Dec. 8, 2000
============================================SILICON VALLEY FOOTBALL CLASSIC
Fresno State at San Jose State
Records: FS (7-4, 6-2 WAC), Air Force (8-3, 5-2 Mountain West)
Date: Sunday, Dec. 31
Time: 3:37 p.m. PST
Location: Spartan Stadium -- San Jose, Calif.
National TV: Fox Sports Net
Announcers: Steve Physioc, Tom Ramsey, James Lofton, Eric Clemons
Satellite Coordinates: None as the game is televised nationally
Radio: KMJ (AM 580) (Bill Woodward, Jon Anabo, Wayne Brown)
The audio portion of KMJ's broadcast is also available on gobulldogs.com
Fresno State will be making its fifth bowl appearance in the last 10 seasons and its second consecutive after accepting an invitation to play in the inaugural Silicon Valley Football Classic in San Jose, Calif., Dec. 31. The Bulldogs will play Air Force (8-3), which finished in second place in the Mountain West Conference. Air Force is making its 11th bowl apperance in 16 years under coach Fisher DeBerry.
Ticket, Travel Packages and Festivities
The Silicon Valley Football Classic has been rated as the top halftime entertainment performance of any bowl game this year, as R&B group Destiny's Child will perform at halftime and will hold a postgame concert at Spartan Stadium immediately following the game. Only Silicon Valley Football Classic ticket holders can attend the postgame concert. The Fresno State Athletics Department, in conjuction with the Alumni Association, the Bulldog Foundation and the Quarterback Club, also have many of events planned in the Bay Area for Bulldog fans leading up to the game. Contact the Bulldog Ticket Office (559) 278-DOGS or go online at www.gobulldogs.com for information on events and how to participate in the various Fresno State sponsored activities. All Fresno State events are available to the general public.
Fresno State is making its second consecutive bowl appearance, which marks the first time since 1992 and 1993 that the Bulldogs played in consecutive bowl games. Fresno State defeated USC 24-7 in the 1992 Freedom Bowl and lost to Colorado 41-30 in the 1993 Aloha Bowl. Last season, the Bulldogs lost to Utah 17-16 in the EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl.
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 Falcons are 5-5 in bowl games under Fisher DeBerry in the last 16 seasons. Air Force beat Washington 45-25 in the 1998 Oahu Bowl in its last bowl appearance. The Falcons were 12-1 that season. Under DeBerry, the Falcons have bowl victories over Texas, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Mississippi State and Washington.
Silicon Valley Football Classic Practice Procedures
Fresno State's practices at the Silicon Valley Football Classic will be closed to the public. Coaches and players will be available for interviews prior to practices. Video cameras are permitted for the first 15 minutes of practice. All practices will be held at the San Jose State practice field adjacent to Spartan Stadium. Practice times will be announced later.
All-Time vs. Air Force
The Bulldogs and Falcons will be playing for the sixth time. The two schools, which were members of the WAC from 1993-98, have not played since the 1997 season after playing for five consecutive years. The Bulldogs won the first and last meeting in the series. The Falcons have a 2-1 record at Fresno while the Bulldogs are 1-1 at the Air Force Academy.
Year Score Site 1993 Fresno State 33, Air Force 20 Fresno 1994 Air Force 42, Fresno State 7 Air Force 1995 Air Force 31, Fresno State 20 Fresno 1996 Air Force 44, Fresno State 38 (ot) Fresno 1997 Fresno State 20, Air Force 17 Air ForceLast Time vs. Air Force
(Air Force Academy, Colo. - Oct. 18, 1997) In one of the biggest upsets in Fresno State history, the Bulldogs beat undefeated and No. 18 Air Force 20-17 at the Academy. The Bulldogs entered the game with a 2-3 record after losing the previous week at Hawai'i and had never won a game on the Rocky Mountain's Front Range. Despite that, the Bulldogs jumped to a 10-0 first quarter lead and added another 10 points in the fourth quarter to earn a 20-17 victory. Former All-WAC kicker Jeff Hanna used the mountain air to kick a career-long 51-yard field with 9:42 remaining in the game that proved to be the game winner. The Bulldogs blocked the Falcons' potential game-tying field goal with less than three minutes remaining. Michael Pittman rushed for 105 yards and Jamie Kimbrough scored both Bulldog touchdowns, one on a 2 yard run and the other a 13 yard pass from Billy Volek. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 5-6 record in Pat Hill's first season. Air Force finished 10-3 and lost to Oregon in the EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl.
