The Dogs Are Back

The defending Mountain West and Las Vegas bowl champs Fresno State Bulldogs are back in action tonight versus the USC Trojans. Fresno State is a 13 point underdog, and the last time the Dogs beat USC was in the 1992 Freedom Bowl. 27 years later, that could finally change. USC leads the all time series (2-1), but the Bulldogs have an opportunity to rewrite history. After having Marcus McMaryion under center for the last two seasons, Fresno State will have a new man at the helm – Senior Jorge Reynas. The 6 foot 215 pound QB from Downey, California will make his first Division 1 start tonight.

Fresno State will be replacing 13 starters from last year with 9 of them on offense. Only Ronnie Rivers, Jared Rice, Netane Muti, and Syrus Tuitele return on offense. On the defense side, the Bulldogs will have a couple new starters but mostly bringing back a couple of leaders on defense such as linebacker Mykal Walker, Cornerback Jaron Bryant, and Safety JuJu Hughes. Fresno State’s defense is one of the best in the Mountain West and have not allowed 30 points or more in 25 straight games. That’s the best in the nation.

Keys To The Game :

Pressure is mounting on USC tonight coming off of a 5-7 season. With Clay Helton on the hot seat and a new Offensive Coordinator Graham Harrell, we can expect USC to come out aggressive early on and take shots down the field. USC has a lot of talent and speed on both sides of the ball, which could be a factor late in the game. If USC is going to win this game, it will start with J.T Daniels who had 14 touchdown passes. He is going to have to take care of the ball, Daniels threw 10 interceptions last season and Fresno State defense was 11th last year in the nation in forcing turnovers.

For the Bulldogs, defense to offense will be important. If Fresno State can create some turnovers and make Daniels uncomfortable all game, the Dogs have a good shot to win this. Offensively, the Wide Receiver will make plays tonight. A lot of excitement has been around the junior college Transfer Eric Wheatfall and TE Jared Rice. Both will have to perform strong tonight as well. USC secondary is the biggest question mark on that defense. If the Dogs can make big plays and attack the secondary, they will be in a great position to start the season 1-0.

The Red Wave will be big tonight as Dogs look to go 1- 0. This game could come down to the last drive. Whichever offensive makes big plays and can take care of the ball will win this game. Can the Bulldogs steal one in the LA Memorial Coliseum tonight? Tune in tonight on ESPN or ESPN940 AM as the Dogs look to start off the season with a win.  


Twitter: @tnijhar2 | Read all of his articles HERE.

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