“Red Wave, We Need You”: Fresno State Prepares for Road Trip to Ranked Opponent at San Diego State
âThere are even bigger goals for both programs,â Kalen DeBoer said of the rivalry. “Where we are and what we need to do is at stake here.”
For the third time this season, the Bulldogs hit the road to face a ranked opponent (lost to # 11 Oregon + beaten # 13 UCLA).
âI think they’re the most complete defense we’ve come up against in terms of the ability to press, cover and stop the run,â said Dogs offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb.
The Aztecs come in with the best defense in the conference and the fifth best in the country.
“We want to be the best defense on the football field,” said defensive coordinator William Inge. “You have to go get bloody, and that’s exactly what the front defense seven game is for the Bulldogs.”
The last two games FS have won the turnover battle against Nevada and Wyoming, and coach Grubb believes that is shaping up well for the Aztecs.
âKnowing how to attack a defense and still be efficient enough to be on the pitch but have an attacking mindset,â said Grubb.
As much attack and defense are dissected every week, this time special teams could make the difference.
âHe makes a difference in any team,â said DeBoer.
That “difference factor” is Matt Araiza, the Aztecs punter and kicker who is averaging nearly four yards above the NCAA record for punt distance in one season. This weekend against the Air Force, he kicked one out of his own end zone for 81 yards.
The previous week: 87 meters.
âYou know he turns the court so much on you. Almost every punt you have to expect to be deep in your own turf,â DeBoer said.
Home games have given the Bulldogs a clear advantage this year.
âYou can’t help but when the lights go out and the whole crowd goes crazy,â DeBoer said of the atmosphere on Saturday.
This week, he’s calling on those same fans to move past Dignity Health Sports Park. A temporary home for the state of San Diego in Carson which has seen only 41% capacity at best this season.
“It gives our guys a lot of energy and excitement, I think we get used to playing in a good atmosphere more and more. Red Wave, we need you. We need you in Carson,” DeBoer said.
Saturday’s game against San Diego State No. 21 takes place at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, a venue with the highest occupancy rate this year.
âWe’ve had a lot of success taking people to the Los Angeles area. It would be huge,â – @FresnoStateFB Coach Kalen DeBoer on FS fans on the go. @ ABC30 pic.twitter.com/hMY4bsD5gB
– Stephen Hicks (@ StephenABC30) 25 October 2021
MOUNTAIN WEST HONOR
For the third time this season, an FS player has won offensive player of the week in West Mountain. Jordan Mims won the honor for the first time in his career after a career-high 23 carries for 134 yards and two total TDs.
He became the main running back after an injury to Ronnie Rivers. At Monday’s press conference, DeBoer and his team said Rivers was allowed to train “as tolerated” and that they hoped to have him play against SDSU.
If you are planning to visit Carson, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health requires either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within the past 72 hours.
Kick-off is set for 7:30 a.m. on Saturday 30/10. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
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