Bulldogs Set for Challenging Road Game at Tulsa

Sept. 17, 2012

Fresno State (2-1, 0-0 MW) at Tulsa, Okla. • 5 p.m. PT

Game Day Quick Facts
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

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


Fresno State travels to Tulsa this weekend for its final non-conference game of the season ... Kickoff between the Bulldogs and Golden Hurricane is set for 5 p.m. PT from H.A Chapman Stadium ... 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 ... After a 69-14 thrashing over Colorado last weekend, the Bulldogs received one vote in the Associated Press Top 25 poll ... Senior running back Robbie Rouse became Fresno State's all-time leading rusher last weekend when he ran for 144 yards on nine carries. Rouse has 3,539 career rushing yards and 15 100-yard games, including one in all three Bulldog games this year ... Senior safety Phillip Thomas tied the school and Mountain West record last weekend with three interceptions and he returned two of those for touchdowns, which also tied the MW record ... Fresno State's 55-point win over Colorado is the second largest over a BCS team by a non-AQ school since the BCS was formed in 1998.

Bulldog Headlines
• Phillip Thomas was named the National Defensive Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.
• Phillip Thomas, Robbie Rouse and Andrew Shapiro were all named the MW Players of the Week for their performances last week against Colorado.

Rouse Becomes Fresno State's All-Time Leading Rusher
On a 94-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, Robbie Rouse moved ahead of Ron Rivers as Fresno State's all-time leading rusher. The 94-yard touchdown run tied for the longest rush in school history. Rouse finished the game with nine carries for 144 yards, giving him 3,539 yards in his career. Rouse also holds the school record for most rushing attempts with 674. With two career records and being tied for the longest rush, Rouse still has a chance at several other school records with at least nine games remaining on the schedule. He needs nine more touchdowns to tie for the most rushing TDs in school history, three more 100-yard rushing games to tie that record and 1,837 more all-purpose yards to tie that mark. Rouse only needs 11 all-purpose yards to become the fifth Bulldog to gain over 4,000 all-purpose yards in a career.

Rouse has 10 career games with two rushing touchdowns and his four total TDs (two rushing, two receiving) against Colorado, all of which were scored in the first quarter, tied a Bulldog Stadium record for most TDs scored in a game. One of the most impressive notes in Rouse's career is the fact that he has lost only one fumble in 733 career touches (674 rushes, 59 receptions). The 5-7, 190-pound senior currently ranks eighth nationally with 127.3 rushing yards per game and his seven total touchdowns is tied with Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas for the most in the nation.

Fresno State vs. Tulsa - The Series
Fresno State leads the all-time series with Tulsa 4-1 and the 'Dogs are 2-0 against the Golden Hurricane when playing at Tulsa. The schools last met in the 2005 AutoZone Liberty Bowl when Tulsa came away with a 31-24 victory. Before that, the two schools played one another four-straight seasons from 1999-02 when Tulsa and Fresno State were both members of the Western Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs won those four games by an average margin of 18.5 points with the biggest win coming in 2000 when the 'Dogs won 34-12.

Scouting Tulsa
The Golden Hurricane enter this weekends game with a 2-1 record. Tulsa lost at Iowa State 38-23 to open the season, but came back with a 45-10 win over Tulane and a 66-16 win over Nicholls State in the last two weeks. Tulsa features a high-powered offensive attack that is ranked in the top 20 nationally in rushing (10th at 285.7 ypg), scoring offense (14th at 44.7 ppg) and total offense (18th at 525 ypg). The Golden Hurricane ground attack has 12 rushing touchdowns this year, five by Alex Singleton. Quarterback Cody Green is averaging 200 yards passing per game and has six touchdowns against two interceptions. Defensively, Tulsa gives up 330 yards per game and 21.3 points. The Golden Hurricane lead the nation in tackles for a loss with 10.67 per game and is second in sacks with 5.67 per game.

