Fresno St Bulldogs 2023 College Football Preview
June 30, 2023
Record – 10-4
ATS – 7-7
Things appeared dire early on as the Bulldogs lost four games in a row and stood at 1-4. They started to play much better, got their starting QB back in the lineup, and went on an epic HEEETER. Fresno St won their final seven regular season games and then took care of Boise St on the SMURF TURF in the Mountain West Championship Game (W 28-16). They topped off the season with a blowout win over Washington St in the Jimmy Kimmel Hollywood Pedo Bowl (W 29-6) to book their second 10-win season in a row.
Fresno St Bulldogs 2023 Outlook
The Bulldogs rode the brilliant arm of QB Jake Haener to a conference championship LY (72%, 20-3 TD to INT) and his talent and leadership will be missed. UCF transfer Mikey Keene (career 23-7 TD to INT) will battle backup QB Logan Fife (2-6 TD to INT LY) for the starting gig and we give the edge to Keene due to his accuracy and experience. The WR room is absolutely decimated as they lose their top-three (!) doods from last year’s squad that totaled an impossible 2,561 yards and 15 TDs. They’ll also be without star RB Jordan Mims who had a remarkable 2022 campaign (1,370, 18 TD). The RB group should still be fine with the return of #2 Malik Sherrod and the addition of Cal transfer Damien Moore. The best news on offense is an experienced line that retains four starters, but they’ll miss their fine center Bula Schmidt. They’ll need to do a better job in pass protection, particularly in light of the change at QB (39 sacks, #113 FBS). It won’t be a disaster, but we expect less production and overall consistency from the offense.
Fresno St has played excellent defense recently (#2, #4 MW scoring defense L2Y) and they look stout heading into this season despite losing ace pass rusher David Perales (11.5 sacks LY). Seven starters are back on this side of the football and they boast a large and experienced DL. They’ve even sprinkled in some transfers up front to provide adequate depth. Last season’s leading tackler Levelle Bailey is back to lead a good-looking LB corps, and the secondary has some nice pieces. However, we don’t expect the Bulldogs to be as stingy as they were LY vs the THROW GAME (#9 FBS pass efficiency D), particularly without Perales who made opposing QB do, as one coach said, “dumb things”. This doesn’t appear to be a brick wall but it’ll be an above-average Mountain West defense.
Carson King is a reliable punter but they’ll need PK Abraham Montano to do a better job (12-19 FG LY). It hurts big time to lose their deadly PR/KR Nikko Remigio who booked a pair (!) of PR TD in 2022.
Overall – The non-conference schedule contains a pair of road tests vs Power 5 foes (Purdue, Arizona St) but also provides two opportunities for BEATDOWNS (Kent St, E Washington). The conference schedule is reasonable and they should get off to a good start (Nevada, at Wyoming, at Utah St, UNLV).
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – New Mexico (Nov 18)
This is a tricky sandwich spot between road tests at San Jose St and San Diego St.
Season Win Total
Market consensus June 30
Over 8.5 -110
Under 8.5 -110
If they can’t beat Purdue or Arizona St on the road they’ll have to go 7-1 or better in Mountain West play to hit the over. That’s not impossible, but this doesn’t look like a team that can coast to nine or ten wins. If you wanna roll with the ‘over’ you can almost certainly find a flat ‘8’ out there so shop around, yo.
Fresno translates into “ash tree” in Spanish. The city is named after the abundant ash trees lining the San Joaquin River.
Fresno is the 5th largest city in California and an important Communist stronghold for the ruling class. **
** needs fact check
Jeff Tedford’s 2nd tour of duty at Fresno St has gone very well as they’ve booked a 20-7 mark over last two years. This season will present a big challenge for the Bulldogs as they lose a BOATLOAD of production on offense and their most disruptive player on defense. They’ve definitely got the class to make the title game but we think they’ll fall just a bit short. We’ll call for an eight-win regular season and another trip to a decent bowl game.