Another fall, another season for the Fresno State football program, and this season, the ‘Dogs kick off the 2018 campaign against the University of Idaho on Sept. 1 at Bulldog Stadium.
The first game of the season is always difficult to prepare for because the team doesn’t have film from earlier in the season to study for the upcoming game, according to defensive back Mike Bell. So they have to look back on last year’s film to prepare.
“It’s always hard, because like last year for us, teams didn’t know what we were going to come out and run, and it’s the first game so you have to be prepared for everything they could throw at you,” Bell said.
But the ‘Dogs sound confident, and they should be. Not only are they going up against an Idaho team that finished the 2017 season with a record of just 4-8, they are also coming off of a season that saw one of the greatest turnarounds from one season to the next in college football history. The team went from a 1-11 season in 2016 to a 10-4 showing in 2017.
Senior quarterback Marcus McMaryion said he feels even more confident than he did last year.
“It’s night and day just knowing the fact that I have been around these guys for a year. They know my personality and my style. I think that it is more the chemistry that has developed over the past year compared to this time last year,” McMaryion said.
The quarterback threw for 2,726 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also added two rushing touchdowns, to boot.
Head coach Jeff Tedford won’t let the ‘Dogs overlook Idaho, though. The second-year coach and former Bulldogs quarterback himself was quick to point out during a press conference that he stresses to his team not to take any team lightly.
“It’s not really about who we play. It’s about how we play it’s about our preparation. It’s about how we take the field. It’s about how we execute the details. You have to be consistent with that,” Tedford said.
Idaho returns two quarterbacks from last season’s roster. Junior Mason Petrino, who has appeared in 16 career games over the last two seasons, throwing for 271 yards and just three touchdowns in 2017.
Colton Richardson, the other Idaho quarterback, played in only two games while a freshman last season. Richardson led Idaho to a 24-10 win over Georgia State in the 2017 season finale.
And to that end, the Vandals have yet to formally announce which quarterback will start on Saturday.
“Anytime you see two different quarterbacks, it is difficult to get a feel for what you are going to get and what plays they are going to run with each of them, so it is just kind of hard to dial in on one type of thing,” Bell said.