As the Bulldogs head to Nebraska for their first game of the season, its that time for the guys at the Barkboard to give you there predictions for the upcoming game. The guys at the Barkboard have taken time to watch, listen, and evaluate this years Bulldog squad and now have decided to give their take on what may happen for the game against Huskers.
LUCIO OURIQUE @RedwaveReport
One thing is apparent about this years Bulldog squad, they're more talented across the board. Only time will tell how this translates to the field. At this point the defense seems to be way ahead of the offense. Which begs the question just how good is this defense. We're about to find out this Saturday against the Huskers. Fresno State's defense keeps the Bulldogs close heading into halftime by forcing a turnover or two.
The running game struggles to get going forcing the Bulldogs to lean on the passing game. Virgil manages to throw two touchdowns but throws two interceptions as well. Nebraska puts pressure on Virgil to learn the system quickly forcing him to make mistakes.
Olsen and Riddering make their presence felt at the tight-end position as the primary targets for Virgil and Camacho hits a field goal from 42 yards out.
Prediction: Nebraska 31 - Fresno State 17
LORENZO REYNA @Lj_Reyna
On paper, Fresno State actually does have some favorable match ups against Nebraska, particularly in the trenches. The Cornhuskers have a revamped defensive line with no returning starter from last year. Sounds like good news for a Bulldog team looking to resurrect their power running attack, as FS can immediately run it down Nebraska's interior defense to test the young defenders.
But if the 'Huskers shut down the run, it immediately brings bad news for Fresno State because the talent in the "Black Shirts" defense is the secondary. For the Bulldog defense, we'll see how deep and talented the FS secondary really is as they'll go against a stacked and experienced wide receiving group led by Jordan Westerkamp.
Prediction: Nebraska 38 - Fresno State 24
JACKSON MOORE @JacksonM_Scout
There was a lot going on in fall camp that would make you think the 2016 Bulldogs will be a much improved team, but for everything to come together in week one at a road atmosphere like Nebraska is a tall order.
Ultimately, it comes down to Fresno State’s work in the trenches. The Bulldogs march in with an inexperienced offensive line and a new-look defensive line. Fall camp practices would suggest that the Bulldogs’ defense could cause problems for Nebraska, but that the offense may struggle to get things going.
If the defense can play up to expectations, the Bulldogs could muddy up the game. Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong has a history of being prone to turning the ball over and Fresno State could take advantage. A revamped defensive line and emphasis on simplifying the scheme to focus on creating pressure and turnovers could lead to a defensive score on Saturday. The Bulldogs will need a swing play or two to be competitive on Saturday.
The offense, on the other hand, has a lot more question marks. Chason Virgil gained experience at Ole Miss, but opening his redshirt freshman year at Nebraska will be tough. Pair that with an unknown offensive line and a lead running back with health concerns, the ‘Dogs could be in for a long day. If Virgil makes (redshirt) freshmen mistakes under pressure, the game will get away in a hurry.
The betting line for this game is almost 30 points. Watch for Fresno State’s defense to slow the game down while the offense struggles in the first half. A combination of Nebraska letting off the pedal and the Bulldogs figuring things out on offense lead to a more competitive second half showing. Fresno State leaves Nebraska with a convincing loss, but not in the same blowout fashion as in year’s past.
Prediction: Nebraska 41, Fresno State 17