Fresno State-New Mexico State Preview

After two impressive wins over conference foes Hawaii and San Jose State, by an average margin of victory of 22.5 points, the Bulldogs will head to Las Cruces to take on the Aggies of New Mexico State. Fresno State has not lost to the Aggies in 15 meetings between the two teams and that streak may not change this season…

Fresno State will win if…

  • The Bulldogs use a healthy dose of running backs Ryan Mathews and Robbie Rouse.

    The Bulldogs have the nation's third best rushing offense (279.7/game) and they boast the nation's leading rusher in Mathews (162.3/game). Put that kind of rushing offense against the conference's second worst rushing defense (186.3/game) and it could mean another 200-yard rushing performance by Mathews. Don't be surprised if quarterback Ryan Colburn only throws the ball 10-15 times on Saturday.

  • The Bulldogs keep the turnovers to a minimum.

    Colburn has done a nice job over the last two games in protecting the football. After throwing seven interceptions in his first four games, he's gone the last two without one. Though, he's not having to throw the ball a whole lot with Mathews and Rouse carrying the load, when he does throw the ball it's been accurate.

  • They can keep the Aggie offense off the field.

    That may come as a surprising statement to some but although New Mexico State is dead last in the WAC in points per game (14.7) and total yards per game (250.1), oddly enough the Aggies are second in time of possession (32:08) behind Fresno State (34:02). So their offense is staying on the field for quite some time, it's just not translating to points.

  • The defense can force turnovers and not allow any big plays.

    The Bulldog defense has only forced six turnovers all season, four of the six coming on interceptions. That could change this weekend against an Aggie team that has thrown 10 picks against just four touchdowns this season. Keep the Aggies from passing their way down the field and keep the receivers in front of them and the Bulldogs should have a very comfortable lead by halftime.

    Fresno State will struggle if…

  • The Bulldogs try to use more Ryan Colburn and less Ryan Mathews.

    If they try to turn this offense from one of the best rushing offenses in the country into a passing offense, that could spell trouble.

  • Miscues put an end to drives.

    The Bulldogs had three drives end in three plays or yes versus San Jose State last weekend. Two ended with sacks on third down while a fumble ended the other. They need to alleviate that problem and keep it from ending drives that would normally end in points on the board.

  • The secondary gets beat with long passes.

    The New Mexico State passing offense is the worst in the conference (112.3/game), the Bulldogs have a history of making teams look better than they are.

    Prediction...

    Ryan Mathews has another 200+ rushing yard game and they get another 100+ from Robbie Rouse.

    Fresno State 54 New Mexico State 17

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