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Fresno State Bulldogs interview: Five questions with Bulldog Bounce

Want to know more about the Fresno State football team? Not really, but you're willing to humor me? Well good thing because FSDogs from the Fresno State blog Bulldog Bounce was kind enough to grace us with some answers to some Fresno State questions. Find out what a Fresno fan thinks about Friday night's game, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.


FSDogs and his Fresno State blogging team hold it down at the Bulldog Bounce site where you can go for game analysis, previews, and more. They are also on Twitter, it that's your cup of tea. I'm more of a Snapple person myself.

Many thanks to FSDogs for his answers to the following questions. 

The interview

(ed's note: FSDogs failed to capitalize "boise state" every time he mentioned them, and I know his Shift key works since he capitalized every single other word correctly. Bulletin board material? Bulletin board material. I have a pretty lame bulletin board.)

1. Describe your team's season-to-date as if you were pitching a movie. Make me emotionally invested.

At the turn of the century, rising to the highest of heights in the program's history, Fresno State implanted itself on the national radar with a No. 8 national ranking and a bold, "Anybody, Anytime, Anywhere, Shutup & Hit Somebody" mantra. They were the nation's darlings, with quarterback David Carr splashed on the cover of Sports Illustrated and wins over three BCS-conference heavyweights.

Enjoying a double-digit lead over visiting boise state, a school trying to step up to Division 1-A football, the Bulldogs were ready to jump even higher in the rankings. But a head-scratching comeback by the evil boise state broncos stole the dream and prevented Fresno State from completing its run as the original BCS busters.


While that evil program remained evil over the next decade, it also grew in strength, busting into some BCS games of its own and winning eight of the next nine matchups with the good guys. But a new Carr is in town. Little brother Derek never forgot the pain of that heart-tugging defeat, and couldn't wait to come to Fresno State to avenge the loss and ensure justice is served. Big brother won't forget either, placing a boise state pennant on Derek's wall and telling him he's not to take it down until he beats the broncos. The sight would haunt any normal human being, obscene shades of blue and orange on a triangle of fabric with the word "boise" imprinted.

While Derek has no shortage of motivation or talent, his supporting cast will have to play at a new level to help him serve that justice. Injuries abound and a disappointing start to the season lingers. But the goal remains the same.

(ed's note: So ...


... /rimshot)

2. If Boise State could pick one player from your team to come play with them, who would it be? If you could pick one Boise State player to go play for your team, who would it be? Explain.

boise state would no doubt benefit from having sophomore WR Jalen Saunders. The broncos don't lack much of anything with a team full of players who execute and play disciplined team football almost flawlessly, but if there is an attribute that would improve the broncos, it's a deep threat. Fresno State has a couple of them, with Saunders being the biggest. He's second in the nation with about 28 yards per catch and has three straight games with 100-plus yards receiving. Though WR Devon Wylie runs a faster 40, no one on either team has Saunders' game speed.

From a pure productivity perspective, the Bulldogs would benefit from George Iloka or Cedric Febis. With Fresno State losing both of its starting safeties for the entire season, including Phillip Thomas who might be the Bulldogs' best player and best current NFL prospect, safety play has hampered the team enough to cost it one or two wins. The Bulldogs are giving up way too many big plays, and overpursuit by young, inexperienced safeties is not helping. The gap between the starters going into the year, Thomas and Derron Smith, and the backups, might be too great to overcome against a team like boise state with a QB like Kellen Moore.

3. Pretend that your team is a collection of bowl games. What part is the Rose Bowl (strength) and what part is the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (weakness)?

Every skill position on offense is the Rose Bowl. Carr, the deep receiving corps (Saunders, Wylie, Rashad Evans, Josh Harper, A.J. Johnson, Isaiah Burse) and the WAC's best running back Robbie Rouse (on pace to break the school's all-time rushing record next season).

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is the secondary. As injury-ravaged a position as there's been during Pat Hill's tenure, with two star-caliber safeties sidelined for the whole year and the best cornerback, Jermaine Thomas, still not 100% recovered from last season's injury. It's a scary weakness to have this week against an accurate QB.

4. Name three keys to victory for your team. Name one key to certain defeat.

Keys to Fresno State Victory:

  1. Defensive backs have their best game of the year, keep the play in front of them, and don't let Moore go over the top the way he did last season with more dangerous weapons at receiver.
  2. Defense as a whole plays assignment-disciplined football, another key to limiting big plays.
  3. The banged up offensive line proves it has matured enough after gaining some experience and provides Carr with plenty of time to pick apart the boise state defense.

Key to Certain Defeat:

  • If Fresno State doesn't score. Again.

5. On a scale of fast food restaurants, with Taco Bell being not at all and Dairy Queen being supremely, how confident are you that your team will win on Saturday?

Five Guys. If five guys in the Fresno State defensive backfield play smart, play together, and stick to their assignments, we should have a good ballgame.


The blog bet

Blog bets have been hard to come by so far this season, and I am still working things out with FSDogs and the Bulldog Bounce gang. If we're good to go, the winning team's blog will get a free post on the losing team's blog. I have some things in rough draft.

Best of luck to FSDogs and Fresno State. And I do not mean that at all.

Your turn

What are your thoughts on the Derek Carr situation? Think Boise State would be better off with a Fresno receiver? Still steamed about that lowercase thing? Share your thoughts in the comments.