Bulldog Game Day


Matt Weir / Collegian File Photo

Breakdown: Bulldogs

Pat Hill has won the last six season openers as head coach of the Fresno State football team.

Hill will try to extend that streak when the ‘Dogs host Cincinnati on Saturday.

Hill will rely heavily on the arm of senior quarterback Ryan Colburn, especially after losing running backs Ryan Mathews and Lonyae Miller to the NFL.

As a first-time starter last season, Colburn finished the season ranked 22nd in the nation in passer rating throwing for 2,459 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Sophomore running back Robbie Rouse will be expected to handle the bulk of the carries, with sophomores A.J. Ellis and Michael Harris backing him up.

On defense, a veteran-led squad is hoping to improve from last season after giving up more than 28 points per game.

Defensive end Chris Carter will be asked to contain versatile Bearcats’ quarterback Zach Collaros.

If the ‘Dogs can contain the Cincinati offense and make enough plays on the offensive side of the ball, look for the ‘Dogs to extend Hill’s season opener streak to seven.

Breakdown: Bearcats

If Cincinnati has any hope of matching last season’s 13-1 record, it will most likely be in the form of shootouts.

The Bearcts return multi-threat quarterback Zach Collaros and a plethora of big targets for him to chose from.

Armon Binns (6-foot-3-inches) will be Collaros’ main target after last year’s 1,191-yard, 11-touchdown campaign. Junior D.J. Woods will also be a big threat downfield for the Bearcats.

Former Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly accepted the head coaching position at Notre Dame in the offseason, opening the doors for Butch Jones, who led Central Michigan for the past three seasons. Jones, who brings a similar spread offense to Cincinnati, should have no problem working with his experienced group.

“They had good athletes on those teams last year so whatever scheme they’re using there will be a lot of speed on the fiield,” Fresno State coach Pat Hill said.

One suspect area for the Bearcats will be their defense, which finished in the bottom half of every defensive category in the Big East last year, including last in total defense after giving up an average of 374 yards per game.


Associated Press

Getting to know the ‘Queen City’ Bearcats

Wins against: None
Losses to: None
Head coach: Butch Jones, first year
Offense: Spread
Defense: Multiple
Key players: Armon Binns, WR, D.J Woods, WR, Ben Guidugli, TE, J.K. Schaffer, LB.

Series record: Cincinnati leads 1-0
Last meeting: 2009, Cincinnati won 28-20 in Ohio
Point Spread: Fresno State favored by three points
Player to watch:
Zach Collaros, Quarterback

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