Fresno State at Idaho: First Look

Fresno State at Idaho: First Look

Last Week Fresno State's offense through two and a half quarters confused, overwhelmed, and dominated the Hawaii defense en route to a 42-3 lead. In the final quarter and a half the Bulldogs failed to reach the end zone. Will we see the Bulldog offense from the first two and a half quarters of the Hawaii game, or the Bulldog offense that failed to score the remainder of the game?

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 season.

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. Recommended Stories

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