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 15Best of the West
Under Pat Hill, the Bulldogs have become one of the premier football programs in the western part of the United States. Of the schools located in the Pacific, Mountain and Hawaiian time zones, only Air Force and Oregon have better records over the last 29 games.
1. Air Force 21-8 .724 2. Oregon 20-9 .690 3. Fresno State 19-10 .655 Colorado State 19-10 .655 Oregon State 19-10 .655 Washington 19-10 .655Knowing the Way to San Jose
Fresno State will be playing a football game in San Jose for the second consecutive game and the 29thtime in history. The Bulldogs beat rival San Jose State 37-6 on Nov. 25 at Spartan Stadium. Fresno State has played 26 of those games at Spartan Stadium since it opened in 1933, all against San Jose State. Fresno State owns a 9-16-1 all-time record in the stadium. Fresno State has won three of the last four games it has played at Spartan Stadium, including two in a row.
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 111Hill vs. Bowl Opponents
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
Since Pat Hill's arrival, the Bulldogs have played 16 bowl teams during the regular season. The 'Dogs are 4-12 against those bowl teams, with 12 of those 16 games coming on the road. All four of Fresno State's games against 2000 bowl opponents were played on the road.
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.
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 were 2-4 on the road this season and 7-17 on the road under Hill, including 5-7 in WAC road games. Fresno State is 0-1 in neutral site games, losing the EA Sports Las Vegas Bowl last season.
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 26 punts and kicks, including six this year. In the last three home games, FS has blocked one punt and three kicks, includng 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:
Blocked Blocked Year Punts Kicks Total 1997 3 1 4 1998 2 4 6 1999 4 6 10 2000 2 4 6 -------------------------------- Totals 11 16 27Rodney Who?
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 were answered. Once Wright went down, Berrian joined Charles Smith as the Bulldogs go-to receiver. In his last six games, Berrian posted 31 catches for 493 yards, an average of 15.9 per catch. In addition, the second-team All-WAC honoree proved to be as exciting a wideout as there is in the WAC. He had touchdown grabs of 55 and 71 yards and a punt return for 88 yards he returned for a touchdown. Berrian also racked up 100 receiving yards in four of his last six games. Against Hawai'i, he set career-highs in receptions (8) and yards (123). Against SMU, Berrian was on his way to another big week until spraining his ankle in the second quarter and missing the remainder of that game and the following week's contest at San Jose State. Following a breakdown of Berrian's last seven 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 at SJSU DNP - Injured --------------------------------------- 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
WAC Coaching Leader
Pat Hill is the active WAC coaching leader in winning percentage with a record of 21-10 (.677). Here's how the other WAC coaches with one full year of experience rank.
Coach WAC Record Pct Overall Record Pct Dennis Franchione, TCU 16-7 (3) .696 37-34 (10) .521 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) .429Looking Ahead to 2001
Three of Fresno State's first four games of the 2001 season are against teams that are playing in bowls. The Bulldogs kickoff the 2001 season by hosting No. 5 Oregon State, which plays Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. Fresno State then travels to take on Sun Bowl-bound Wisconsin. After a home game against Utah State, the Bulldogs hit the road again, taking on Mountain West Conference champion Colorado State, which will play Louisville in the Liberty Bowl. The Bulldogs will host Boise State, which played UTEP in the Humanitarian Bowl, on Oct. 20.