Bulldogs Collect Weekly Honors
Fresno State had four players collect weekly honors after its 69-14 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes. At the top of the chart was Phillip Thomas earning the National Defensive Performer of the Week Award from the College Football Performance Awards. Thomas was also the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week and the CFPA's National Defensive Back of the Week. Running back Robbie Rouse was the MW Co-Offensive Player of the Week and a honorable mention selection for the CFPA'a All-Purpose Performer of the Week. Senior punter Andrew Shapiro was named the MW Special Teams Player of the Week, marking the second-straight week a Bulldog has collected that award (kicker Quentin Breshears won it after the Oregon game). Finally, wide receiver Isaiah Burse was an honorable mention selection for the CFPA's All-Purpose Performer of the Week award.

With the Mountain West honoring a Bulldog for its Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week awards, it marks ninth time in the league's 14-year history that one school has a player named to all three weekly awards for the same game.

More on Phillip Thomas and his Hat Trick
Phillip Thomas said after last Saturday's 69-14 win over Colorado that "it was the best game I've ever played in my life." Thomas tied a school and Mountain West record with three interceptions. He returned two of those for touchdowns - one from 16 yards out and one from 43 - to set a new school record and tie the MW record for interceptions returned for a touchdown in a single game. It was Thomas' second career game with two or more interceptions, the first coming at Illinois in 2009 when he was a redshirt freshman. Additionally, with his two TDs, Thomas has now returned three of his eight career interceptions for touchdowns. Along with his national performer of the week award by the CFPA, ESPN College Football tweeted that he was ESPN's Defensive Player of the Day and CBS's Inside College Football named him the National Defensive Player of the Week.

Key to This Weekend's Game at Tulsa
Two high-powered offense's will be going head-to-head this weekend at Tulsa's H.A. Chapman Stadium. Both teams rank in the top 25 nationally in scoring offense and total offense. The key will be which team's defense can hold the opposing offense at bay. Fresno State's defense has done a 180 from last year when the 'Dogs allowed 435.8 yards of offense and 35.2 points. This season, the Bulldogs have given up only 22 points per game and 361.3 yards of offense. Two weeks ago when playing at No. 4 Oregon, Fresno State forced three turnovers and had 11 tackles for a loss, which are the most any defense has had against a Chip Kelly team in his three-plus years. The Bulldogs have had seven sacks and seven turnovers in the last two games. Fresno State is tied for 10th nationally in sacks, 18th nationally in tackles for a loss and tied for eighth in the country in turnovers gained with eight.

More on the Turnover Turnaround
In 13 games in 2011, Fresno State forced a total of nine turnovers. Through three games this season, the Bulldogs already have eight turnovers. Fresno State's four interceptions last weekend against Colorado are the most since the 'Dogs picked off four passes in a win at Washington to open the 2004 season. The Bulldogs now have five interceptions in three games, which ties the number of picks that Fresno State had for the entire 2011 and 2008 seasons. Fresno State has also forced eight fumbles this season, three of which it has recovered. Offensively, the Bulldogs have coughed the ball over just two times, both coming last weekend against Colorado. Derek Carr threw his first interception on his 87th pass attempt of the season. Still, Fresno State is plus-six in the turnover department and is tied for fifth nationally in turnover margin.

BCS Busters
Fresno State's 55-point victory over Colorado last weekend is the schools largest win over an automatic-qualifying school since the BCS was formed in 1998. In fact, it was the second largest win from a non-AQ school over a BCS program in BCS history. Only BYU's 59-0 victory over UCLA in 2008 serves as a larger victory from a non-BCS team. The Bulldog win over the Buffs was Fresno State's 13th over a BCS school since 2003, a figure that is tied with BYU for the second most in the nation in that time frame.

