Thursday, December 9, 2021

Fresno State returns to top 25, faces Boise State

Boise State (4-4, 2-2 MWC) at No. 25 Fresno State (7-2, 4-1, No. 23 CFP), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT (CBSSN).

Line: Fresno State 4 1/2, According to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Boise State leads 15-7.

what’s at stake?

Number 25 Fresno State returns to the top 25 after more than a month and is close to securing a spot in the MWC championship game. The Bulldogs are 4-0 at home with back-to-back victories over Nevada and first ranked San Diego State. Boise State is trying to win games in a row for the first time this season. This is the first matchup between the two teams since the 2018 MWC snow-filled title game when Fresno State won in overtime.

major matches

Boise State’s Red Zone Offense vs. Fresno State’s Red Zone Defense: The Broncos lead the MWC and are ranked 22nd nationally in red zone efficiency, hitting the opponents’ 20-yard line (20 touchdowns, 12 field goals). Inside made 32 trips out of 35. The Bulldogs, who have been very good offensively in the red zone, have struggled to stop teams there, allowing opponents to convert at 85.7%.

players to watch

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Fresno State quarterback Jake Hainer (2,888 yards, 23 touchdowns) is the player who works everything for the Bulldogs but keeps an eye on running back Ronnie Rivers. Rivers is 10th in the conference with 573 yards to spare and four touchdowns, but is trying to come back from an ankle injury that kept him out of last week’s game against San Diego State.

Boise State defensive linemen Scott Matlock and Isaiah Bagnah have had six sacks this season, finishing third in MWC and 20th nationally. The duo also made five more 14 1/2 tackles for the defeat.

Facts & Figures

Fresno State is the last team to suffer a conference road loss to Boise State by defeating the Broncos 28-17 on November 25, 2017. … Broncos offensive lineman Jake Stetz has started in three different positions – center, left guard and right guard. … Fresno State played the MWC title game four times from 2013–18. Boise State has played in each of the last four seasons in the conference championship game.

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