Fresno State vs. Idaho fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 1
Game Time: 10:00 pm ET
Venue: Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, CA
Fresno State (0-0) vs. Idaho (0-0) Game Preview
How can we miss you if you won’t leave?
Kicked out of the Sun Belt, Idaho left for life in the FCS as part of the Big Sky. It’s starting out 2018 with a shot at an FBSer to start, Florida to finish the regular season, and in between it needs to rebuild in a hurry.
Fresno State last beat the Vandals 61-14 back in 2013, and this year it’s looking to start out hot with trips to Minnesota and UCLA up next. With the talent in place to at least challenge for the Mountain West title, this has to be a layup if everything is working right away.
One Reason Why Idaho Will Win
Idaho might have had a whole slew of problems, but it was great at getting behind the line. This year, the pass rush will be okay, but the plays in the backfield should come on a regular basis again. At least, the Vandals have to try bringing the heat from the start.
The run defense was okay, and if it can hold up, the veteran secondary should be just good enough to hold its own here and there. Kaden Elliss is back after coming up with 80 stops and 16 tackles for loss, and but the pressure will come from all sides.
One Reason Why Fresno State Will Win
The Bulldog offensive line that was among the best in the nation in sacks and tackles for loss allowed should be terrific again.
And the Vandals have a whole lot of work to do in most areas other than the pass rush.
They lose almost all of the key skill guys from last year’s offense and have to replace six starters on the defensive side.
It’s the O that should have the tougher time.
Fresno State’s linebacking corps is going to be a powerhouse, with the ability to get into the backfield as well as stuff up everything against the run. For an Idaho running game that came up with just 1,495 yards and ten touchdowns last season, and now loses 1,000-yard back Aaron Duckworth and the other main guys, it’s going to be a tough day moving the ball.
What’s Going To Happen
The Idaho defense that made so many good improvements last season should be good enough from the start to keep the Bulldogs from blowing up. However, the Vandal offense won’t be able to score enough to take advantage of any key opportunities.
It’ll be more workmanlike than sensational for Fresno State, but the defense will be suffocating to hold control the game throughout. The other side of the ball will take over and pull away late.