Football Returns Home to Host Colorado Buffaloes
Sept. 10, 2012
Colorado (0-2, 0-0 Pac-12) at Fresno State (1-1, 0-0 MW)
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 Bulldog Stadium (41,031) Fresno, Calif. 5 p.m. PT
CBS Sports Network | Play-by-Play: James Bates; Analyst: Aaron Taylor; Sideline: Lauren Gardner
The CBS Sports Network is available in Fresno on: Comcast Ch. 418 (732 for HD); AT&T U-Verse: Ch. 643 (1643 HD); Direct TV: Ch. 613; Dish Network: Ch. 158 RADIO:
KMJ (AM 580); Bulldog Live (3 p.m.), Countdown to Kickoff (4:30 p.m.) | Play-by-Play: Paul Loeffler; Analyst: Jordan Christensen; Sideline:Ralph Wood
ESPN Deportes (1600 AM) in Spanish | Play-by-Play: Erwin Higueros; Analyst: Jesse Beltran; Sideline:Jose Salas
INTERNET AUDIO & LIVE STATS: gobulldogs.comThe Fresno State Bulldogs are set to face a Pac-12 team for the second week in a row, as the Colorado Buffaloes pay a visit to Bulldog Stadium this Saturday ... Kickoff between the Buffs and 'Dogs is set for 5 p.m. ... The game is being televised by the CBS Sports Network with James Bates (play-by-play), Aaron Taylor (sideline) and Lauren Gardner (sideline reporter) calling the game ... Fans can listen to the game on the radio at KMJ 580 AM with the Bulldog Sports Network team of Paul Loeffler (play-by-play), Jordan Christensen (analyst) and Ralph Wood (sideline reporter). Bulldog Live begins at 3 p.m. and the pregame show starts at 4:30 ... This will be the sixth meeting between the Buffs and Fresno State, but the first between the two schools at Bulldog Stadium ... Senior running back Robbie Rouse needs 79 more yards to become the all-time leading rusher in Bulldog history ... Fresno State is one of seven teams in the nation that has yet to turn the ball over this season and the Bulldogs are currently plus-four in the turnover department after forcing No. 4 Oregon into three turnovers last weekend ... The Bulldog defense had three sacks and 11 tackles for a loss last weekend against the Ducks with outside linebacker Tristan Okpalaugo leading the way with one sack and four tackles for a loss.
Redshirt freshman Quentin Breshears was named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week after making all four of his field goal attempts at No. 4 Oregon last weekend.
Fresno State is 11-5 all-time in home games against Pac-12 schools.
Fresno State vs. Colorado - The Series
Colorado leads the all-time series with the Bulldogs, 4-1, with four of the five games being played in Boulder. The school's first met in 1965 when Colorado topped the 'Dogs 10-7. Fresno State again traveled to Colorado in 1988, losing 45-3. In 1993, Fresno State and CU squared off in the Aloha Bowl when the 'Dogs entered the game with an 8-3 record. Colorado prevailed in the bowl game thanks to three rushing touchdowns from Rashaan Salaam, who went on to win the Heisman Trophy the next season. In 1998, Fresno State lost a tight game against the Buffs, 29-21, but three years later the Bulldogs would break through behind a strong performance from quarterback David Carr. Carr passed for one touchdown and ran for another, and Fresno State converted three Colorado turnovers into 17 points en route to a 24-22 victory over the Buffs.
The Colorado Buffaloes are in its 123rd season of intercollegiate football. Only 12 other Division I schools have played more seasons of football than Colorado and the Buffaloes own one national championship captured in 1990. The Buffs are in their second season under head coach Jon Embree as well as its second season as a member of the Pac-12 Conference. Colorado was picked to finish in sixth place in the South Division of the Pac-12 after losing 28 seniors from the 2011 roster. CU only has eight seniors on its 2012 roster, which is tied for the fewest seniors on a roster of any of the 124 Division I FBS teams. The Buffs enter Saturday's game with a 0-2 record, losing 22-17 to Colorado State and 30-28 at home to Sacramento State last weekend.
Back-to-Back Pac-12 Games
After facing the fourth-ranked Oregon Ducks last weekend in Eugene, Fresno State is up against another Pac-12 school this weekend with Colorado visiting Bulldog Stadium. The last Pac-12 school to visit Bulldog Stadium was Oregon in 2006. The Ducks came away with a 52-21 victory that day. 2006 was also the last time Fresno State played Pac-12 schools in back-to-back weeks. After facing Oregon at home, the Bulldogs traveled to Washington where they fell 21-20. In fact, Saturday's game against the Buffs will be the fifth time in the last 20 years that the 'Dogs faced Pac-12 schools in back-to-back games and the ninth time they have played two or more Pac-12 teams in the same season. Fresno State has a 24-39 all-time record against the schools currently in the Pac-12 Conference.
