Fresno State Football: Decompression Vol. 2 vs. Colorado State

Fresno State Football: Decompression Vol. 2 vs. Colorado State

Colorado State

Fresno State Football: Decompression Vol. 2 vs. Colorado State


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Fresno State Football: Decompression Vol. 2 vs. Colorado State

Bulldogs win 38-17.

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What was learned for Bulldogs

What a difference a few days can make for a football team. Not more than five days after looking like one of the worst teams in the conference, the Fresno State Bulldogs came out and dismantled the Colorado State Rams, 38-17 at Bulldog Stadium on College Football’s own version of Thursday Night Football.

Not only was this the first win of the young 2020 campaign for the ‘Dogs, but it was the first career victory for head coach Kalen DeBoer- who was met with a fresh bath of Gatorade delivered from Jake Haener, who also got his first victory in Bulldog Blue (that sounds weird). 

From start to finish the Bulldogs were in control for pretty much the whole game and looked outstanding on both sides of the ball. Jake Haener took care of the football, the defense was able to hold Colorado State to just one touchdown in 59 minutes, and Offensive Coordinator Ryan Grubb threw in wrinkle after wrinkle on what was a much different outcome than the opener. 

The Good, The Great, and The Improved

To be frank, just about everything went well for the Dogs on Thursday evening. Let’s start with the offense. 

Fresno State’s offensive unit only gained 50 more yards than the Rams, 432-372. However, Fresno State dominated the time of possession 35:50 to 24:10 and were excellent on third down conversions, going 10-18 compared to the Rams 4-15 clip. The most important part? They took care of the football and didn’t turn the ball over a single time on Thursday. 

Signal-caller Jake Haener was phenomenal, posting a 22-32 line with 311 yards, a trio of touchdowns, and no turnovers. Backup quarterback Ben Wooldridge came in to start the second quarter-much to the surprise of just about everyone-and led an 8-play, 60-yard drive down the field that resulted in a field goal to tie it at 10 apiece. 

Senior running back Ronnie Rivers stole the show again in what might become a custom for the Bulldogs in 2020. Rivers had 23 carries for 95 yards and two scores, also adding five catches for 69 yards and a score. Rivers dazzled running the ball, making defenders miss left and right, and his receiving touchdown opened the scoring for the Bulldogs in the evening. Jordan Mims added three catches out of the backfield and showed his worth on a 15-yard touchdown towards the end of the first half. 

Ryan Grubb added a lot of new plays on the offensive end, from Haener running read options to Wheatfall running reverses and sweeps, and Jalen Cropper running screens. Wheatfall led the team in receiving with five catches for 87 yards- which would have been more if he had not had a touchdown overturned due to stepping out of bounds. Cropper and Kelly also added four catches, with Cropper finishing the game out with a receiving score of his own. 

The Bulldogs offense was electric, creative, and dangerous, less than one week after looking like a complete disaster. 

The defense held their own as well and did a great job stopping the running game of the Rams. The Bulldogs defense was so close to pitching a second half shutout before Patrick O’Brien threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Trey McBride with 41 seconds left. The Rams couldn’t get much going through the air or the ground, and the Bulldogs did an excellent job stopping the Rams on just about every third down opportunity.

Starting quarterback and Temple transfer Todd Centeio went just 10-23 with 141 yards and no scores, adding 13 carries for 80 yards. Rams running back Marcus McElroy Jr. was responsible for the first score of the day for the Rams with a 15-yard scamper in the 2nd quarter. 

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The Bulldogs David Perales forced and recovered a fumble,  and the Dogs defense had three sacks on the night. Defensive captain Evan Williams- who all week had been motivating his team and fan base via social media- led the squad with eight tackles. 

Both sides looked much improved and much more disciplined, and it seems like the rust has gone away for the Bulldogs. Kalen DeBoer was dumped with Gatorade after his first victory as head coach, and Jake Haener left a message for Bulldogs fans with his impressive play. 

What’s Next?

The Bulldogs will enjoy a few extra days off, with their next meeting on November 7 at UNLV- at the brand new Allegiant Stadium. The Runnin’ Rebels couldn’t wait to get out of San Diego last week, losing 34-6 in a game that they would love to forget. They are set to take on Nevada tomorrow. 



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