The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Fresno State Bulldogs.
No. 68: Fresno State Bulldogs
Spring Practice Starts: March 12
Spring Game: April 14
Fresno State Bulldogs Spring Status
From 1-11 to 10-4 – it was as impressive and shocking as anything anyone in America was able to do. And now the expectations are there to do it all over again, and be even better.
It’s a loaded team that gets back eight starters from an offense with a whole lot of upside, and seven starters are back on a defense that dominated throughout the season.
The problem is on the defensive front – losing all four starters – and two starters are done on the offensive line. Other than that, look out – the Bulldogs are loaded, with everyone back on the back seven, and all the key skill parts back.
Fresno State Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Defensive tackle. Actually, it’s the whole line, losing dangerous pass rushing end Tobenna Okeke and running mate Robert Stanley, along with the starting defensive tackles. Malik Forrester was a star, and Nathan Madsen a terrific presence on the interior.
305-pound Kevin Atkins got in plenty of work last season, making 19 tackles, and 280-pound Jasad Haynes is a good-looking option, but the team is thin on the interior, needing to find a strong rotation this offseason.
Fresno State Biggest Issue
Third down conversions. The punting game has to be stronger, and the punt coverage team wasn’t great, but the biggest problem was the ability of the offense to keep things moving. The O converted just 35.6% of its third down tries, and was under 40% ten times, bottoming out in the win over Nevada and its awful defense, converting just one of 11 attempts.
Fresno State Biggest Positive
The receiving corps should be fantastic. KeeSean Johnson might be the best receiver no one knows about, catching 77 passes for 1,013 yards and eight scores last season. Second-leading receiver Da’Mari Scott is done, but everyone else who caught a pass last season is back. If the O line is amazing again and gives QB Marcus McMaryion time again, the big plays will come.
Really, Why Are The Fresno State Bulldogs Ranked Here?
Sorry … they should be higher, and they probably will be going into the fall.
The pressure is on to do even more, and the experience and talent are there to do it. The coaching is top-shelf, the defense will be outstanding again if the line rebuilds in a hurry, and the offense has the weapons to be more consistent.