Breshears Named MW Special Teams Player of the Week
Playing in just the second game of his career, redshirt freshman Quentin Breshears made all four of his field goal attempts at No. 4 Oregon last weekend. Breshears hit a 39-yard field goal in the first quarter, a 43-yarder in the second quarter, one from 25 yards out in the third and a 37-yarder in the fourth. He is the first Bulldog kicker to make four field goals in a game since Oct. 23, 2010 when Kevin Goessling hit four field goals at San Jose State. Breshears becomes the first Bulldog to be honored as a player of the week by the Mountain West in Fresno State's first season in the league. Breshears also received honorable mention recognition from the College Football Performance Awards for its kicker of the week award and was named one of three stars of the week by the Lou Groza Award.
Running Down the Record
Senior running back Robbie Rouse continues to close in on the school rushing record that has stood since 1993, as he now only needs 79 yards to surpass Ron Rivers as the all-time leading rusher in Fresno State history. Rouse enters the game with 3,395 career rushing yards. Rivers had 3,473 yards from 1991-93. Last weekend at No. 4 Oregon, Rouse broke another school record. His 27 carries in the game gave him 665 for his career and moved him ahead of Michael Pittman (1993-97) for the most rushing attempts ever by a Bulldog. Rouse ran for 115 yards and one touchdown against the Ducks, giving him two 100-yard rushing days in as many games this season. He now has 14 career 100-yard rushing games, which is tied for the fifth most in the country and his 3,395 career yardage is the fourth-most among active running backs.
In Robbie Rouse's last four games against BCS schools dating back to last year, he has averaged 123 yards per game, 4.6 yards per rush and scored three touchdowns. Last year, Rouse rushed 17 times for 86 yards and one TD against Cal. Had 36 carries for 169 yards at No. 10 Nebraska and ran 28 times for 123 yards and one score vs. Ole Miss. Throw in his 115 yards on 27 carries against Oregon last weekend and Rouse has had three-straight 100-yard rushing games against BCS schools. His 36 carries at No. 10 Nebraska in 2011 were the fourth most carries by a single running back ever against a Husker defense and the 169 yards were the 14th most ever allowed by Nebraska.
The Turnover Game
Fresno State is off to a good start in the turnover department this year. The Bulldogs are one of seven teams in the nation that have not turned the ball over this year. This is the first time since 2008 that the Bulldogs have gone back-to-back games without a turnover and just the fourth time in the last 10 years. The last time Fresno State went three-straight games without a turnover was in 2002 in wins over Rice, Colorado State and SMU. On the defense side of the ball, where the goal is to have 30 take aways for the season, Fresno State has forced four turnovers through two games (three fumble recoveries, one interception). The Bulldogs forced four fumbles at Oregon last weekend, recovering three of them. So with their four turnovers gained, the 'Dogs are plus-four in the turnover department and are tied for eighth nationally in turnover margin.
Strong Second Half Showing
Fresno State gave up 383 yards of offense and 35 points in the first half to No. 4 Oregon last weekend. After that, the Bulldogs showed the level they are capable of playing at in a dominant second half. The 'Dogs held the high-powered Oregon attack to just 149 yards and seven points in the second half. Additionally, Fresno State forced the Ducks to fumble four times in the second half, three of which the 'Dogs recovered. Fresno State had 11 tackles for a loss in the game and three sacks. If the Bulldogs can play like they did in the second half all year, they stand a chance to be very successful.
Okpalaugo Comes Up Big
Outside linebacker Tristan Okpalaugo had a big game last weekend at Oregon. The senior posted a career-high nine tackles, had four tackles for a loss, one sack and recovered a fumble. For his performance, Okpalaugo received honorable mention from the College Football Performance Awards for their national linebacker of the week award. His four tackles for a loss are the most since Logan Harrell had 4.5 tackles for a loss vs. North Dakota on Sept. 17, 2011. Okpalaugo, who made the switch from defensive end to outside linebacker with the implementation of the new 3-4 defense this year, now has 13.0 career tackles for a loss and five sacks. He was second on the team with four sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss in 2011.
Senior safety Phillip Thomas tied his career-high with nine tackles at No. 4 Oregon. He had one sack in the game (the first of his career) that forced OU quarterback Marcus Mariota to fumble the ball when the Ducks were in the red zone and the Bulldogs were able to recover. Thomas recovered a fumble as well in the third quarter, giving Fresno State the ball on the Oregon 12-yard line. Six of his nine tackles were unassisted and six of them came in the second half.
Strong Start to A Career
After becoming the first Bulldog freshman to ever have a 100-yard receiving day in his first career game, redshirt freshman Davante Adams backed up that record performance with another big game. Adams caught seven passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener at Weber State on Sept. 1. Last weekend at No. 4 Oregon, he hauled in 12 passes for 92 yards. His 12 receptions are the 11th most in a game in Fresno State history. Adams, a native of Palo Alto, Calif., leads the Mountain West with 19 receptions (tied for fifth nationally) and 210 receiving yards (ranks 15th nationally).
