1) Can Fresno State's offense maintain their edge throughout the course of the game?
We all know that the Bulldogs have one of premier offenses in the nation. Led by QB Derek Carr the Bulldogs offense has had relatively little problem putting points on the board. What the Bulldogs offense has struggled with is consistency. We will give them a break in the Cal Poly game considering that the second team offense played close to the entire second half. But the Bulldogs first team offense was in for the entire Boise State and Hawaii games. In both games the offense went quiet for long stretches which allowed the opposing team's offense to climb back into the game. Saturday Fresno State will look to get back to the offensive team that put up 52 points against Rutgers to open the season. To this point in the season this is the only time the Bulldogs offense was efficient throughout the course of the entire game. Hopefully Idaho will be the second time this season the Bulldogs offense has looked stellar throughout the entire game.
2) Can the Bulldogs defense limit Idaho's offense to less than 25 points?
To this point in the season the lowest point total the Bulldogs defense has allowed is 25 to Cal Poly. In their other three games the Bulldogs defense has allowed an average of 43 points per game. Saturday Fresno State's defense looks to get in gear by slowing down the Vandals and QB Chad Chalich. Chalich has very good stats considering he has been sacked an FBS leading 24 times. Interestingly enough Chalich has thrown 4 touchdowns and no interceptions despite the fact he has been forced to run for his life nearly every play behind Idaho's offensive line. Fresno State has an opportunity to get to the QB often in this game which they have done well this season as they are ranked #10 in the nation in sacks. If the Bulldogs are to limit Idaho's offense they will have to pressure Chalich often forcing him into mistakes he would not normally make.
3) Can Davante Adams regain the form that made him a 2012 Freshman All American?
Ok, everyone knows that Adams has struggled this season catching the ball. However, the catching problem took a turn for the worse against Hawaii. On countless occasions Adams could not hold on to the ball when the Bulldogs desperately needed a first down. After losing Isaiah Burse the Bulldogs needed Adams to step up. Unfortunately that was not the case as Adams finished with 5 catches for 22 yards and a fumble on a punt return. Saturday Adams will look to get back to the receiver he was a year ago. If Adams is able to hold on to the ball he will give Idaho's defense even more to worry about considering Harper and Burse have been outstanding this year.
4) Can Fresno State race out to a large lead and hold onto it?
This may be the one question the nation is wondering about the Bulldogs right now. Fresno State has had three different occasions where they were leading by at least 15 in the second half. All three times the opposing team's offense was able to put a run together to either take the lead (Boise State) or bring their team back close enough to put a scare into the Bulldogs. Saturday Fresno State will look to race out to a big lead as they have in the past, but this time continue to put pressure on the opposing team's defense. At the same time Fresno State will look to hold on to the ball which will limit the amount of time the defense has to be on the field. With the Bulldogs up tempo offense in place the last thing the defense wants to see are turnovers. If the Bulldogs can keep the turnover count down they will have a chance to run away from Idaho in this one.
5) Finally, is Fresno State as good as their #21/23 ranking in the nation?
No one will know the answer to this question until the Bulldogs show that they can play at a high level each week they step on the field. At this point in time the bulldogs have not shown that they are a top 25 team. However, the bulldogs have the talent to be a top 15 team. In order to show this the Bulldogs will have to play as a team, play smart, and allow the offense to take over the game. Derek Carr has the ability to lead this team to victory each week, but he has to direct the offense in ways only he can. The Bulldogs offense will have to refrain from turning the ball over. The Bulldog defense will have to continue to apply pressure to Idaho's QB and force mistakes. If Fresno State is able to do these things look for the Bulldogs to come away with a convincing win. If they are not then we may be in for another heart stopping nail biter, something no one in the city of Fresno wants to see again.
Fresno State against the spread - 0-4 on the season.
Current Line vs. Idaho - Fresno State -27
Bulldog Playbook Prediction
Fresno State 51 Idaho 27