In the past three weeks, the Fresno State football team has exemplified Murphy’s Law.
Almost everything that can go wrong has gone wrong.
During the current three-game losing streak, the Bulldogs lost quarterbacks Chason Virgil and Ford Childress for the season due to injuries.
Meanwhile, the arrests of quarterback Zack Greenlee and linebacker Brandon Hughes made matters worse for the ‘Dogs.
With the two players serving a one-game suspension and the injuries mounting, the ‘Dogs suffered a 49-23 loss in the Mountain West opener last week against San Jose State.
But the season is still young, and the ‘Dogs are hoping to bounce back Saturday in another conference matchup against San Diego State.
“We have a lot of things to clean up from last week, and we’re anxious to redeem ourselves after our performance last week,” head coach Tim DeRuyter said.
Like the ‘Dogs, the Aztecs (1-3) are desperate for a win.
During their three-game losing streak, the Aztecs lost at California, at home against South Alabama and last week at Penn State.
But it could be another long day for the ‘Dogs if the Aztecs get their running game going.
Especially after allowing a 300-yard rushing performance by San Jose State running back Tyler Ervin, the ‘Dogs are searching for answers on defense.
This week, the ‘Dogs will face running back Donnel Pumphrey, who is averaging 76.2 rushing yards per game with three touchdowns in 2015.
“[Pumphrey] is explosive through the hole. He doesn’t go down on first contact and has speed to pull away,” DeRuyter said.
Greenlee will start Saturday’s game following his one-game suspension for alleging being drunk in public.
“[Greenlee] is remorseful for what he did,” DeRuyter said. “It’s not a fun feeling, but he owned it. He paid that part of his debt.”
The Old Oil Can trophy will be on the line again when the ‘Dogs meet the Aztecs Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Qualcomm Stadium.
San Diego State leads the all-time series with Fresno State, 27-23-4, although Fresno State has won the last three meetings against the Aztecs.
In their last trip to San Diego, the ‘Dogs blocked a field goal try at the end of regulation to force overtime. The ‘Dogs then closed it out in overtime with a Marteze Waller touchdown run and a defensive stop.
In last season’s meeting with the Aztecs, the ‘Dogs forced two fourth-quarter turnovers and held the Aztecs to 270 total yards in a 24-13 victory.
“One of the great things about college football is that you have these rivalry games that are symbolized by an old wooden bucket, or a boot, or a can or in our case an oil can,” DeRuyter said. “To have a symbol that you can have in your office, that you can show recruits afterwards, is a nice prize to have.”