Fresno State Bulldogs
- Head Coach: Jeff Tedford (4th Season, not consecutively)
- 2021 Record: 10-3 (6-2 in Mountain West)
- Last Meeting: 9/5/2003 - Fresno State 16, Oregon State 14
- Key Returners: QB - Jake Haener, WR - Jalen Cropper & S - Evan Williams
What to Know:
Jeff Tedford is the on-again-off-again head coach for Fresno State. After three impressive seasons with the Bulldogs he stepped down after the 2019 season. Former Beav/Bulldog Marcus Maryion had nothing but nice things to say about his former coach:
Coach. Mentor. Leader. You guys have no idea how this man impacted my life in just 2 short years. If he ever said jump. I would respond how high? No details or context needed. He always put the team first. The wins & titles were fun but he prepared us for life not just football. pic.twitter.com/ywv23UHWri— Marcus McMaryion (@MM2_Era) December 6, 2019
But with former head coach Kalen DeBoer taking the Washington job, Tedford is back coaching Fresno State and has a really good team and a supremely talented quarterback at his disposal. That player is Jake Haener who started his career at Washington and almost followed DeBoer back to Washington, but changed his mind and is sticking with Fresno State. He threw for 4,096 yards and 33 touchdowns last season!
Fresno State has an explosive offense. Jake Haener has a plethora of weapons to spread the ball around too. Jalen Cropper and Josh Kelly are back after big seasons and incoming Cal WR Nikko Remigio will likely operate in the slot. The Bulldogs offensive line return three starters and add Michigan State transfer Jacob Isaia. If Oregon State’s defense can slow down Fresno State’s high-powered offense then they’ll be able to slow down almost anyone’s offense. It sure should be fun to watch the Beavers secondary get this sort of challenge early in the season.
On the other side of the ball Fresno State’s defense is good, but not great. They return 7 starters and add a few important transfers like Joshua Pakola (Stanford) and Raymond Scott (USC). Evan Williams at safety and David Perales on the defensive line are the big names to watch. Oregon State will look to attack the Bulldogs defensive backs on the sidelines, but it all starts up front with the O-Line and the running game. If the Beavers can consistently get positive yards it’ll go a long way in keeping the defense fresh and keeping Jake Haener on the sidelines.
Player To Watch
Jake Haener - Quarterback
Haener isn’t the biggest, fastest or most impressive quarterback prospect you’ll ever see but he does everything well. He’s a bit of a gunslinger who’s a maestro in the pocket and plays with ultimate toughness. Jake Haener will want more consistency in 2022 and look to be like the QB who threw for 455 yards in a win against UCLA and less like the guy who threw 7 of his 9 interceptions in tough losses versus Boise State and Hawaii.
Fresno State opens the season at home versus Cal Poly on September 1st and then will have 9 days to prepare for Oregon State. The first road game for the Beavers is winnable, but I think will be an even tougher matchup than the season opener against Boise State. I’ll predict a Fresno State victory, 34-27.
- Date: Saturday, September 10th
- Time: 7:30 PM
- Location: Bulldog Stadium (Fresno, California)
- TV: CBS Sports Networks (CBSSN)
2022 Opponent Previews
- Oregon Ducks (Game 12)
- Arizona State (Game 11)
- Cal Golden Bears (Game 10)
- Washington Huskies (Game 9)
- Colorado Buffaloes (Game 8)
- Washington State (Game 7)
- Stanford Cardinal (Game 6)
- Utah Utes (Game 5)
- USC Trojans (Game 4)
- Montana State Bobcats (Game 3)
- Fresno State Bulldogs (Game 2)
- Boise State Broncos (Game 1)