Fresno State Bulldogs Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Fresno State season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Fresno State Bulldogs Preview
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford, 4th year at Fresno State, 26-14
15th year overall, 108-71 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 10-3, Conference: 6-2
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Fresno State Top 10 Players | Fresno State Schedule
Fresno State Bulldogs Preview 2022
The guy is only 60. What’s more fun than coaching football if that’s your life’s work?
Jeff Tedford was a big time passer for Fresno State in the early 80s, became a hot offensive coordinator and quarterback coaching guru at Oregon, and then he took over Cal and turned it into a – at the time – Pac-10 power.
Forget about what might or might not have happened during the various NFL careers, David Carr, Trent Dilfer, Joey Harrington and Akili Smith were fantastic college quarterbacks. And then there’s that Aaron Rodgers guy who Tedford helped tutor into an all-time great.
Now he has another great quarterback to work with. More on that in a moment.
After two amazing years at Fresno State – and one bad one – he stepped down after the 2019 season. Now with former head coach Kalen DeBoer off to Washington, Tedford is back to his alma mater being gifted a full cupboard of talent on both sides of the ball to make a run at the Mountain West title.
Fresno State Bulldogs Preview 2022: Offense
The Fresno State offense worked. It was No. 1 in the Mountain West in total offense and second in scoring, the passing game was fantastic, now Tedford and offensive coordinator Kirby Moore – the Fresno State wide receivers coach over the past five years – should be able to keep it all going. It starts with …
Jake Haener started his career at Washington, came to Fresno State, was about to follow DeBoer to Washington, changed his mind, and now the quarterback who threw for close to 4,100 yards and 33 touchdowns last season is a hot name in all the 2023 pro prospects lists.
Not only does Fresno State get another year of him winging it around, but his star targets are back. Jalen Cropper caught 85 passes and scored 11 times, Josh Kelly is an excellent 52-catch No. 2 option, and coming in is Nikko Remigio, a 97-catch possession receiver from Cal.
Longtime star RB Ronnie Rivers is off trying to become an Arizona Cardinal, but Jordan Mims can rip off big runs – he was second on the team with 710 yards and six scores – working behind a good-sized offensive front that returns three starters and gets guard Jacob Isaia from Michigan State.
As long as left tackle Donate Bull and the rest of the line are keeping Haener from getting hit, they’re doing their job.
Fresno State Bulldogs Preview 2022: Defense
The offense made all the noise, but the defense wasn’t bad allowing 347 yards and 21 points per game. With seven starters back including a few all-stars, the production should be there. Really, as long as this group can hold serve while the O does its thing, all will be fine.
The pass rush was fine, but what this group did at a higher level was come up with tackles for loss. Even with all the talent returning, losing Arron Moseby and Kevin Atkins – they combined for 28.5 tackles for loss – hurts.
Senior end David Perales will be one of the most disruptive forces in the Mountain West, and 315-pound Leonard Payne is a good, experienced anchor in the middle with Atkins done. The transfer portal will help getting Joshua Pakola from Stanford for the outside.
The back seven should be a rock as long as the corners can come up with a few more big plays.
If Evan Williams isn’t the best safety in the Mountain West, he’s in the team photo. He led the team with 92 tackles, and the linebacker combination of Malachi Langley and Levelle Bailey – 117 tackles between the two – is set even with USC’s Raymond Scott coming into the mix.