‘Dogs Improved D to be Tested by Aggies

LB Ben Jacobs

The Fresno State Bulldogs held the Cincinnati Bearcats to just 14 points last Saturday. The defense showed vast improvement in stopping the spread offense. Check inside to see how Ben Jacobs and the defense have improved…

The Cincinnati Bearcats entered Saturday's game coming off a season that boasted a fourth ranked scoring offense nationally, at 38.6 points per game. The Fresno State defense responded, holding them to 14 points; zero in the second half. Senior linebacker Ben Jacobs discussed how he felt with the performance of the linebackers and the defense as a whole.

"I felt it was solid," said Jacobs. "Obviously the d-line exploded, so we were just there doing what we could, just doing our jobs, being gap responsible."

The Fresno State defense struggled last season in containing the spread. Ben Jacobs explained how they prepared to stop the spread offense this year.

"We just focused on playing as a team; everyone doing their jobs, 11 jobs," said the senior. "Just making plays that come to you, don't try to do anything outside your job, and trust the guy next to you. That's what we've been focusing on all spring and all summer."

One component of the Bulldog's defense that improved was team speed. Jacobs talked about how they elevated their team speed this season.

"We do a lot of speed work in the offseason. I think it paid off. Our team speed is good right now. We just need to keep it going. We'll do that by practicing hard and fast.

Although the defense showed improvement in week one, they will have to sustain that level of play throughout the whole season. It won't get any easier in facing Utah State's offense, led by the dynamic quarterback Diondre Borel.

"We're getting to know him," said Jacobs. "We're really using this bye week to watch film on them and see what their all about. Now we're just doing drills; individual drills to work on running quarterbacks. We've been working on keeping running quarterbacks in all spring and offseason."

Fresno State trailed by 10 points last season at halftime against Utah State at home, until shutting out the Aggies in the second half en route to a 31-27 win. Two years ago, the Bulldogs needed a 58-yard Kevin Goessling field goal as time expired to escape Logan, Utah with a 30-28 win. Fresno State lost its only other meeting at Utah State while in the WAC, 13-12, in 2006. FS is 2-3 in its last five games in Logan dating back to 1987 when both schools were members of the Big West Conference.

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