Schedule and Odds
Fresno State came out of nowhere to win the West division last year and face Boise State in the MWC title Game. The Bulldogs finished with a 6-8 record after losing that Game and getting ran over by Rice in the Hawaii Bowl. 5 Dimes has their over/under set at 4 wins, but the over also came with odds of -185 in June, so that over/under should jump before the season starts.
The Bulldogs lost a lot of talent from the 2013 crew, yet still put in a solid season on the offensive side. However, they’ll once again start the season with a new quarterback, and that won’t be decided until the fall. Fresno State’s options include Zack Greenlee (last year’s backup), redshirt freshman Kilton Anderson and freshman Chason Virgil. Due to experience, Greenlee is probably the expected starter, but Virgil could be the best man for the job as he actually de-committed from Mississippi State before joining Fresno.
Their offense’s most experienced player will be at running back with Marteze Waller, who was a beast last season going for 1,368 yards and 11 TDs on 6.1 yards per carry. Behind him, there isn’t as much depth as a year ago, however. The receiving core also takes a hit with Aaron Peck (32 receptions, 419 yards) being the top returning option, along with tight end Chad Olsen. The offensive line will have to replace both guard positions, as well, but the other three spots are set.
Fresno State’s main weakness the past few seasons has usually been on the defensive side and that was the case last year allowing 32.4 points per Game, although it should be noted that their defense came through toward the end of the year to win the West division.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs lost a couple players to the NFL draft, which will hurt. They have enough experience at each position, but will that be enough? The secondary has been routinely gashed and the head of the defensive issues, but three starters return at DB. A big question will be at linebacker with Ejiro Ederaine, who had offseason surgery on both shoulders. They’ll need the three-year starter healthy.
Fresno’s non-Conference Schedule is a little more friendly, but still not much better than last year’s. Instead of USC, Utah and Nebraska, the Bulldogs get to play Ole Miss, Utah and BYU. A win at BYU near the end of the season could be vital for bowl-Game hopes. In MWC play, they open with two straight road Games at San Jose State and San Diego State, followed by Utah State. That’s a tough way to start the year, but things get a little easier until hosting Colorado State in the final Game. Winning the West division will once again require Fresno to beat SDSU, but getting them on the road may be too tough.
While the Bulldogs’ over/under was set at a small number, there’s no reason they can’t reach six wins again, but only if they get some consistency at quarterback. ACCording to head coach Tim DeRuyter, the competition at QB this year is night and day from 2014.
2015 Fresno State Football Schedule
Sept. 3 vs. Abilene Christian
Sept. 12 at Ole Miss
Sept. 19 vs. Utah
Sept. 26 at San Jose State
Oct. 3 at San Diego State
Oct. 10 vs. Utah State
Oct. 16 vs. UNLV
Oct. 24 at Air Force
Nov. 5 vs. Nevada
Nov. 14 at Hawaii
Nov. 21 at BYU
Nov. 28 vs. Colorado State