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Oregon State Football: Taking a Look at the Fresno State Bulldogs

Fresno State easily took care of business in week one, but the Beavers are a much tougher opponent.

Mountain West Championship - Fresno State v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Last Saturday the Beavers managed to hold off a Boise State comeback attempt in the second half to pick up their first season opening win in 7 years, but this weekend they might have an even tougher challenge. They’ll be travelling to California to take on a pretty tough Fresno State team. Here’s what you can expect.

A couple weeks ago Building the Dam’s Marcus Robinson covered the Bulldogs in a preseason preview. All of what Marcus said still holds true, but now we have a bit of actual game data to take a look at.

Fresno State Bulldogs

  • Head Coach: Jeff Tedford (4th Season, nonconsecutive)
  • Record: 1-0
  • Last Game: 35-7 Win vs. Cal Poly
  • Offensive Stats:
  • Defensive Stats:
  • Key Players: QB Jake Haener, S Evan Williams
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Fresno State at San Jose State Photo by Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Fresno State revolves around its passing game. Starting quarterback Jake Haenar threw for over 4,000 yards last season, and it didn’t take him long to get back up to speed in Week One of the 2022 season. Haener was a huge part of the Bulldogs Week One blowout of the Cal Poly Mustangs, throwing for 377 yards and two touchdowns.

You can see how effective Haener and the passing game are in the Bulldogs’ first series of the game. Haener completes a 9 yard pass for a first down. Haener completes a 20 yard pass for a first down. After a facemasking penalty, Haener completes a 14 yard and an 8 yard pass for another first down. The Mustangs eventually get the TD with a 1 yard run, but it was Haener who got them down the field.

Fresno State slowed the pace in the second half, mostly sticking to the run game and short throws, but even then Haener looked steady. The Bulldogs defense is a bigger question mark than there offense, particularly their secondary, but they didn’t give up much to the Mustangs. Cal Poly is not a team that’s going to test a good FBS team’s offense or defense, but Fresno State did not slip up against a weaker opponent.

Expect Saturday to be an aerial showcase. Fresno State can score pretty quickly through the air, which could put some pressure on Chance Nolan and the Beavers to keep up. They shouldn’t completely de-emphasize the run, the Bulldogs have changed up their D-Line and while it may be better than last season, it’s still pretty untested. Oregon State’s offensive line could be set up for a very favorable matchup.

Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, September 10th
  • Time: 7:30 PM
  • Location: Bulldog Stadium (Fresno, California)
  • TV: CBS Sports Networks (CBSSN)