Fresno State - 2-3, 1-1 WAC
San Jose State - 1-4 , 0-1 WAC
Previous: Fresno State W 42-17 at Hawaii; San Jose State L 29-25 vs. Idaho
All time series: Fresno State leads 37-33-3; 12-1 in the last 13 contests; W 24-10 in 2008
Fresno State offense: The Bulldogs come into tonight’s game boasting the conference’s second best offense averaging 468.2 total yards per game and 35.6 points per game. They also have the second best rushing attack in the conference at 275.2 yards per game and boast the nation’s leading rusher in Ryan Mathews (148.2 per game).
San Jose State defense: The Spartans face a Fresno State team that ranks fifth in the nation in rushing as a team (275.2 yards per game) which doesn’t bode well for the Spartan run defense that ranks last in the Western Athletic Conference (251.4 yards per game).
Fresno State Defense: Fresno State is ranked fifth in the conference in overall defense, giving up 26.0 points per game and 369.8 total yards per game. Where Fresno State needs to step up is in their secondary. Their pass defense is seventh in the conference (235.4) just in front of Nevada and Idaho.
San Jose State Offense: The Spartans come into the game with the conference’s worst offense, averaging 15.6 points per game and 68.4 rushing yards per game. They are also second to last in the conference in total offense at 274.8 yards per game.
Players to watch: Fresno State - RB Ryan Mathews (148.2 rushing yards per game); San Jose State - QB Jordan La Secla (182.8 passing yards per game)
Keys to the game: The Bulldogs need to use Ryan Mathews and Robbie Rouse early and often. Establish the running game, let their offense line open up holes for both running backs and take advantage of San Jose State’s rushing defense that’s dead last in the conference.
If the ‘Dogs do that, it opens up the Spartans secondary and allows quarterback Ryan Colburn to throw the ball down the field to wide receivers Seyi Ajirotutu, Chastin West and Devon Wylie.
Defensively, the ‘Dogs need to keep Spartan quarterback Jordan La Secla from picking apart their secondary. Fresno State is seventh in the conference in passing defense and if they allow Secla to complete pass after pass and not keep pressure on him, it’s going to make him feel comfortable in the pocket.
Prediction: Expect Fresno State to use Ryan Mathews in a big way and should win this one easily.
Fresno State 51 San Jose State 21
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