Kick-off at Bulldog Stadium is on Saturday, October 20th, and is slated for a 2:00 PM kick-off!
Last year, SJSU head coach, Dick Tomey, made the following quote prior to the game against Fresno in San Jose's Spartan Stadium.
"It's easy to get that done (give the players a history of when it was a big rivalry). The hard part is beating them, because they are a good team…..We have to make it a rivalry (again) at this point in time."
Well, SJSU backed up Tomey's statement and beat the dogs 24-14 on a sunny day in San Jose.
The Spartan Squad flooded the field, and celebrated at mid field as the dogs stood on the sidelines in disgust.
And to beat Fresno in their house, would even be sweeter to the "Thunder Nation" (as AD, Tom Bowen calls us on this site).
We had not beaten CSUF since 1990 prior to last years win. Some of the SJSU players were three years old the last time we beat Fresno, but this is an easy week to get motivated (even after the heart breaking loss to Hawaii) because SJSU is playing the dogs of Fresno.
Some history on Cal State Fresno for those fans whom have not had the joy of smoking the dogs in the 70's and 80's:
Football was first played on the Fresno campus in 1921, and for its first year it played as in independent. The Bulldogs joined the California Coast Conference which included several regional opponents the next year, and moved to the Northern California Athletic Conference of which it was among the charter schools in 1925.
These early years laid the foundations of rivalries to come, with games against San Jose State and Pacific in the first year, and adding California Davis, Nevada, and San Diego State in the following years of NCAC play.
The NCAA began classifying schools into University Division and College Division groups in 1937, and the Bulldogs, along with the other major college schools in the conference, broke off into the California Collegiate Athletic Association in 1939, a conference it remained in until joining the Pacific Coast Athletic Association, later known as the Big West Conference, in 1969.
Fresno State football experienced a stretch of seasons hovering around the .500 mark during the later 1960s and 70s. Yet despite also having a number of winning seasons, including two where the Bulldogs went undefeated, they only participated in two university division bowl games before the 1980s.
The Jim Sweeney era bristled with confidence as the Bulldogs became, along with rival San Jose State, the class of the Big West, earning postseason bowl berths four times in the 1980s.
SJSU was the king of the Big West conference in the 1980's, and capped off a long streak of wins against CSUF with a shellacking of the Dogs 44-14 in a game played in San Jose during the 1990 season.
The school paper called the Spartan Daily, ran a headline that read "heel doggy!", and SJSU went on to win the California bowl versus Central Michigan.
Last year SJSU reignited the rivalry, and beat the dogs in fine fashion. SJSU went onto a 9-4 season and was the New Mexico Bowl champion as icing on the cake.
This Saturday, SJSU tries to take the rivalry to the next level as they try to knock off the dogs in their house.
This one is gonna be a barn burner!