6-8 (1) .429
Dave Baldwin, San Jose St. 13-16 (3) .448 13-16 (3) .448
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 six games, Berrian has posted 31 catches for 493 yards, an average of 15.9 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 six games. Against Hawai'i, he set career-highs in receptions (8) and yards (123). Last week, Berrian was on his way to another big week until spraining his ankle in the second quarter and missing the remainder of the contest. Following a breakdown of Berrian's last six 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
vs. SMU** 5 25 5.0 4 71
Totals 31 493 15.9 4 71
* does not include an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown vs. Nevada
** left game in second quarter with sprained ankle
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 three home games, FS has blocked one punt and three kicks, including Terence Brown's
second block kick of the year which Dante Marsh
scooped up and returned 81 yards for a touchdown against Hawai'i on Nov. 4. Fresno State has thwarted five consecutive fake punt/field goal attempts by its opponents, denying either a first down or 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 3 5
Totals 11 15 25
In Case You Missed It
Fresno State received one vote in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll this week. . .Three of Fresno State's four losses have been to ranked teams (Ohio State, UCLA and TCU). Their other loss was to a team receiving votes, UTEP. . . Derrick Ward
, who has played just once in the previous four games because of an injury, rushed for a season-high 79-yards and two touchdowns. He had a 53-yard touchdown dash on his second carry of the game, the longest run by a Bulldog this season. . .Rodney Wright
, who missed five games with a torn calf, played one play against SMU and should be ready this week. . .Fresno State's 139 passing yards against SMU was the lowest output since throwing for 87 yards against San Diego State Nov. 7, 1998. . .Bernard Berrian
has four 100-yard receiving game in the last six games. . .only two of David Carr's
10 interceptions this season have come at home. He is completed .672 of his pass attempts in Bulldog Stadium this season. . .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 of five penalties for 25 yards against TCU. The yardage total was the fewest in over two years. Over the last two games, Fresno State was committed just 11 penalties for 64 yards. That's fewer than the penalty yardage they had in seven games this season. . .freshman safety Bryce McGill
ranks fifth in the WAC with six quarterback sacks. . .Fresno State ranks second in the WAC in quarterback sacks with 29 for 175 yards. . .Bulldog underclassmen lead the team in rushing (sophomore Josh Levi
), passing (junior David Carr) and receiving (sophomore Bernard Berrian
) this season. . .Fresno State's home attendance average of 41,369 is the best in school history. It is over capacity of 41,031. The Bulldogs had crowds of 40,000 or more for every home game, also a school first. . .SMU's fake field goal attempt in the second quarter was the fifth consecutive field goal or punt fake that the Bulldog special teams have thwarted over the last two seasons.
Counting on Carr
Junior quarterback David Carr has played in just 21 games in his three-year career and is on track to break the school record for pass completion percentage. His current total of /624 ois better than Billy Volek's school record of .604, set from 1997-99. Carr 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
Little Big Man
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
SMU 1-1 18 14 0 139 .777 0 37
Totals 21-10 343 214 12 2,375 .624 17 71
Note: Career highs are underlined
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-) 382
3. A.J. Gass (1993-97) 334
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 13 tackles for losses (-47), which ranks fifth 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 84 tackles, eight sacks, 12 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 8.3, second in sacks with nine and second in tackles for losses with 14 for a league-high 73 yards. Huff had 14 tackles, matching his career-high, vs. No. 17 TCU.
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 125 1,685 13.5 15 27 413 15.3 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
Blackshirts & Bad 'Dogs
Fresno State Career Receptions
Rec Yards Avg TD
4. Henry Ellard (1979-82) 138 2,947 21.4 25
5. Charles Smith (1998-) 125 1,685 13.5 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-) 125 1,685 13.5 15
7. Rodney Wright (1998-) 111 1,484 13.4 11
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
vs. SMU................DT Alan Harper, LB Orlando Huff, DE Nick Burley, DE Jake Probst
CB Lawrence Deck, FS Bryce McGill, SS Vernon Fox, LB Tim Skipper
* Bad Dog Award
'Dog Bones (Team)
FS is 19-3 under Pat Hill at home, including 15 consecutive wins
FS is 15-1 in its last 16 WAC home games.
The 'Dogs allowed a school record-low 13 quarterback sacks in 1999 and 18 this season.
FS had 45 more sacks than its opponents over the last two seasons season 76-31.
FS has 14 more sacks than its opponents this season (32-18).
The FS defense has 95 tackles for losses this season for -357 yards.
FS has thrown 49 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions over the last two years.
The Bulldogs have not been shutout in the last 127 home games dating back to Oct. 25, 1980, vs. Utah State (14-0). Fresno State has scored in 151 of the last 152 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 19-5 under Pat Hill when the 'Dogs have less turnovers than their opponents.
FS has outscored its opponents 784-516 over the last 27 games (29 - 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.
'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 four 100-yard receiving games in the last six games and leads FS in receiving yardage with 543.
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 30 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 13 for minus 48 yards this season.
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 Schey was 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 13 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.