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Fresno State Football Preview Predictions and 2011 Schedule
Great football coaches bring more than x's and o's to the table. They can bring with them an attitude that transfers to their players on the field. Not all coaches posses this quality. In fact, it's rare. One coach that does possess this quality is Pat Hill of the Fresno State Bulldogs. As a result, Fresno State has been one of this handicappers favorite teams over the last decade and a half, both from a betting standpoint and a fan standpoint.
Pat Hill is known for stating that his program will take on anyone anywhere. It's not just talk either. It's been backed up over and over again in his 14 years as head coach at Fresno State. Over the last decade he has had several 8, 9 and 11 wins seasons and only one losing one. During that time, each year, there are generally 2 or 3 top 20 teams, often times top 10. Fresno State doesn't have to play those teams. They could have added 2 or 3 wins to their dance card each and every year by playing weaker opponents. But they haven't ducked anyone.
Fresno State has long been known as a "giant killer". When they play these top ranked programs, they don't just show up. They play well. They have knocked off a few giants along the way and have covered tons of those games, which always has us paying attention when Fresno takes the field against a well known program. Pat Hill and the Bulldogs will keep us busy paying attention this year as they get several chances to kill giants. Or, at least, higher profile programs then theirs. They open the season against Cal followed by a trip to Nebraska. They'll also host Ole Miss and Boise and that's before we even get past October 7th!
Fresno returns 5 or 6 starters on both sides of the ball. They'll have to replace several key defensive players which may or may not be a problem as the unit gave up 30 points per game last year. Offensively they also have key skill position players to replace including wide receivers as well as revamping the offensive line. They'll also field a new starting QB but this kid has NFL QB bloodlines. The new starter is Derek Carr, younger brother of NFL QB David Carr, also a former Fresno State QB.
Fresno State will be putting emphasis on stopping the spread offense defensively, and they will be changing things up offensively as well, going to the air much more often with Carr behind center. So, big changes taking place along with new blood at several key positions could make for a little trouble for Fresno State in 2011. Just the same, we see at least 8 wins for Pat Hill and his Giant Killers this year and yet another bowl appearance (they have played in a bowl game in 11 of the last 12 years).
2011 Fresno State Football Schedule
9-3-11 at California @Candlestick Park - San Francisco
9-10-11 at Nebraska
9-17-11 NORTH DAKOTA
9-24-11 at Idaho
10-7-11 BOISE STATE (Fri.)
10-15-11 UTAH STATE
10-22-11 at Nevada
11-5-11 LOUISIANA TECH
11-12-11 at New Mexico State
11-19-11 at Hawai'i
11-26-11 SAN JOSE STATE
12-3-11 at San Diego State
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