Fresno State football returns home to take on San Jose State

Fresno State football in a huddle during a timeout against Oregon State on Sept. 9, 2022, at Valley Children's Stadium. (Estela Anahi Jaramillo/ The Collegian)

In the midst of its longest losing streak since November 2019, the Fresno State football team is set to host San Jose State for its homecoming game this weekend. 

The Bulldogs have lost four consecutive games and hold a 1-4 overall record (0-1 MW). Now deep into the season with conference play, it will be a must-win matchup in front of another sellout crowd.

Despite the pressure of the game and the team’s recent struggles, the matchup will provide much needed fan support for the team as it will be the first home game for the squad in more than a month. 

“It’s nice to finally be back home,” said quarterback Logan Fife. “I’m definitely excited to get a start in a home matchup, and I’m just trying to do my part to help my team win a game.” 

Fresno State Head Coach Jeff Tedford shared Fife’s sentiments about playing at home after three consecutive road games. 

“It’s been a long time. It would be nice to be back home. We’ve had a lot of big road games where the team doesn’t get back until around 2 a.m. so it’d be great to come home,” Tedford said.

With the team’s last home game having been a last-second loss to Oregon State, one of the biggest points of emphasis for the team moving forward is finishing games and performing better in the fourth quarter in particular. 

“We need to be able to come together for all four quarters,” said wide-receiver Jalen Moreno-Cropper. “We play a good first three quarters every week, but it’s always that last couple minutes of the game where we’re not doing what we need to do.” 

The ‘Dogs’ frustration comes from having either been tied or leading late into the third quarter in three of their last four losses. This, combined with the fact that they have scored just nine points in the fourth quarter of these losses, shows that the ‘Dogs have a problem moving the ball effectively in the final quarter of a game. 

“We have to find a way to finish [games],” Tedford said. “It’s disappointing for the kids. They’re playing hard and the efforts are there, but they’re not able to come away with a reward. It takes resilience and that’s what we have to have.”

In near complete opposition to the ‘Dogs, San Jose State currently sits at 4-1 overall (2-0 MW), with its only loss coming to a middle-tier team from the Southeastern Conference in Auburn. 

The Spartans are also entering the matchup coming off  two offensive explosions from quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, who has earned back-to-back Mountain West Offensive player of the week awards. 

In his last two games, the junior quarterback has combined for 544 passing yards and seven total touchdowns while leading San Jose State to consecutive blowout wins. These performances drew praise from Tedford. 

“It seems to me like he’s been around forever. He’s got a lot of experience and really seems like he understands what’s going on in their offense and has done a great job,” he said. 

The homecoming matchup is slated to kick off Saturday at 7:45 p.m.

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