2017 Football Preview – Mountain West Conference – Bulldogs
Looking for 2017 Fresno St. Bulldogs predictions? The Bulldogs are hoping for a complete turnaround under new head coach Jeff Tedford.
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- 2017-18 College Football Preview – Fresno St. Bulldogs
- Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
- 2016 Record: 1-11
- Fresno St. Bulldogs Odds to win the 2017 FBS Championship: +50000
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How quickly can Jeff Tedford turn things around?
2017 Fresno St. Bulldogs Predictions: Team Strengths
The defensive line is the main strength: The Bulldogs main strength going into 2017 is their experience in the front four. While not a productive group last year they can only go up compared to the numbers given up to opposing offenses.
Allowing 248 yards rushing per game was their worst season statistically and I believe they will improve immensely.
Converted linebacker Tobenna Okeke should provide a lot of pressure for the front four. He picked up 2.5 sacks last season but should utilize his speed and athleticism to get 6 or 7 this year.
Also on the D-line stacking the middle are two 300 pound defensive tackles, Malik Forrester and Nathan Madsen. Both lineman should wreak havoc on the interior offensive lines they face and both can expect to get double digit tackles for a loss this year.
Coaching will lead to a turnaround: The Bulldogs had a horrific season last year, which was in part due to injuries at key positions. However the talent level had dropped off under the old regime and Jeff Tedford was brought in to turn things around.
Coaching at Cal for 12 seasons he saw plenty of high’s (Aaron Rodgers at USC) and lows (going 1-11 himself with a true freshman QB in Jared Goff). However Tedford knows how to get the most out of his players.
His offensive scheme should do well in a conference not known for airing the ball out, and better numbers from a young QB group should be expected immediately.
His ability to recruit in the state will also be vital as he tries to rebuild the Fresno St. image.
I believe Tedford’s first year will be a lot of mixing and matching to see what players in each unit work well together, then the sky could be the limit for this underrated California school.
2017 Fresno St. Bulldogs Predictions: Team Weaknesses
How good can this set of QB’s be?: The good news for Fresno State is that they have one of the best QB coaches in the country and he should get a lot out of the talent from this unit.
Sophomore Chason Virgil is a very talented signal caller who should be really good in his first year in the system. Last season he threw for 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions but had a horrible 51% completion percentage.
His accuracy should improve dramatically and I expect him to be around 60% for this year.
Behind him on the depth chart is Juco transfer Jorge Reyna who threw for 39 touchdowns and 8 interceptions last year.
Will anyone be able to stop passing offenses? The Bulldogs had one of the worst secondary’s in the nation last season, finishing in the bottom 100 for all major categories.
Losing Stratton Brown, who was their number one tackler and 2nd team All-Conference at free safety, is a major blow. They also lose both starting corners who accounted for 14 passes broken up and 4 interceptions.
This spot should be the most scrutinized on the defensive side of the ball but even with just 1 starter returning I expect them to be an improved unit.
Fresno St. Bulldogs Prediction: 3-9
Fresno St. will improve slightly this season, but brutal road games against Alabama and Washington will make swing games against Nevada and New Mexico pivotal.
The offense will play better but it still may take a year or two before things really kick off under Tedford.
2017 Fresno St. Bulldogs Football Schedule
- 9/2/17 TBD INCA
- 9/9/17 TBD @ALA
- 9/16/17 TBD @WASH
- 9/30/17 TBD NEV
- 10/7/17 TBD @SJST
- 10/14/17 TBD NM
- 10/21/17 TBD @SDSU
- 10/28/17 TBD UNLV
- 11/4/17 TBD BYU
- 11/11/17 TBD @HAW
- 11/18/17 TBD @WYO
- 11/25/17 TBD BOISE
What do you think about our 2017 Fresno St. Bulldogs predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2017!
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