Fresno State Bulldogs
(1-1 SU 0-1 ATS)
(2-0 SU 2-0 ATS)
By Jason Green
Fresno State heads East to face the Toledo Rockets, who are the big home favorite and have gotten off to a good start winning their first 2 Games. The Rockets are 2-0, but they have played a couple of teams that are far from powerhouses in Arkansas State and Maine. Still, they have only given up 13 points in the 2 Games and last season they finished 10-2 beating a ranked Temple team in a bowl Game.
Fresno State was crushed in their season opener facing Nebraska and then got in the win column with an easy win over Sacramento State last week. Their defense has a tough task on the road facing a Toledo team that has racked up over 500 yards in each of their first 2 Games.
The last time these teams met it was in 2008 in a barnburner where Fresno State beat Toledo 55-54.
Fresno State failed to cover in their opener at Nebraska and then last week facing Sacramento State there was no line since Sac is a FCS program. Toledo has covered the spread in both of their Games and last week they did so even as 31-point favorites.
After 2 Games Toledo ranks 14th in the nation in passing yards per Game led by QB Logan Woodside, who has 700 yards with 7 TD and only 1 INT. He has a solid WR corps and the Rockets can also run the ball with the duo of Kareem Hunt (146 yards) and Damion Jones-Moore (124 yards).
Fresno State did shut down Sac State last week, but when they were blown out in their season opener their main weakness was defending the run with Nebraska galloping for 292 rushing yards. They have to defend the run well in this Game and they also need to get to Woodside in the pocket, which is a tall order facing a solid Rockets’ offensive line that has not allowed a sack this season.
The Bulldogs are led by QB Chason Virgil, who does have 3 TD, but also has been picked off twice and has been sacked 6 times. Lead rusher Dontel James has 141 rushing yards on the season, but has only averaged 3.6 yards per carry. Virgil may have to carry the team with his arm and while FSU does have a pretty good WR corps with 3 guys with over 140 receiving yards he faces a solid Toledo defense that has a good pass rush.
Fresno State has only covered the spread in 1 of their last 8 road Games and they have only covered in 3 of their last 12 Games overall. Toledo is 14-2-2 ATS in their last 18 Games and in an impressive trend they are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 non-Conference Games.
Jason’s Pick: Toledo will pile up the points early and often in this Game and even giving 20.5 points they will win and cover the spread. Toledo -20.5