Nov. 21, 2011
Game No. 12 - WAC Game No. 7
Fresno State Game Notes | San Jose State Game Notes
San Jose State (4-7, 2-4 WAC) at Fresno State (4-7, 3-3 WAC)
Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 Bulldog Stadium (40,031) Fresno, Calif. 5 p.m. PT
Game Day Quick Facts
KMJ (AM 580); Bulldog Live (3 p.m.), Countdown to Kickoff (4:30 p.m.) | Play-by-Play: Paul Loeffler; Analyst: Jordan Christensen; Sideline: Ralph Wood
ESPN Deportes (1600 AM) in Spanish | Play-by-Play: Erwin Higueros; Analyst: Jesse Beltran; Sideline: Jose Salas
INTERNET AUDIO & LIVE STATS: gobulldogs.com
Fresno State is set to honor its 15-member senior class on Saturday when the `Dogs host San Jose State in the home finale at Bulldog Stadium ... Kickoff for the 76th meeting between the Bulldogs and Spartans is set for 5 p.m. and it is the final conference game ever for the Bulldogs in the WAC, as they head to the Mountain West Conference next season ... This is the one and only Fresno State game of the season that isn't being televised, but the game is being broadcast live on KMJ 580 AM ... Fresno State's senior class is set to play its final home game. The 15 members of the senior class have been apart of 26 victories and three bowl games over the last four seasons ... Head coach Pat Hill owns a 13-1 all-time record against the Spartans, and Fresno State has won 18 of the last 20 games since 1988 ... The Bulldogs are coming off a 24-21 win at Hawai'i last weekend that halted a three-game losing streak. Fresno State's defense rebounded in the win and gave up only 306 yards of offense to the Warriors that had averaged 417 yards of offense and 33 points ... Junior running back Robbie Rouse ranks sixth nationally with 1,342 rushing yards and his 276 carries are the third-most in the nation. He needs just four more yards to break Ron Rivers' school record for most rushing yards in back-to-back seasons ... Senior defensive tackle Logan Harrell's 16 tackles for a loss are the second most in the WAC and tied for the 12th most in the nation ... Sophomore quarterback Derek Carr needs only 68 more passing yards to register the sixth 3,000 yard passing season in school history while wide receiver Jalen Saunders needs 90 more yards to become the seventh wide receiving in school history with 1,000 yards receiving in a single-season.
Fresno State is 12-2 under head coach Pat Hill in its final home game of the regular season.
Senior kicker Kevin Goessling is one point away from tying the school record for most points in a career.
After giving up over 500 yards of offense and 40 or more points in three-straight losses, the Fresno State defense turned it around and only allowed 306 yards and it tied its season low by giving up just 21 points. This came against the Hawai'i team that entered the game averaging 33 points and 417 yards of offense. The Bulldogs held the Warriors' potent passing attack to just 244 yards and only 62 yards rushing. It all came in Tim Skipper's first game as interim defensive coordinator. The Bulldogs posted a season-high four sacks with Skipper making the defensive calls. A major factor in the game was that Fresno State got off to a good start. Obviously jumping out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter helps (first lead after the opening quarter since Oct. 1), but it was the first time all year that the defense did not give up any points in the first 15 minutes of the game. In addition, Fresno State's defense only allowed 110 yards in the first half, and that is 49 fewer than the next lowest total against North Dakota on Sept. 17. Fresno State is now 4-0 this year when it holds opponents under 30 points.
The San Jose State Spartans
San Jose State stands at 4-7 overall and 2-4 in WAC play. The Spartans are coming off a 27-24 home victory over Navy last weekend, a win that snapped a three-game losing streak. The Spartans are second to last in the conference in both scoring offense (24.3) and total offense (374.5) and are in the middle of the pack defensively, as they allow 30.9 points per game (fifth in WAC) and 423.5 yards of offense (sixth in WAC). However, SJSU has the league's top passing defense, as the Spartans only allow 216.4 yards per game and their 12 interceptions are tied with Hawai'i for the second most in the WAC. San Jose State has gained a league-high 30 turnovers, which is tied for the third-most in the nation, but it has also turned the ball over 30 times (16 fumbles, 14 interceptions) and that ranks second to last in the nation in turnovers lost. Spartan quarterback Matt Faulkner, who redshirtted at Fresno State in 2007 and did not see game action with the Bulldogs in 2008, leads the SJSU passing attack with 278.6 yards per game - a number that leads the conference. His favorite target has been Noel Grigsby, who has 27 more receptions than any other Spartan. Sophomore linebacker Keith Smith is sixth in the conference with 8.7 tackles per game and junior defensive end Travis Johnson is tied second in the WAC with 9.5 sacks, which is more than half of SJSU's 18 sacks on the year.
