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Fresno State Keys to Victory vs San Jose State

It's been an interesting week for the Bulldogs. Here are their keys to victory over the Spartans.

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It's year 2 AD (After Derek Carr) and the on-going saga of who will be the heir apparent to Fresno State's greatest quarterback continues. It was murky to start the season. Who would the quarterback be? Zack Greenlee? Chason Virgil? The coaches remained committed to two quarterbacks until one stood out among the rest. Chason Virgil seemed to do that during the Ole Miss game and earned his first career start against No. 21 Utah at home. It looked as if the coaches had made their decision, as planned, to go with one quarterback at the beginning of conference play. Then at the beginning of the fourth quarter last Saturday, Virgin got hurt. It was unclear at the time the severity of the injury, but Greenlee promptly took over behind center and threw three touchdowns in less than five minutes.

The controversy seemed to be reignited. Would it be Virgil or Greenlee? Before the question could even be pondered it was announced that Virgil would be out for the season with a broken clavicle and the school would seek a medical redshirt. Case closed. Greenlee was would start, but as soon as that thought flashed in the collective conscious of the Red Wave new broke that Greenlee had been arrested during the wee hours of Sunday morning for public intoxication.

Linebacker, Brandon Hughes and captain of the Fresno State women's soccer team, Fanny Johannson, were also arrested along with Greenlee. Not a bright spot for the Fresno State athletic department. The school released a statement today on Johannson making the announcement that she would serve a one-game suspension missing today's match vs. Colorado State.

Fresno State Athletics made the following announcement Friday in response to current student-athlete code of conduct cases.

The code of conduct committee has met and made a recommendation to the Director of Athletics and President and soccer student-athlete Fanny Johansson will serve a one-game suspension, missing Friday's match at Colorado State.

All code of conduct cases are reviewed separately and any statement on football student-athlete cases will be released Saturday before Fresno State's game at San Jose State.

This will be Fresno State's only comment on the matter.


1. GREENLEE plays. The details are unclear, and no announcements on Greenlee or Hughes will be made until Saturday, but if the school's punishment of Johansson is any indication it looks like Greenlee and Hughes will be taking the day off.


2. RUN the ball. Okay, maybe this should be number one, but if Greenlee plays, running the ball doesn't become as obvious. Regardless, it should be obvious anyway. Who doesn't want to run against San Jose State?

Throw three games, the Spartan defense has given up, wait for it...

857 yards on the ground. That ranks 127 out of 128 teams, just a shade above Easter Michigan who's locked into the bottom spot with giving up 937 yards on the ground. San Jose State has also given up 10 TDs on the ground, which is also second to last in all of college football.

Here are their numbers through three weeks...

Week 3: Oregon State - 303 yards rushing, 3 TDs

Week 2: Air Force - 428 yards rushing, 5 TDs

Week 1: (FCS) New Hampshire - 126 yards rushing, 2 TDs

Marteze Waller has to be in a giddy mood this week.

3. PRESSURE the QB. Whether Kenny Porter, Joe Gray or Malik Watson, San Jose State seems to have as many if not more questions at the quarterback position than Fresno State. Great. That means the D-line needs to get that first push to open holes for the linebackers to get behind the line scrimmage.

Against now No. 3 Ole Miss and No. 18 Utah, that push was non-existent. Granted it was against probably two of the best offensive lines in college football and thankfully they won't face another offensive line with the power, strength, size and agility as Ole Miss and Utah. The last two weeks should look like running with ankle weights to the Bulldogs. This week the ankle weights come off and we should and need to see the Bulldogs getting to the QB.

San Jose State ranked 94th in the FBS in sacks allowed, having given up seven this year. It's time for the Nick Toth defense to do what it's designed to do... Reek havoc and pressure the quarterback.