Fresno State Football: First Look At The 2022 Schedule

Fresno State Football: First Look At The 2022 Schedule

Fresno State

Fresno State Football: First Look At The 2022 Schedule


Fresno State Football: First Look At The 2022 Schedule

The Bulldogs have a lot of challenges to look forward as they begin anew the trek to the top of the Mountain West.

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Are the ‘Dogs the West division favorite?

The Mountain West Conference gifted its fans the 2022 football schedule relatively early this off-season and, in California’s San Joaquin Valley, it has only whet the Red Wave’s appetite for September to come around already.

Here’s what the week-by-week schedule looks like with Bill Connelly’s preseason SP+ rankings, where Fresno State is 39th overall, in parentheses:

September 3 – vs. Cal Poly (107th at end of 2021)
September 10 – vs. Oregon State (46)
September 17 – at USC (64)
October 1 – at UConn (127)
October 8 – at Boise State (43)
October 15 – vs. San Jose State (96)
October 22 – at New Mexico (126)
October 29 – vs. San Diego State (67)
November 5 – vs. Hawaii (122)
November 12 – at UNLV (109)
November 19 – at Nevada (120)
November 26 – vs. Wyoming (85)

One small note that emerged from Connelly’s division previews earlier in February (here are the links for the West and Mountain divisions, respectively) is that, of the twelve teams in the conference, only the Bulldogs have a 100% probability to earn a bowl bid. While that’s obviously the floor for what this year’s team hopes to accomplish, it bodes well for what all of the returning production could do with a very reasonable schedule.

Beyond that, what are the biggest initial takeaways?

1. The battle for the Milk Can could decide a lot in both divisions.

October 8 is going to be a monster day in the Mountain West for a number of reasons: Jay Norvell and his Colorado State Rams will make a trip to Nevada, Air Force and Utah State will clash once again after last year’s wild game… and the Bulldogs and Broncos will square off for the Milk Can in Fresno State’s Mountain West opener.

After last year’s lopsided loss at home, the ‘Dogs will hope to get even on the blue turf and stake its claim to the inside track in the West. Depending on how things shake out for the Broncos to that point, who play New Mexico and San Diego State before hosting Fresno State, this could a desperation game for the home team. One way or another, this rivalry will have plenty of stakes at hand.

2. Three early road games in a row will test the Bulldogs’ mettle.

That game against the Broncos is the last of three road trips the Bulldogs will make between non-conference and Mountain West play. Lincoln Riley’s USC Trojans have made a lot of headlines since his arrival, but they still have to prove that they can play defense. UConn, meanwhile, now has Jim Mora in tow as head coach but still has a long road back to respectability. The Huskies did play Wyoming tough at home in 2021, however, so while they will get a bye week before heading to Connecticut, the Bulldogs can’t take the trip lightly.

3. November is largely friendly.

Fresno State will head to both UNLV and Nevada in back-to-back weeks during mid-November, but the Wolf Pack may not be nearly as tough as they were following the early off-season’s mass exodus and the Rebels, while they played tough in Bulldog Stadium last season, still have plenty of growing to do. That road swing is preceded by a home date with Hawaii, giving the Bulldogs three straight games against opponents projected in the triple digits by SP+, and followed by the season finale against Wyoming, who aren’t without issues of their own to sort out.

Even if Fresno State stumbles early against Boise State, it could be smooth sailing, anyway, should the ‘Dogs hold serve at home against San Diego State before Halloween.

Hardest stretch: at Boise State, vs. San Diego State

Easiest stretch: vs. Hawaii, at UNLV, at Nevada

Guaranteed wins: vs. Cal Poly, at UConn, at New Mexico, at Nevada

Guaranteed losses: none

Worse than 50/50 games: none

50/50 games: vs. Oregon State, at USC, at Boise State, vs. San Diego State

Better than 50/50 games: vs. San Jose State, vs. Hawaii, at UNLV, vs. Wyoming

Preliminary projected record: 9-3



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