Fresno State vs. San Jose State - The Series
Fresno State's series against San Jose State is the longest of all the programs the Bulldogs have faced, as Saturday's game will be the 76th meeting between the `Dogs and Spartans. Fresno State owns a 39-33-3 overall record against San Jose State and has won 18 of the last 20 meetings since 1988. The two losses in that time came in 1990, a 42-7 road defeat, and a 24-14 defeat also on the road in 2006. Prior to 1988, the series had been one dominated by the Spartans. San Jose State won 31 of the first 55 games of the series that began in 1921 with three ties in that time. From 1973-87, the Spartans won 12 of the 15 games. Since then, Fresno State has won 18-of-20 games and 11 of them have been by two scores or more.
Rouse On Pace to Shatter All-Time Bulldog Rushing Records
Robbie Rouse led Fresno State to a road victory at Hawai'i by rushing for a season-high 176 yards on 37 carries with one touchdown. It was Rouse's seventh 100-yard rushing game this season and the 11th of his career. The junior also led the team with six receptions for 51 yards and three of his six catches went for first downs, two of which came on third downs. Rouse's 37 carries are the most by any player in the WAC this year and tied for the sixth-most in a game in the FBS in 2011. It also tied for the sixth most in a game in Fresno State history.
He has now run for 1,342 yards this season, which is the fifth most in Fresno State single-season history and it is the sixth most yardage gained on the ground in the FBS this year. His 276 carries are the third-most among all running backs in the country. Rouse only needs four more yards to break Ron Rivers' program record for most rushing yards in back-to-back seasons. Rivers ran for 2,474 yards from 1992-93 and Rouse now has 2,471 yards after recording 1,129 yards last year and the 1,342 yards this year. For his career, Rouse has rushed 563 times for 2,950 yards and 22 touchdowns. He is set to become the fourth running back in program history with 3,000 yards in a career and with one more year of eligibility remaining, he only needs 523 yards to break Rivers' 18 year-old school record for the most rushing yards in a career.
Carr Close to Becoming Fifth Fresno State QB with 3,000 Yards in a Season
Sophomore quarterback Derek Carr needs 68 more passing yards to become the fifth quarterback in Fresno State history with 3,000 yards in a season. It would be the sixth 3,000-yard passing season in Bulldog history, as Trent Dilfer recorded the feat in back-to-back seasons (1992 and 1993). The last Bulldog to throw for 3,000 yards was Paul Pinegar in 2005. Carr is averaging 266.5 yards per game this year and is completing 62.9 percent of his passes. He has thrown a league-high 23 touchdown passes against only seven interceptions. Over his last four games, Carr has thrown for 1,267 yards (316.8 per game), completed 100-of-149 passes (67.1 percent) and tossed 11 touchdowns against just two interceptions. He has repeatedly struck with the long ball this year, as he is averaging 11 yards per completion and has completed 40 passes of over 20 yards and 15 of those have gone for 40 or longer.
Brown Preserves Win at Hawai'i with Sack
Junior outside linebacker Travis Brown recorded six tackles, two tackles for a loss and an all-important sack in Fresno State's win at Hawai'i. With Fresno State holding on to a 24-21 lead and under 20 seconds to play, the Warriors had the ball on the Bulldog 35 yards line. Brown's sack on third down all but sealed the game, as the Warriors had to scramble to get a play off on fourth down before the clock ran out. Brown led the Bulldog defense in a turnaround performance. Fresno State had given up over 500 yards of offense and more than 40 points in each of its last three games - all losses - but he and the Bulldogs only gave up 306 yards and the 21 points to the UH offense that came into the game averaging 33 points and 417 yards of offense. For the season, Brown's 77 tackles are 11 more than any other player and he also has 7.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks.
Saunders Catches 10th TD of Season
Sophomore wide receiver Jalen Saunders became the sixth Bulldog to catch 10 touchdowns in a season when he hauled in a 44-yard score from Derek Carr in the first quarter at Hawai'i. It was Saunders' fifth-straight game with a touchdown catch and he has caught a TD in 7-of-11 games this season. His 10 touchdown receptions have him tied with Louisiana Tech's Quinton Patton for the most in the conference and he is one of just 18 players in the nation with 10 or more TDs. The last Bulldogs to grab 10 or more TDs in a season were Bernard Berrian (13) and Rodney Wright (11) in 2001. In addition, Saunders also has two rushing touchdowns this year to give him a team-leading 72 points. That ties him for fourth in the conference and his 12 total touchdowns are tied for second in the league. Saunders has caught 44 passes for 910 yards this year and is averaging 20.7 yards per catch, a figure that leads the nation for any receiver with 25 or more receptions. The Elk Grove product only needs 90 more yards receiving over his last two games to become the seventh Bulldog with 1,000 yards receiving in a year. The last players to do so were both Wright (1,630) and Berrian (1,364) in 2001.