Offensive Fireworks
Fresno State's 69 points against Colorado last weekend are the most since the Bulldogs put up 70 points vs. Hawai'i on Nov. 12, 2004. It was the fifth-most points Fresno State has ever scored in a game and the 55-point margin of victory is the eighth largest. The 'Dogs racked up 516 yards of offense in the first half alone and had 55 points, just shy of the school record for points in a half (66) that was set on Oct. 5, 1991 in a 94-17 win over New Mexico. The Bulldogs tied a NCAA record with a 49-point second quarter in that win over the Lobos and set a school record with 757 yards of offense in that 1991 game. Other impressive notes from the CU game include:

• Fresno State had twice as many TDs (8) as the Buffaloes had first downs (4) in the first half.
• The Bulldogs finished the game with 10 touchdowns. Colorado finished with only 11 first downs.

Records That Fell
Fresno State set or tied a number of records in last weekend's 69-14 victory over Colorado. The records set were:

• Robbie Rouse set a new all-time Bulldog career rushing record: 3,539 yards.
• Robbie Rouse's 94-yard touchdown run tied for the longest in school history and the longest ever by a Colorado opponent.
• Robbie Rouse's four TDs (two rushing, two receiving) tied the Bulldog Stadium record.
• Fresno State's 35 first-quarter points set a new Mountain West record.
• Fresno State's 55 points in the first half set a new Mountain West record and the most ever allowed by Colorado. The Bulldogs' 516 yards of offense in the first half is also the most Colorado has ever surrendered in a half.
• Phillip Thomas' three interceptions tied the school and Mountain West records.
• Phillip Thomas' two INT's returned for touchdowns tied the Mountain West record and set a new Fresno State record.
• The 55-point win over Colorado was Fresno State's largest over a BCS school since the BCS was formed in 1998.
• Fresno State's 9.9 average yards per play (665 yards on 67 plays) in the game set a new program record.

Bulldogs Receive Vote in Top 25 Poll
Fresno State received one vote in the Associated Press Top 25 poll this week. The last time the Bulldogs were ranked in the top 25 was on Sept. 28, 2008 when the 'Dogs came in at No. 22 in the AP Poll and No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

One Half Is All That's Necessary
Playing in only the first half of the Colorado game last weekend, quarterback Derek Carr was still able to throw for 300 yards and five touchdowns in the lopsided victory. It was Carr's fifth career 300-yard passing game, which tied him with Trent Dilfer for the third most in school history. His five touchdowns passes matched his personal best and was one off the school record of six that is held by his older brother, David, and Bill Yancy. David threw six TDs vs. Utah State in a 70-21 win over Utah State in 2001 and Yancy's six TD passes accounted for all of Fresno State's touchdowns in a 42-41 victory over Long Beach State in 1978.

Derek Carr leads the Mountain West in passing with 277.3 yards per game and that has him ranked 19th nationally. He threw his first interception of the season last weekend, which came on his 87th pass attempt of the year. Carr continues to lead the league in passing efficiency at 170.5, which ranks 15th nationally. He has completed 70.2 percent of his 94 passes this season with eight touchdowns.

Plenty of Options to Throw To
Derek Carr's productivity is assisted by a talented receiving corp and offensive line. The Bulldogs have allowed just four sacks this season and are averaging 7.3 yards per play behind their offensive line. Then, Fresno State's wide receivers are putting up big numbers. Here's a rundown of the Bulldog wide receivers:

• RFr. Davante Adams: leads the Mountain West in receptions (23), receptions per game (7.67), receiving yards (284), touchdowns (3) and yards per game (94.7).
• Jr. Isaiah Burse: is second in the MW in receiving yards per game (90.0), tied for second in TDs (2) and is third in receptions (16). Burse's 97-yard touchdown reception last weekend is the second-longest in school history & the longest in the nation this year.
• So. Josh Harper: Missed the season opener with a hamstring injury & was limited against Oregon. Returned last week vs. Colorado to record a game-high five catches to go with 52 yards receiving and one touchdown. His five TDs as a redshirt freshman in 2011 were the most by a Bulldog freshman in the last 10 years.
• So. WR Victor Dean: Had a career-high 97-yards receiving last weekend on three catches with a long of 50. His three receptions matched his career total entering the game.
• Sr. RB Robbie Rouse: Set a new career-high with two TD catches last weekend. Tied for eighth in the MW with 4.0 receptions per game and is third on the team with 12 catches, which is ranked sixth in the MW.

