September 22, 2010

Fresno State Bulldogs vs Ole Miss Rebels Preview

The Fresno State Bulldogs head to Oxford, Mississippi Saturday to take on the Ole Miss Rebels of the South Eastern Conference. The Bulldogs are 2-0 on the season after wins against Cincinnati at Bulldog stadium and Utah State in Logan, Utah. Fresno State will be looking to go 3-0 for the first time since 2004.

Offense-

Fresno State- The Bulldogs were able to get their run game going against the Aggies. Sophomore running Back A.J. Ellis making his first career start replacing injured starter Robbie Rouse ran 29 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Ryan Colburn was 15-23 for 149 yards and one touchdown, he also ran for one touchdown. If Fresno State can keep the run game going and Colburn keeps playing efficient football, the Bulldogs will have a chance to go 3-0.

Ole Miss- The Rebels offense is run by Jeremiah Masoli. The former Oregon quarterback came to Ole Miss this past summer and has made an impact. He is second on the team in rushing yards with 160 yards. On the year he is 40-65 for 580 yards with one touchdown. He has thrown four interceptions. Markeith Summers leads the Rebels receiving core with 235 yards and two touchdowns. This could be a break out game for the Ole Miss offense if Fresno State is too worried about containing Masoli's run game and leaves the receivers roam free.

Defense-

Fresno State- The Bulldogs have done well against the first two quarterbacks that they have faced. It may be a good thing that the 'Dogs faced Diondre Borrel of Utah State this past weekend as he is a running quarterback and they know what they have to do to contain Masoli as well. The defensive line is still playing well as Logan Harrell, Chris Carter, and Chris Lewis continue to be getting pressure on the qb. The Bulldogs forced two fumbles in Saturdays game against Utah State. They will need to force turnovers and keep the Rebel running game contained if they hope to win.

Ole Miss- The Rebels defense has allowed some points this year. They allowed 49 points to Jacksonville State in 2 overtimes however, and allowed 28 points to Vanderbilt this past Saturday. Fresno State has averaged 34 points a game through two games. With the Rebels defense allowing 30 points a game through three games, the Rebels will need to keep the Bulldogs scoring down if they hope to have a chance to beat the Bulldogs. It will be interesting to see one of the best offensive lines in the nation in Fresno State go up against one of the best defensive lines in the nation in Ole Miss. Fresno State head coach Pat Hill says this will be one of the best defenses Fresno State plays all year.

Special Teams-

Fresno State- The Bulldogs special teams played huge in their win vs. Utah State. Jamel Hamler blocked a punt, Rashad Evans had an impressive punt return, and Jalen Saunders was able to get great kick returns to give the Bulldogs great Field position. If Fresno State continues to block kicks and get great field position from their special teams unit, the Bulldogs will have an easier time trying to score the football.

Ole Miss- The Rebels special teams have not shown to much in their three games so far. They have only one punt return attempt the whole season. Their kick returns game is good and can get them good field position. Fresno State will need to contain the speed of the Rebels James Gandy and keep their special teams contained.
Other- This is a huge game for both teams, for Fresno State it is a chance to beat an SEC team for the first time in program history and start the season 3-0. With three straight home games after this trip Fresno State could have a magical season if they get by Ole Miss. For Ole Miss this could be a win that can salvage a season that has not gone so well so far. They will get to 2-2 before tough games against the rest of the SEC schedule. This game should be close and hard fought with both teams having something to play for early on.


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