Goessling One Point from Tying School Scoring Record
Senior kicker Kevin Goessling needs to score one point to tie the school scoring record, a mark that has been held by kicker Derek Mahoney since 1993. Mahoney scored 364 points over his career and Goessling stands at 363 going into Saturday's game. Goessling has made 183-of-186 PAT attempts in his career and 60 field goals, which are the third-most in WAC history. With six points last weekend at Hawai'i, Goessling moved ahead of Nevada's Colin Kaepernick for the fifth most points scored in WAC history. He can surpass former Hawai'i kicker Justin Ayat for fourth place with just nine more points. Goessling has made 43-straight PAT attempts.
Harrell Moving Up on Several Record Lists
Senior defensive tackle Logan Harrell's 16.0 tackles for a loss this year are the second most in the WAC and it is tied for the seventh most in a season in program history. Harrell, who is tied for 13th in the nation this year in total tackles for a loss, is tied for second on the team with 66 total tackles. Last weekend at Hawai'i, he recorded his sixth sack of the season. That number leads the team and he now has 18.5 sacks in his career, which is tied for the ninth most in school history. Harrell's six sacks are the sixth most in the WAC this season. The senior has had at least one tackle for a loss in 9-of-11 games this year and has posted a stop behind the line of scrimmage in 18 of his last 24 games over the past two years. Last season when he was a first team All-WAC selection, Harrell was second in the WAC and 10th in the NCAA with 10.5 sacks and he ranked fourth in the conference with 14 tackles for a loss.
Jones Ranks Among Nation's Best Statistically
Sophomore cornerback L.J. Jones is ranked 10th nationally with 1.36 passes defended per game. He has 12 pass breakups and three interceptions to give him 15 total passes defended this year. Only Nevada's Isaiah Frey at 17 has more in the WAC this year. Jones had three pass breakups at Hawai'i last weekend and the Bulldog secondary as a whole broke up a season-high seven passes in that game.
Harper Gets Back on Field, Back in End Zone
Redshirt freshman Josh Harper returned from a two-game absence due to injury last weekend and caught three passes for a season-high 84 yards at Hawai'i. He hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, which proved to be the game-winning score. It was Harpers fourth TD of the season, which ties with Jermaine Jamison in 2002 for the most touchdown catches by a Bulldog freshman in the last 10 seasons. For the season, Harper is tied with Isaiah Burse for fourth on the team with 31 receptions that have gone for a total of 445 yards, as he is averaging 14.4 yards per catch this season.
Wilson Coming Along at Safety
Junior safety Cristin Wilson, a walk-on out of St. Mary's High School in Stockton, Calif., has filled in nicely for the Bulldogs at the safety position that has been descimated by injuries. Wilson has posted season-highs in tackes in each of his last two games, recording seven at New Mexico State and then a team-high eight stops last weekend at Hawai'i. Wilson also recorded his second pass breakup on the year against the Warriors, as the Bulldog secondary held Hawai'i to just 244 yards passing - 69 yards under its season average. For the season, Wilson has made five starts and is eighth on the team with 34 tackles.
Cleaning Up on the Turnovers
For the first time since Sept. 17 against North Dakota, the Bulldogs did not turn the ball over last weekend at Hawai'i. It was just the second game all year that Fresno State did not have a turnover and the first time in its last eight games. The Bulldogs are tied for 61st nationally with 19 turnovers lost, but rank 111th in turnover margin and dead last with just seven turnover gained.
Fresno State's 10-0 lead after the first quarter at Hawai'i was its first lead after 15 minutes since leading 14-13 against Ole Miss on Oct. 1. It was just the fourth time all year that the Bulldogs have led after the opening quarter.
Derek Carr needs to attempt just 17 more passes to register the fifth season in program history where a quarterback has attempted 400 or more passes. His 241 completions this season are tied for the fifth most in Fresno State single-season history and with just 15 more completions, he can surpass Paul Pinegar's 265 completions for the second most in a season.
Senior wide receiver Devon Wylie leads the team with 45 receptions for 569 yards and one touchdown this season. For his career, he has caught 87 passes for 1,180 yards.
Junior wide receiver Rashad Evans is looking to become the third Bulldog on the roster to go over 1,000 yards receiving in a career (joining Wylie and Jalen Saunders). Evans has 101 career receptions for 983 yards and seven touchdowns.
Sophomore defensive lineman Andy Jennings recorded his first career sack at Hawai'i last weekend, helping the Bulldog defense to a season-high four sacks. Senior nose tackle Chase McEntee posted his second-straight game with a sack last weekend.