Brown Records 200th Career Tackle
Senior linebacker Travis Brown's tackle on the first play of the second half against Colorado was the 200th of his career. That is the most of anyone on the team. Brown, who was a preseason all-conference selection, has 11 tackles this year with one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry. He was a first-team All-WAC selection as a junior in 2011 and a second-team honoree in 2010. Brown has made the switch to middle linebacker this year in the new 3-4 defense from the outside linebacker spot he played in the old 4-3 scheme.

Third Down Conversions
Fresno State is converting just 26 percent of its third downs this year, but saw a marked improvement last weekend. The 'Dogs were 3-of-6 in the first half and 4-of-11 for the game, but with a large lead Fresno State's offense took its foot off the pedal in the second half. The coaching staff was pleased with the offense in the Colorado game after going 2-of-16 on third-down attempts at No. 4 Oregon the week before.

The one area where the staff is most pleased with is the production on first and second down. Troubles in early downs at Oregon put them in tough spots, which is way you saw that low number on third down conversions against the Ducks. Last week against Colorado, Fresno State averaged 10.9 yards on first downs. The Bulldogs gained 359 yards on 33 first down plays. Additionally in 21 second down plays, Fresno State picked up first downs 10 times. Fresno State was 4-of-6 on second downs of one to four yards and was 6-of-15 on second downs of five yards or longer. The Bulldogs gained 244 yards on 21 second-down plays for an average of 11.6 yards.

True Freshman Catching Action
Fresno State has played seven true freshman this season: OLB Ejiro Ederaine, DB Shannon Edwards, OT Alex Fifita, WR's Justin Johnson and Aaron Peck, K Garrett Swanson and RB Marteze Waller. Edwards, Peck, Swanson and Waller have made the biggest impacts. Edwards had a sack last weekend against Colorado and plays on special teams. Peck started vs. Colorado and has played in all three games, but has yet to catch a pass. He did draw a pass interference call at No. 4 Oregon two weeks ago. Swanson has handled Fresno State's kickoff duties all year and has three touchbacks on the season. Waller scored his first career touchdown last weekend against Colorado, when he had a team-high 13 carries for 63 yards. Waller has rushed 18 total times this year for 91 yards, which has him ranked second on the team. Ederaine has made two tackles this season, the most among the freshmen.

• Fresno State is averaging 17.3 points in the first quarter. That number is aided by the 21-point first quarter against Weber State and the 35-point first quarter against Colorado last weekend.
• With the win over the Buffaloes last weekend, Fresno State is now 12-5 all-time at home against teams from the Pac-12.
• Fresno State has put points on the board on its first drive of the game in all three contests this year. The 'Dogs have 17 points - two TDs and one field goal - while allowing their opponent to score just once on their first drive of a game.
• The last time the Bulldogs played at Tulsa - Sept. 22, 2001 - Fresno State had a 300-yard passer, 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver. That is one of just 17 times in school history that the 'Dogs have had a 300-yard passer, 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in the same game. In the 2001 victory at Tulsa, David Carr threw for 314 yards and three TDs, Josh Levi ran seven times for 107 yards and Bernard Berrian hauled in eight passes for 109 yards and one touchdown.
• Along the same lines, last weekend was the 17th time in school history that the Bulldogs have had a 100-yard rusher, 100-yard receiver and 300-yard passer. Derek Carr finished with 300 yards passing and five TDs, Robbie Rouse had 144 yards rushing and one TD and Isaiah Burse had 107 yards receiving and one TD.