Fresno State’s Offense Is Looking To Take A Big Step
How good will the Bulldogs offense be?
Is this Marcus McMaryion’s year?
Just last summer, Fresno State was coming off a 1-10 season, had just hired a new head coach and coaching staff, and had games against Alabama and Washington on their schedule to start the season. With predictions across the board for the Bulldogs to finish last in the conference, the expectations weren’t very high at all.
Let’s fast forward to today. The Bulldogs went 10-4, with two of those losses coming to Alabama and Washington. The Pride of the Valley won their first bowl game since the 2007 Humanitarian Bowl, and Oregon State transfer Marcus McMaryion was brilliant in his first season as the Bulldogs signal-caller.
As we look forward to the 2018 season, there is a ton to be excited about for the Bulldogs especially on the offensive side of the ball. The Dogs have a ton of starters returning but did lose wide receiver Da’Mari Scott and a pair of offensive linemen- second-team All-MWC Aaron Mitchell and David Patterson. That’s all.
First and foremost, the heartbeat of the offense- Marcus McMaryion. The ex-Beaver quarterback was marvelous in his first season back in the Central Valley. The Dinuba native threw for just north of 2,700 yards with 14 touchdowns and only five picks on the year. Let’s not forget that McMaryion didn’t start the first couple games of the season due to the lack of practice time. With a full summer and a whole year getting acclimated to Kalen DeBoer’s offense, McMaryion has a legitimate shot to be one of the better quarterbacks in the nation.
The Bulldogs leaned time to time on a ground and pound type of offense, with a beefy offensive line and a three-headed monster at running back. Jordan Mims, Ronnie Rivers, and dual-sport athlete Josh Hokit were tough for opposing defense to stop. The trio combined for 18 touchdowns on the ground in 2017, and the depth chart just keeps getting better, as the Bulldogs added Washington State transfer Romello Harris to the fold.
Add in the fact that they have three of last year’s starting linemen returning, plus 4-star OL Tyrone Sampson, the offensive line is set for another big year.
Stop me if you remember hearing this: McMaryion pass to KeeSean Johnson.
Johnson was an absolute workhorse for the Dogs offense in 2017, as he was targeted 135 times, good for 8th-best in the nation. Johnson posted 77 catches for 1013 yards and 8 picks, and the Bulldogs won every game in which he had 100-plus receiving yards. Bringing back Jamire Jordan and speedster Justin Allen, this receiving group is poised for another strong year with McMaryion at the helm.
With eight of the 11 starters returning, a full year of experience with the system for McMaryion, and fresh off one of the best turnaround in NCAA history, the Bulldogs are primed and ready for a Mountain West title-and perhaps a date on January 1st with the New Years Six.
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