In Case You Missed It
Fresno State received three votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll this week. . .Three of Fresno State's four losses were to teams ranked in the top 25 (Ohio State, UCLA and TCU) and all four to 2000 bowl teams. . .Fresno State failed to produce a first-team all-conference offensive player for the first time since 1978. . .only two of David Carr's 10 interceptions this season have come at home. He completed .672 of his pass attempts in Bulldog Stadium this season. . .Fresno State did not have a 100-yard rusher in a game this season. It had four in 1999. . .the Bulldogs had a season-low of four penalties for 40 yards against San Jose State. Over the last three games, Fresno State has commited just 15 penalties for 104 yards (5-35 avg.). . . freshman safety Bryce McGill tied for third in the WAC with six quarterback sacks. . .Fresno State finished second in the WAC in quarterback sacks with 36 for 197 yards, just four sacks behind TCU, which had 15 sacks in a single game (Nevada). . .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 the 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. . .tight end Jeremy Johnson was selected to The Sporting News Freshman All-America team. . .the Bulldogs have played in five stadiums that served as sites of bowl games. In 2000, the Bulldogs have played at the Rose Bowl, Rice Stadium, Sun Bowl, Spartan Stadium and, of course, Bulldog Stadium, the former home of the California Bowl. . .the Bulldogs are 6-6 in December games and have lost two straight.
Senior outside linebacker Orlando Huff has been simply dominating this season. A two-time first-team All-WAC selection, he became the first defensive Bulldog to be named team MVP since 1989. 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, Huff had a career-high 94 tackles, 10 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, forced two fumbles and had two pass deflections. He ranked ninth in the WAC in tackles with an average of 8.3, second in sacks with eight and lead the league in tackles for losses with 16 for 77 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 returners and rank in Fresno State's career top 10 list for receptions and yards.
Dynamic Duo ---------CAREER--------- ---------2000---------- Rec Yards Avg TD Rec Yards Avg TD Charles Smith 131 1,798 13.7 16 33 526 15.9 6 Rodney Wright 114 1,576 13.8 11 33 398 11.8 2 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Totals 245 3,374 13.8 27 66 915 13.8 8Little Big Man
Fresno State Career Receptions Rec Yards Avg TD 4. Henry Ellard (1979-82) 138 2,947 21.4 25 5. Charles Smith (1998-) 131 1,798 13.7 16 6. Jaime Kimbrough (1995-98) 116 1,092 9.4 6 7. Rodney Wright (1998-) 114 1,576 13.8 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-) 131 1,798 13.7 16 7. Rodney Wright (1998-) 114 1,576 13.8 11
Senior middle linebacker Tim Skipper will be recognized as one of the best linebackers in Fresno State's history. He was the team's defensive captain for the second straight 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 42 of 45 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 in 1999. He was again selected second-team All-WAC this season. He had started 27 consecutive games before the injury. 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 was a nominee for both the Butkus Award and the Nagurski Award.
Fresno State Career Tackle Leaders 1. Omar Stoutmire (1993-96) 458 2. Tim Skipper (1997-) 387 3. A.J. Gass (1993-97) 334Counting on Carr
Junior quarterback David Carr had never started a game entering the season, but after the season opener at Ohio State, he looked like an experienced veteran. Carr was named second-team All-WAC after impressively guiding an injury-riddled offense. He is on track to break the school record for career pass completion percentage. His current total of .622 is 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 1999 REDSHIRTED 2000 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 SJSU 1-1 25 15 0 244 .600 2 51 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Totals 22-11 368 229 12 2,619 .622 19 71 Note: Career highs are underlined
No Holding Harper
Junior defensive tackle Alan Harper has been one of the most dominating defenisve players in the WAC for the last two seasons, earning first-team All-WAC honors each year. 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 was rated the 20th best defensive tackle in the nation by The Sporting News, one of seven underclassmen honored. Harper has 14 tackles for losses (-51), which ranks third in the WAC. He had a career-high 10 tackles vs. TCU.
There's more to playing defensive back than making interceptions. Junior safety Vernon Fox, who has not had an interception since the 1998 season, was selected first-team All-WAC by the league's coaches, an award that was applauded by the Bulldog coaches who felt it came a year too late. Fox was one of six players in the WAC with more than 100 tackles in 1999, leading the 'Dogs with 103, yet was left off both the first and second teams. Entering this season, Fox was a preseason All-WAC selection and his leadership and play-making ability during the season made him one of the league's finest. Fox finished the year with 64 tackles, fourth on the team, had six tackles for losses and three quarterback sacks. He is the quarterback of the Fresno State secondary and will be instrumental in defending the Air Force triple-option attack. He had a season-high 10 tackles against Rice's similar offense this season.
'Dog Bones (Team)
'Dog Bones (Individual)
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