Know Your Foe: Fresno State Bulldogs at San Jose State Spartans

InsideTheSpartans.com publisher Jackson Moore is also a staff writer for BarkBoard.com, and answers questions from the community on what to expect from the Fresno State Bulldogs on Saturday.

With Virgil out and Greenlee possibly suspended can you fill us in on who would start if those two could not play and what type of QB they are?

If Greenlee is suspended along with Virgil’s injury - Ford Childress would likely be the starting quarterback on Saturday. Childress stands at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds. He was a highly regarded recruit out of high school, as a three to four star recruit. He committed to West Virginia out of high school and enrolled early. After a year of waiting behind Geno Smith, Childress took over as the Mountaineers’ starter in week three of his redshirt freshman season. In his second game, he suffered a torn pectoral muscle. The injury paired with a disciplinary issue led him to leave the program. Childress then spent a year in junior college rehabbing. This offseason, Fresno State offered him a walk-on spot with a chance to earn playing time and a scholarship.

Childress, on paper, is the Bulldogs’ best recruited talent, but he has only played two full games of organized football in the last almost four years. He is more likely to stay in the pocket than Greenlee and Virgil and is a more patient passer, but can be mobile if necessary. He showed flashes of his talent in fall camp, but turnover concern and a lack of knowledge for the playbook kept him a step behind Greenlee and Virgil. Childress played two possessions at Ole Miss in garbage time and threw an interception that deflected off the hands of a receiver.

Quarterback No. 4 on the depth chart is Kilton Anderson. Anderson is a redshirt freshman that appeared to get lost in the shuffle in fall camp. He played in a veer offense in high school in Florida before transferring to a Washington high school for his senior year in a spread offense. His other offer was to South Alabama.

Is Fresno a passing, running, or a balanced team this year?  

Fresno State has a balance team this year. The nature of the Bulldogs’ spread offense is to read and react to the defense. Fresno State often approaches the line of scrimmage with the option to run, read option, screen pass, or throw downfield and try to read what the defense is giving leverage to pre-snap.

That being said, running back Marteze Waller is the best thing the Bulldogs have going for themselves on offense this year and an effort will be made to ensure he gets plenty of touches. Waller ran for 145 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries the last time these two schools met.

Fresno State has 120 rushing attempts and 104 passing attempts through three games this season.

In the past the secondary was an area of weakness.  Now that they have had a few years to mature, is it still a weakness?

The secondary looked to be the same secondary of the past few years at Ole Miss, but they followed up with a better performance versus Utah’s back-up quarterback last weekend. The biggest issue for the Fresno State secondary has been giving up the big plays. Fresno State’s corners kept the Utes’ receivers in check, but the defense allowed 13-of-19 third down attempts and 3-of-3 fourth downs against Utah. San Jose State went 1-of-13 on third down offense at Oregon State. Something will have to give.

Fresno State is currently rotating as many as five cornerbacks this season. Returners Charles Washington, Jamal Ellis and Malcolm Washington are joined by junior college transfer Tyquwan Glass and redshirt freshman Anthoula Kelly. True freshman James Bailey who was recruited as both a defensive back and outside linebacker is currently the Bulldogs’ nickelback.

How about providing us some basic Offensive And Defensive statistics for this season so far, on Fresno State and San Jose State?

 

Offense

 

Points per game: FS: 26.3 / SJSU: 26.7

Passing yards per game: FS: 203.7 / SJSU: 237

Rushing yards per game: FS: 170.7 / SJSU: 179.7

Third down conversion: FS: 22/49 (45%) / 15/39 (38%)

Fourth down conversion: FS: 2/6 (33%) / 1/4 (25%)

Red zone scores: FS: 6/10 (4 TDs) / 9/11 (82%)

 

Defense

 

Points per game: FS: 43.7 / SJSU: 28.3

Passing yards per game: FS: 254.7 / SJSU 73

Rushing yards per game: FS: 156.7 / SJSU: 285.7

Third down conversion: FS: 27/50 (54%) / SJSU: 15/44 (34%)

Fourth down conversion: FS: 6/8 (75%) / SJSU: 3/3 (100%)

Red zone scores: FS: 11/13 (4 TDs) / SJSU: 7/9 (78%)

 

Turnover +/-: FS: -1 / SJSU: -1

 

Fresno State Top Performers

 

Passing

Chason Virgil: 31/56 298 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs - 9 rush, 53 yards

Zack Greenlee: 23/46 313 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT - 5 rush, 23 yards

 

Rushing

Marteze Waller: 66 rush, 307 yards

Dustin Garrison: 24 rush, 67 yards

 

Receiving

Da’Mari Scott: 10 rec, 128 yards 1 TD

Jamire Jordan: 9 rec, 146 yards, 2 TDs

Josiah Blandin: 9 rec, 114 yards, 3 TDs

Chad Olsen: 6 rec, 73 yards, 2 TDs

 

Defense 

OLB Ejiro Ederaine: 24 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT

DE Claudell Louis: 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 FR

ILB Kyrie Wilson: 21 tackles

CB Jamal Ellis: 13 tackles, 4 pass deflections

S Shannon Edwards: 14 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD



What are your impressions regarding Tim DeRuyter and Pat Hill, as compared to the situation at SJSU. Both CTD and PH are/were highly successful at winning winnable games in conference. Both seem to have a knack for reaching the 7-8 win mark every season, even with average teams. Both got reasonable productivity out of QB's not named Carr.

We struggle in hiring a coach that can win the winnable games consistently, which is why our frequency of bowl appearances is so discouraging.

What do you see as the difference between the FSU and SJSU programs?

First, I think buy-in from the university, athletic director and fan base are huge. Fresno State has been fortunate to have Jim Sweeney and Pat Hill help build a devoted fan base in the Central Valley and to be the only game in town. Success for the football program was near plateauing until recent changes with the transition to Dr. Joseph Castro as president and Jim Bartko as athletic director.

I don’t have enough historical background on San Jose State to compare, but the Fitz Hill era amongst other coaching tenures seemed to be disastrous. I believe the hiring of Gene Bleymaier was a big step forward.

Also, I think a big part of the success for Hill and DeRuyter are that they had/have a clear vision and goals for the program, which in turn were heavily bought into by the players, fans, donors, and recruits.

Pat Hill went up and down California and told recruits that if they came to Fresno State they could play against the best teams in the nation. He found blue collar recruits with a chip on their shoulder and they played like it in the role of BCS buster hopefuls. Consequently, the team did not always show up for the conference games.

Since Tim DeRuyter’s first press conference, he has repeatedly stated that the No. 1 goal of his Fresno State program is to win the Mountain West. The players he inherited bought in and he can now pitch two championship rings and another Mountain West Championship appearance to recruits from California to Texas. Consequently, the team has had very little success in non-conference and bowl game opportunities.

Both messages are ingrained from the recruiting process on through.

I’m not sure if Caragher has stated a specific vision or goal for this San Jose State program though I have heard him and interviewed him multiple times. His staff has recruited quality talent, but he hasn’t been able to get the team to buy-in for a full season.

San Jose State’s current staff of assistants is full of better resumes that either Hill or DeRuyter has had. Now that SJSU has recovered from APR issues and is at full strength, there is no reason they shouldn’t be competitive in the Mountain West West Division going forward.


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