Jun 25, 2019

Bulldog Game Day

Bryan Cole / The Collegian

Fresno State Bulldogs (5-2, 2-1 WAC) at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (3-4, 1-2 WAC)

Breakdown: Bulldogs

It took a record breaking, 58-yard field goal, as time expired, for the Bulldogs to escape from Utah with a win last Saturday.

This week, the Fresno State Bulldogs will hope to have things in control a little earlier when they travel to Ruston, La., to take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

Fresno State has been playing games close this season, with games being decided by an average of 6.3 points.

The offense will again look to establish the rushing attack early and wear down Louisiana Tech with the power-run game. The three backs, Ryan Mathews, Anthony Harding and Lonyae Miller should combine for a high percentage of Fresno State’s offensive production.

The defense has been struggling this season, especially to get pressure on the quarterback. Fresno State ranks 114 out of 119 Division I teams with six sacks in eight games this season.

Coach Pat Hill said that his Bulldogs will get creative with new pass-rush schemes to get pressure on Louisiana Tech’s quaterbacks.

The Bulldogs are hoping to get defensive tackle Jon Monga and tight end Bear Pascoe back from injury this week and put the game out of reach with some time left on the clock.

Breakdown: Bulldogs

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs have a stat working in their favor this Saturday against Fresno State — they are undefeated this season at Joe Aillet Stadium.

Unfortunately for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, they haven’t won a game on the road this season, which puts their record at 3-4.

Louisiana Tech ranks third in the conference behind Fresno State in total rushing offense with 176 yards per game.

A big reason why is the tailback tandem of senior Patrick Jackson and junior Daniel Porter.

Porter ranks fifth in the WAC with 71.6 yards per game and 501 yards for the season. The two backs both have three touchdowns.

At the quarterback position, Dooley started the season with Taylor Bennett, but switched to sophomore Ross Jenkins.

Jenkins doesn’t have a passing touchdown this season.

Louisiana Tech has the worst passing offense in the WAC.

Defensively, Tech relies on free safety Antonio Baker.

He is an all-conference defensive back and ranks second in the conference with 9.7 tackles per game.

With a homecoming crowd behind them and a solid running attack, Louisiana Tech may have the right formula to upset Fresno State.

Juan Villa / The Collegian

The Bayou Bulldogs…

La. Tech Player to Watch:
Daniel Porter, Tailback

Wins against: Mississippi State, Southeastern Louisiana, Idaho
Losses to: Kansas, Boise State, Hawaii, Army
Head coach: Derek Dooley (Second season, 8-11)
Offense: Multiple
Defense: 4-3
Key players: RB patrick Jackson, FS Antonio Baker, LB Quin Harris, CB Weldon Brown
Series record: Fresno State leads 6-3
Last meeting: Fresno State won 17-6 at Bulldog Stadium
Point spread: Fresno State favored by five points

Keys to Victory

1. Shut down the run.
Porter and Jackson are the key parts to La. Tech’s offense. If Fresno State can shut them down, it’s game over.

2. Return a kick for a touchdown.
A.J. Jefferson has yet to return a kick for a touchdown this season. If he’s healthy he should be back in All-American form.

3. Create turnovers.
Fresno State has been unable to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. If the Bulldogs can intercept a pass or force a fumble, the defense will help itself out.

Position matchups

Fresno State Player to Watch:
Jon Monga, Defensive Tackle

When Fresno State runs:
Advantage – Fresno State
Louisiana Tech ranks third in the conference in rush defense, but Frenso State’s running attack has yet to be stopped in 2008.

When Louisiana Tech runs:
Advantage – Louisiana Tech
Porter and Jackson are an electric tandem for La. Tech. The instability at quarterback has forced the Bulldogs to perfect the run game.

When Fresno State passes:
Advantage – Fresno State
La. Tech’s pass defense is second-worst in the WAC and quarterback Tom Brandstater is starting to heat up in Doug Nussmeier’s offense.

When Louisiana Tech passes:
Advantage – Fresno State
Inconsistency at quarterback has resulted in the WAC’s worst passing offense for La. Tech. The Bulldogs only have two passing touchdowns this season.

Special teams:
Advantage – Louisiana Tech
Kevin Goessling redeemed himself, but there are several other problems in the Bulldogs’ special teams unit.

By Jimmy Graben and Logan Hopkins / The Collegian

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