After losing their first game of the 2013 season, the Fresno State Bulldogs are seemingly no longer in the BCS bowl race despite their 10-1 record. The Bulldogs are currently fighting for an outright Mountain West Conference title and the possibility of some teams ahead of them to fall in the BCS rankings.
It has been a successful season for the Utah State Aggies after a 3-4 start to the year. Utah State has won five straight games and improbably placed themselves in the conference title game despite the horrid start. With just one lone loss in conference play, the Aggies look like they will match up nicely with Fresno State.
Fresno State is led by one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and a guy who has played himself into a high draft position in the upcoming NFL draft, Derek Carr. The senior quarterback has boosted the Bulldogs into the top spot out of all passing offenses in the nation, averaging over 400 yards per game through the air. Carr has passed for 4,462 yards and 45 touchdowns on the year while hitting Davante Adams more than anyone else on the team. Adams has caught 113 passes for 1,477 yards and 22 touchdowns. Josh Harper is close behind with 1,011 yards and 13 touchdowns on 79 catches.
Utah State has a middle-of-the pack offense. Although Chuckie Keeton is one of the best underclassmen quarterbacks in the nation this season, he has been injured and hasn’t played a game since Oct. 4. Freshman quarterback Darrell Garretson has passed for 1,127 yards and nine touchdowns with just four interceptions during the better part of seven games in Keeton’s absence. Travis Reynolds has been the top target on the team, catching 51 passes for 832 yards and four touchdowns. Joey DeMartino leads the 41st-ranked rushing attack with 1,024 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Defensively, the Bulldogs have not been very impressive this season. Fresno State ranks 85th in points allowed as well as 96th in total yards allowed per game with nearly 450. Utah State has been much better on this side of the ball, ranking seventh in points allowed and 13th in total yards allowed per game.
Utah State will travel to Fresno State to take on the Bulldogs at 10 p.m. EST on Saturday, Dec. 7. The game will be broadcasted on CBS.
PREDICTION: Utah State 20, Fresno State 30
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.