My how the tide has turned for Fresno State. We all know how the season began and thankfully for the Red Wave, the Bulldogs have put their disastrous three game start far behind them in the rear view mirror. Since then, the Fresno State secondary, which gave up 14 touchdowns and an average of 324.7 yards a game in the USC, Utah and Nebraska gauntlet, has turned things around drastically.
In the last three games, the Bulldogs defense has given up four touchdowns through the air and averaged 166.3 passing yards per game. Sure that was against FCS Southern Utah, the ground heavy attack of New Mexico and a true freshman, Nick Bawden, starting at quarterback for San Diego State, but a win is a win is a win and this week against UNLV, the trend looks to continue in a positive way for the Bulldogs.
With the Rebels starting quarterback, Blake Decker, possibly unable to start after suffering an injury to his right (throwing) arm in a 33-10 loss at San Jose State last week, the Bulldogs may be facing their second back-up QB in as many weeks. Nick Sherry, a junior, who has some starter experience, is expected to start if Decker is unable to. Either way, the Rebels have struggled with Decker in the line-up, where he is second to last in the MWC in INTs (9) and completion percentage (54.7). Whoever gets the start, the newly invigorated Fresno State defense will be licking their chops facing a 1-5 Rebels team that has been outscored 77-27 in conference play.
On offensive, Fresno State, who has averaged 277.67 yards on the ground during their three game win streak will face a Rebels teams that is dead last in rushing defense, giving up an average of 292.50 yards a game and 234.50 yards a game at home. UNLV has also given up an average of 38.7 points a game, last in the MWC and 30 points a game at home, second to last in the MWC.
This should be a fun game for the Red Wave to watch the Bulldogs continue to improve as they build their confidence before they head up to Boise next week.
The game against UNLV is set for a 10 p.m. ET start Friday and will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.