For Fresno State, this will be the weekend they will need to prove something. This is the weekend they can prove they are a much different team that loses big games and forgets to show up. This can be the team that take down the mantra of a program full of letdowns.
For those of us that watched this game last season, it was one of the more painful games to watch.
All-American running back Ryan Mathews goes down with a concussion, and the flood gates got pushed wide open.
Nevada, led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, ran all over Fresno State. They ran around them, through them and over them, and by the time the fourth quarter came to a close, the Bulldogs couldn't wait to return home.
The Wolfpack will be coming into Bulldog Stadium on Saturday—a game this Fresno State team would love to take. They want revenge, payback from a blowout.
Ryan Colburn, Robbie Rouse and company will have the huge tasks of staying on top of Nevada's offense and staying one play and one score ahead for four quarters.
But it won't be the offense that will need to prove themselves, though, don't get me wrong, the offense still has a lot of work to do.
This time, it's the defense that will need to step up and show that it's much improved from last season. It needs to show that it's not going to run over by every running quarterback and speed demon running back that walks through the stadium.
Home field is everything for Fresno State, as it is for every team in college football.
But there's one thing I can't help but wonder with a game like this. How much longer will the university watch an average Fresno State team lose games like this? Is there a time better than another to look for a change in leadership?
Though I've always been a fan of Pat Hill and I appreciate what he stands for, college football is about winning games, and Pat Hill's teams have done that only to a point over the last few years. Though last year couldn't have ended any worse than a loss to Wyoming in their bowl game.
They need to show they're a better team than they have been in recent years. They need to show they can finally step up and play up to their potential and do so for four quarters.
If they can hold down Colin Kaepernick and keep him from running amok around the football field, they might have a chance in this game.
But let him get out of hand and beat you not only with his legs but with his arm, then this could be a very long night at Bulldog Stadium.
They need this win, they want this win and they can get it in front of their home crowd. Leave them feeling like this is going to be a legit team and a legit start to what's to come.
Both of these teams have one more season, 2011, before they move on to the Mountain West Conference. If they want to leave some sort of legacy, there's no better time to do that than right now.
The Bulldogs are still growing and learning, but this is a team that's talented enough to get the win. It will come down to how much they want it.
If they can do all that, they should be celebrating a big win on Saturday night. If not, we could be talking about yet another Nevada blowout and an early exit for the Red Wave fans.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!