Another Receiving Leader
In addition to Davante Adams leading the league in receiving, Fresno State has a second weapon for Derek Carr to throw to. Isaiah Burse is right behind Adams in the MW standings, as he ranks second in both receptions (13) and receiving yards per game (81.5). Burse is coming off a seven catch performance at Oregon when he had 77 yards receiving and one touchdown, the fourth touchdown catch of his career. Burse also leads the Mountain West in all-purpose yardage with 352 yards through two games. He has returned six kickoffs for 156 yards, three punts for 27 yards and rushed two times for six yards in addition to his receiving total. His 3,233 career all-purpose yardage ranks No. 14 in school history. As a sophomore in 2011, Burse had 2,042 all-purpose yards that is the second most in a single-season at Fresno State.
Carr Goes Over 4,000 Yards Passing
Junior quarterback Derek Carr became the 13th Bulldog to throw for over 4,000 yards in a career, as he surpassed the milestone in the first quarter at Oregon last weekend. Carr has completed 68.1 percent of his 72 passes this season with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He has thrown for 532 yards, averaging 266.0 per game and over 10 yards per completion. His 47 attempts last weekend at Oregon were the second most of his career, right behind his La Tech game last season when he was 39-for-49 for 290 yards passing.
Smith Sets New Career-High
Fresno State safety Derron Smith set a new career-high with 13 tackles at No. 4 Oregon last weekend. Of his 13 stops, 10 of them were unassisted and he had 10 tackles in the first half. Smith's 21 tackles through two games are the third-most in the Mountain West, trailing Wyoming's Korey Jones and San Diego State's Nat Berhe, who both have 22 stops. Smith had 16 tackles in two and a half games last year, as he broke his arm in the third quarter of game No. 3 that caused him to miss the rest of the season.
'Dogs Upset of Colorado Back in 2001
Fresno State and Colorado last met on Aug. 26, 2001 in the season opener as part of the Jim Thorpe Classic on ESPN. David Carr passed for one touchdown and ran for another, and Fresno State converted three Colorado turnovers into 17 points en route to a 24-22 upset victory. That 2001 season was a magical one for both teams. After losing to the Bulldogs, CU went on to finish the season with a 10-3 record and a No. 9 national ranking. The Buffs won the Big 12 Conference and played in a BCS Bowl (Fiesta Bowl where they lost to Oregon).
After beating Colorado, Fresno State went on to win its next five games for a 6-0 start. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 8 nationally standing at 6-0 - the highest ranking in program history. Fresno State finished the 2001 season 11-3 and lost a thriller to Michigan State in the Silicon Valley Football Classic in its bowl game. David Carr, the older brother of current Bulldog quarterback Derek Carr, won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award and was the Football News National Player of the Year in 2001 after throwing for a school record 4,839 yards and 46 touchdowns.
DeRuyter vs. Colorado Quarterback Jordan Webb
Colorado has started junior Jordan Webb at quarterback in each of its first two games this season. Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter is no stranger of Webb, as he faced him in each of the past two seasons when both were at different schools. Webb was the starting quarterback at Kansas in 2010 and 2011, the same years DeRuyter was the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M. DeRuyter's attacking 3-4 defense's had the upper hand in the first two meetings, holding Webb to 28-of-45 passing for 223 yards and three interceptions against only one touchdown in two games.
In 2010, Texas A&M knocked two Jayhawk quarterbacks out of the game with injuries in a 45-10 victory. Webb was 9-of-18 passing for 90 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown before exiting in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. Then last year in Texas A&M's 61-7 win over Kansas, Webb was 19-of-27 passing against the Aggies for 133 yards and he threw one interception with no touchdowns. DeRuyter's defense sacked Webb six times in that game.
Senior middle linebacker Travis Brown needs one more tackle for 200 in his career. Brown, who was a Preseason Mountain West All-Conference selection, has 199 tackles, 19.5 tackles for a loss and five sacks in his career. He was a second-team All-Conference selection as a sophomore in 2010 and a first-team selection in 2011.
Fresno State's seven sacks leads the league and is tied for 12th nationally. Last season at Texas A&M, Tim DeRuyter's defense led the nation with 51 sacks.
The Bulldogs are looking for yet another win over a BCS school. Fresno State's 12 wins over BCS schools since 2003 are the third most in the country, trailing only Navy (18) and BYU (13).
Cornerbacks Sean Alston and L.J. Jones have both broken up one pass in each of the first two games this year. Jones, who started all 13 games last year, has 15 career pass breakups. For Alston, who is a first year starter, these are his first two pass breakups and he owns Fresno State's only interception this year. That came in the fourth quarter in the season-opening win over Weber State.
Saturday's game is the first of back-to-back games being televised by the CBS Sports Network.
After being penalized seven times for 80 yards in the season opener, Fresno State was only flagged four times for 30 yards last weekend at No. 4 Oregon.
Fresno State had 11 tackles for a loss at No. 4 Oregon last weekend. The last time the 'Dogs played Oregon back on Sept. 15, 2007, Fresno State also had 11 tackles for a loss in that game.