Breakdown of the Fresno State Bulldogs and San Diego State Aztecs.
Looking to bounce back from a one-point loss to Tulsa, the Bulldogs (2-2) enter the first week of Mountain West Conference play against San Diego State (2-2).
After jumping out to an early lead last week in Oklahoma, Fresno State will look to do the same against the Aztecs come Saturday at Bulldog Stadium. However, the ’Dogs will need to continue to run their offensive schemes efficiently for all four quarters in order to come away with a win.
Head coach Time DeRutyer, his coaches and the team will be hard pressed to follow up the success they had in both games against Weber State and Colorado. Facing another potent offense in San Diego State, the Bulldogs will look to counter with their own offensive attack.
Winning the takeaway battle again will be a key element for Fresno State as it has have been consistent for the first four games of the season. With a dominating margin of 11-3, the Bulldogs will look to their veteran players to step up once again.
Leaders like linebacker Shawn Plummer and defensive backs Phillip Thomas and Derron Smith will need to continue to dictate the flow of the game defensively. If Fresno State can win the turnover margin and limit San Diego State’s high-powered offense to short gains, the ’Dogs should prove victorious.
Also, with the addition of senior wide receiver Rashad Evans returning for the game against the Aztecs, his veteran experience should help the Bulldogs’ offense. Evans will also give Fresno State an exceptional element on special teams. His skills of elusiveness and speed make him a deadly punt and kick returner.
After a close loss to San Jose State last weekend, the Aztecs will look to rebound against Fresno State.
Seeking to start off its conquest of the Mountain West Conference with a win, San Diego State will face the battle-tested Bulldogs. Fresno State, which has already faced two Pac-12 teams in Oregon and Colorado, will test the offense and defense of the Aztecs when they travel to Bulldog Stadium on Saturday.
San Diego State brings a wealth of talent at the skilled positions. Transfer student from Oregon State, quarterback Ryan Katz is quick and accurate throwing the ball. His efficiency as a quarterback is 164.76 and Katz has completed 52 of his 85 pass attempts.
The Aztecs also bring a duel rushing attack in running backs Adam Muema and Walter Kazee. Each back averages more than five yards a carry and per game more than 75 yards. San Diego State’s wide receiver corps is also very explosive. The Aztecs have five different receivers with five or more receptions and average 20 yards or more per catch.
Defensively, San Diego brings tough, speedy and veteran players to all positions.
Seven of the Aztecs 11 players on defense have at least one sack. Junior defensive back Nat Berhe leads the team in solo tackles with 22. He also has one fumble recovery. Senior defensive back Leon McFadden has the most interceptions on the team with two returned for a total of 28 yards.
If San Diego State hopes to beat the Bulldogs, it will have to do better in closing out the fourth quarter. In addition, the Aztecs will need to make a critical momentum-changing play, either on offense or defense, to possibly win the game.