Fresno State Bulldogs College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season
Fresno State Bulldogs Biggest Key: Offense
The pass protection has to be better. The offensive line has size and experience, and the top running backs averaged over five yards per carry, but QB Jake Haener needs more time to work and there can’t be so many plays allowed behind the line.
The Bulldogs allowed 24 sacks on the season with three or more in five of the six games, bottoming out against New Mexico in the season finale allowing eight sacks and 11 tackles for loss.
Fresno State Bulldogs Biggest Key: Defense
Generate more third down stops. It’s crazy that a defense that finished third in the nation in sacks and was great at generating tackles for loss just couldn’t get off the field in the losses.
New Mexico was able to convert time after time – 12-of-16 times – to close out a rough year for the Bulldog D that allowed conversions over 48% of the time. The offense will do its part to crank up the production and pick up the slack, but the defense has to stop allowing so many big plays.
Fresno State Bulldogs Key Player To A Successful Season
DT Kevin Atkins, Sr.
The four-year veteran is back for his senior season as one of the key parts of the defensive front. The 6-5, 310-pounder hasn’t been the problem for the run defense that struggled last year, but for a run D that allowed over 212 yards per game, he’s got to be an even stronger anchor.
He already logged in 100 tackles with 9.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss in his four years, and he’s got the pass rushers around him. As long as he’s healthy and producing, the D will be better.
Fresno State Bulldogs Key Game To The 2021 Season
Nevada, Oct. 23
If the Bulldogs have any hopes of winning the West division, taking down the Wolf Pack at home is a must. San Diego State, Hawaii and San Jose State are on the road – and with Boise State to deal with from the Mountain – so lose to Nevada for the third year in a row and there’s going to be a big problem.
2020 Fresno State Bulldogs Fun Stats
– Average Yards Per Carry: Opponents 5.2 – Fresno State 3.4
– Time of Possession: Fresno State 31:38 – Opponents 28:22
– Fresno State 2nd Quarter Scoring: 88 – 2nd Half Scoring: 68