Fresno State is next to come to Memorial Stadium
The Nebraska Cornhuskers kicked off their 2011 football season with a 40-7 pounding of Tennessee Chattanooga. While fans reflect on the game last week debating what the Cornhuskers did well and what they can improve upon, another team is ready to challenge the Cornhuskers in Memorial Stadium.
The Fresno State Bulldogs are the next team on the Cornhuskers’ schedule.
Nebraska fans pride themselves as being known as the best fans in college football. True football fans are not only familiar with their team, but also know who their opponent is for the week.
Here is a list of 10 things you need to know about Fresno State.
Nebraska has been playing football since 1890. The Cornhuskers have played every team from the Omaha YMCA to the Oklahoma Sooners. Somehow Fresno State escaped ever making it onto the Cornhuskers schedule.
The game Saturday is all about bragging rights. Whoever wins this game will be able to say, “We are undefeated against you” or “We have never lost to them.” Since Nebraska and Fresno State have never lined up against each other, the winner of the game will have bragging rights until they play again in 2014.
Quarterback Derek Carr has much hype to live up to at Fresno State. His older brother was a star quarterback at Fresno State from 1997 – 2001. David Carr won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award in 2001 for the best quarterback in college football. He also led the Bulldogs to their highest ever ranking of seventh.
After a stellar career at Fresno State, David Carr was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft in 2002.
Derek Carr will make his second career start for the Bulldogs this week. Last week against California, Carr was pressured the entire game but completed 21-of-33 passes for 142 yards and one touchdown.
Nebraska has an All-American at defensive tackle in Jared Crick, but he won’t be the only good defensive tackle on the field Saturday. Fresno State will line up their star defensive tackle Logan Harrell against the Cornhuskers.
Harrell is listed on the Lombardi and Outland Trophy Award watch lists. Last season Harrell recorded 10.5 sacks which placed him 15th in the country.
Nebraska and Fresno State have something in common… both teams have made it to bowl games in 10 of the past 11 years. Nebraska failed to reach a bowl game in 2004 while Fresno State failed to make it in 2006.
Last year Fresno State lost to Northern Illinois in the Humanitarian Bowl 40-17.
When the game of musical conferences began last year, Fresno State did not want to be a team left standing without a place to sit.
While Fresno State's rival, Boise State already made the jump to the Mountain West Conference, Fresno State will not begin play in the conference until 2012. Fresno State will join Hawaii and Nevada as new members of the Mountain West Conference in 2012.
Fresno State has a rich tradition of sending players to the NFL. Most people would think a small school like Fresno State would not receive much attention from the NFL. That would not be the case.
Many high draft picks came from Fresno State and 30 players still suit up each Sunday.
Some of the notable players from Fresno State in the NFL are: QB David Carr (New York Giants), RB. Ryan Matthews (San Diego), RB. Derrick Ward (Houston), WR. Bernard Berrien (Minnesota) and T. Logan Mankins (New England).
Fresno State is known around college football as the team who will play anyone, any place, anywhere. Fresno State has won eight of its last 12 games against schools from the BCS Conferences. Most of these games have been at their opponents' stadiums.
Fresno State has beaten Kansas State, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, UCLA, Cincinnati and Illinois (twice) since they started increasing the difficulty of their schedule. The Bulldogs losses were to Wisconsin (13-10) in 2008, a double overtime loss to Wisconsin in 2009, Mississippi last year and California last week.
Fresno State is looking to become the first Western Athletic Conference team to beat the Cornhuskers since Arizona State completed the task in 1975. Nebraska lost a close game to Arizona State 17-14.
Nebraska has had success against the WAC in the past five years. Nebraska beat Idaho 38-17 last year, San Jose State 35-12 in 2008 and Nevada 52-10 in 2007.
When college football fans think of the team with the best special teams play, most fans would say Virginia Tech playing “Beamer Ball” of maybe a large school like Florida or Oklahoma.
The correct answer would be Fresno State. Since 2001 Fresno State has blocked 59 punts or field goals. That is more than any other school in Division 1 football.
Last week Fresno State blocked two kicks against California.
If you did not take anything else from this article, the one fact you need to know before the game Saturday is that the Mascot for Fresno State is named "Timeout."
When your girlfriend, son or daughter says, “Look at that cute bulldog at the game,” you can impress him or her by saying, “Yes that is Timeout.”
Just think of how impressed your friends will be!