After a thrilling overtime win over Rutgers last Thursday, the Fresno State Bulldogs host the Cal Poly Mustangs in the team's second game of the season. Cal Poly comes off a 38-16 win over the San Diego Toreros in their season opener.
Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr set Mountain West records by completing 52 of 73 passes in his first game of the 2013 season. The Bulldogs might not throw 73 times, but they will likely throw a high volume of passes for a second straight week. Fresno State's offense takes what the defense gives them and Cal Poly is expected to play conservatively to prevent long passes, opening up the short passing game for Carr.
Cal Poly runs an up-tempo triple-option offense, headed by quarterback Vince Moraga. Cal Poly's biggest weapon on offense is running back Kristaan Ivory, who ran for 191 yards and 3 touchdowns on 14 carries in the Mustangs' season opener. Cal Poly's defense is led by 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive tackle Sullivan Grosz. Grosz is a senior for the Mustangs out of San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno.
Cal Poly vs. FBS Opponents
The Cal Poly Mustangs have won 4 of their last 16 games versus FBS opponents. The Mustangs defeated UTEP in 2003, San Diego State in both 2006 and 2008, and most recently beat Mountain West opponent Wyoming 24-22 last season. Despite having four FBS wins, their most noteworthy FBS game may be a 36-35 overtime loss at Wisconsin in 2008.
Fresno State vs. FCS Opponents
Fresno State has hosted a FCS opponent in eight of their last 10 seasons, winning all eight games with an average margin of victory of 25 points per game. The Bulldogs have been challenged by FCS opponents in the stretch, however. Most recently in 2011, Fresno State beat North Dakota by a final score of 27-22 after trailing by one point going into the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs were ranked 20th in 2004 when they hosted Portland State, coming away just a 10 point win, 27-17.
Fresno State and Cal Poly have played 43 total times in the history of the series. Fresno State leads the series 31-10-2. The Bulldogs and Mustangs last played in 2010 with Fresno State winning 38-17. The Bulldogs led 21-17 at halftime before pulling away in the second half. The two teams had not played since 1985 prior to the 2010 matchup.
Cal Poly has talent and is a solid FCS team, but Fresno State will be too much for the Mustangs to handle on the field. The Mustangs will play conservative on defense to avoid giving up big plays to the Bulldogs, but that won't stop quarterback Derek Carr and the offense from moving down the field effectively with short passing. The Bulldogs eclipse 42 points for the seventh straight time in Bulldog Stadium on Saturday as the Bulldogs come away with a convincing win. Cal Poly's offense may break a few big runs, but Fresno State contains the triple-option offense for the most part.
Fresno State 48, Cal Poly 17