Four games into the Fresno State season fans are still unsure of what will happen each time the Bulldogs
take the field. Fresno State has played at the top of their game for nearly half of their games this
season. However, Fresno State has also had stretches where they allowed 19 straight points to Boise
as well as 34 straight points last week to Hawaii. This weekend the Bulldogs have a favorable matchup
in Idaho. The Vandals are ranked #117 in the nation in total defense. Idaho has struggled in all aspects
of defense. Let’s take a look at the defensive statistics that the Vandals have put up to this point in this
Defensive statistics through five games
Passing Defense - 291 yards per game allowed
Rushing Defense - 207 yards per game allowed
Td’s Allowed - 13 rushing td’s allowed, 14 passing td’s allowed
Last week Fresno State was able to get its running game going for the first time this season as they
racked up over 200 yards on the Hawaii defense. This statistic becomes more impressive considering
that the Bulldogs rarely had the ball over the last quarter and a half. Fresno State was able to compile
over 300 yards passing once again this past week. However, the Bulldogs turned the ball over five times
allowing Hawaii a chance back into the game. This week the Bulldog offense will go against a defense
that has been prone to the big play. As you can see below Idaho in five games has allowed opposing
offenses to move up and down the field without much resistance.
Plays of 20 yards or more allowed -
Rushing - 10 plays of over 20 yards allowed.
Passing - 17 plays of over 20 yards allowed.
It becomes painfully obvious for any Vandal fan that their defense has had trouble keeping opposing
offenses out of the end zone. The question however is will the Bulldogs be able to take advantage of
the Idaho defense in a way that will take them out of the game right from the first snap?
Fresno State will enter this game attempting to silence all critics who do not think that they can blow
out opposing teams. While the Bulldogs struggled in the second half against Hawaii they did something
that they have not done in the past: walked away with a win in a close game. For the third time this
season the Bulldogs were able to survive a nightmare ending without a loss. In years past Bulldog fans
have become accustomed to losing games such as these. This year that has not been the case. Through
four games Fresno State QB Derek Carr has thrown for 14 tds and 3 ints. Without Carr the case could be
made that Fresno State would currently be 1-3. In order for Fresno State to walk away with a convincing
win in Idaho, Carr will have to take control of the game from the first snap.
The Bulldogs will also need
Davante Adams to play as the receiver he was in 2012. Adams has struggled to hold on to the ball this
season, something Bulldog fans hope will change this weekend. Fresno State will have the services
of Isaiah Burse in this game which completely changes the complexion of the offense.
Look for the
Bulldogs offense to take advantage of an Idaho defense that has had problems stopping all five teams
they have faced up to this point in the season. If Fresno State is able to move the ball against the Idaho
defense they will have little problems winning this game big. However, if the Bulldogs come out and
turn the ball over as they did in Hawaii this will be another close game that will start pushing voters to
question just how good the Bulldogs really are.