Sep 24, 2021; Fresno, California, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs wide receiver Jalen Cropper (5) runs the ball against the UNLV Rebels in the third quarter at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Hawaii faces challenge of aerial antics by No. 18 Fresno State

Fresno State had a stellar aerial combo earlier this decade in Derek Carr and Davante Adams, who are both now enjoying standout NFL careers.

Now the No. 18 Bulldogs have another terrific tandem making noise in Jake Haener and Jalen Cropper as they arrive on the Islands to face Hawaii in Mountain West play on Saturday night in Honolulu.

Haener’s 1,842 passing yards are the most in the nation and his 15 touchdown passes are tied for second. Cropper is tied for the national lead with eight scoring catches and with 39 receptions. He also ranks eighth with 455 receiving yards.

The firepower has led Fresno State (4-1, 1-0 Mountain West) to a fast start that includes a 40-37 road win over then-No. 13 UCLA.

Last weekend, the Bulldogs held off UNLV 38-30 as Haener passed for 378 yards and five touchdowns. The scoring passes were the most by a Fresno State quarterback since Carr tossed five or more on four occasions in 2013.

Cropper had 10 catches for 108 yards and matched the school record of four touchdown receptions, joining Adams (twice in 2013), Charlie Jones (1995) and Jim Molich (1942).

“I just feel like there is a lot of trust between me and Jake on and off the field,” Cropper said of the chemistry he has with Haener. “I think going through summer, spring ball and fall camp we had a lot of practices, a lot of time, a lot of chances where we were able to connect on certain plays.

“Getting in the film room and studying a lot of the film on opponents this season, I feel like just everything we do from on and off the field to whatever we do with our relationship, I think that ties in to what we do on the field.”

Haener has moved up the charts in the Heisman race due to his strong start. As of Tuesday, only six players have better odds to win the prestigious award.

Bulldogs coach Kalen DeBoer isn’t surprised that Haener’s candidacy is drawing more support.

“You’ve got to win football games if you’re going to be considered in that realm, in that category,” DeBoer told reporters. “He’s a leader. He’s won football games in big ways. Obviously the stats are something that really draw your attention to what he’s accomplished during this year. It is kind of crazy to think how just consistently week in and week out he’s been overall.”

Fresno State is looking to win in Honolulu for the seventh straight time.

The Rainbow Warriors (2-3, 0-1) also played UCLA this season and were walloped 44-10.

Hawaii recorded a 41-21 road win over New Mexico State last Saturday as standout linebacker Darius Muasau had 11 tackles and two sacks.

Quarterback Chevan Cordeiro ranks fourth nationally with 1,410 passing yards. He has thrown seven touchdowns and six interceptions.

However, the Rainbow Warriors have scored just 50 total points in their three setbacks.

“It’s not a Chevan problem, it’s a team problem,” Hawaii coach Todd Graham said. “I’ve been in this game long enough to know when I’ve got a good product. Everyone out here knows that and our players have a lot of confidence in Chevan.”

Hawaii registered a 34-19 win in Fresno State in last season’s meeting.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Sep 30th, 7:00 PM

Tulane +3.5 -110

Houston -3.5 -110

@

Sep 30th, 7:30 PM

UTSA -6.5 -110

Middle Tennessee +6.5 -110

@

Sep 30th, 8:00 PM

San Diego State +5 -110

Boise State -5 -110

@

Sep 30th, 10:30 PM

Washington (15) -3 -110

UCLA +3 -110

@

Sep 30th, 11:00 PM

New Mexico +15 -110

UNLV -15 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Kentucky (7) +4 -110

Ole Miss (14) -4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Texas Tech +8 -110

Kansas State (25) -8 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Oklahoma (18) -5 -110

TCU +5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Louisville -13.5 -110

Boston College +13.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Michigan (4) -9.5 -110

Iowa +9.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Purdue +10 -110

Minnesota (21) -10 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Illinois +9 -110

Wisconsin -9 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Georgia State +7.5 -110

Army -7.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Navy +16 -110

Air Force -16 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Temple +20 -110

Memphis -20 -110

@

Oct 1st, 1:30 PM

Texas State +19.5 -110

James Madison -19.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:00 PM

Oregon State +11 -110

Utah (12) -11 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:00 PM

Massachusetts +20 -110

Eastern Michigan -20 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:00 PM

NIU -3.5 -110

Ball State +3.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:30 PM

East Carolina -8.5 -110

USF +8.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Alabama (2) -14.5 -110

Arkansas (20) +14.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Oklahoma State (9) +1 -110

Baylor (16) -1 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Iowa State -3 -110

Kansas +3 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Wake Forest (22) +3 -110

Florida State (23) -3 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Virginia Tech +9 -110

North Carolina -9 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Michigan State +6 -110

Maryland -6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Rutgers +41 -110

Ohio State (3) -41 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Northwestern +24.5 -110

Penn State (11) -24.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Fresno State -24.5 -110

UCONN +24.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Central Michigan +7 -110

Toledo -7 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Bowling Green -6 -110

Akron +6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Miami-OH +1.5 -110

Buffalo -1.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Ohio +7 -110

Kent State -7 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

The Citadel

Appalachian State

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Gardner-Webb

Marshall

@

Oct 1st, 4:00 PM

Texas A&M (17) +1 -110

Mississippi State -1 -110

@

Oct 1st, 4:00 PM

Florida Atlantic -4 -110

North Texas +4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 5:00 PM

Wagner

Syracuse

@

Oct 1st, 5:00 PM

South Alabama -6 -110

Louisiana-Lafayette +6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 5:30 PM

California +4 -110

Washington State -4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 6:00 PM

Liberty -2.5 -110

Old Dominion +2.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 6:00 PM

New Hampshire

Western Michigan

@

Oct 1st, 6:00 PM

UTEP -3 -110

Charlotte +3 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

LSU -7.5 -110

Auburn +7.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

Cincinnati -11.5 -110

Tulsa +11.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

Georgia Southern +10 -110

Coastal Carolina -10 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +9.5 -110

Arkansas State -9.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

Troy +6 -110

WKU -6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

Georgia (1) -28 -110

Missouri +28 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

West Virginia +10 -110

Texas -10 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

NC State (10) +6.5 -110

Clemson (5) -6.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

Virginia +2 -110

Duke -2 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

Indiana +3.5 -110

Nebraska -3.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

San Jose State +1 -110

Wyoming -1 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

UAB -10.5 -110

Rice +10.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 8:00 PM

Georgia Tech +19 -110

Pittsburgh (24) -19 -110

@

Oct 1st, 8:00 PM

Florida International (FIU) +14.5 -110

New Mexico State -14.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 9:30 PM

Colorado +19 -110

Arizona -19 -110

@

Oct 1st, 10:30 PM

Arizona State +24 -110

USC (6) -24 -110

@

Oct 1st, 11:00 PM

Stanford +15 -110

Oregon (13) -15 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Eastern Washington

Florida

@

Oct 2nd, 1:00 PM

SMU +4 -110

UCF -4 -110

@

Oct 7th, 7:00 PM

Nebraska

Rutgers

@

Oct 7th, 7:30 PM

Houston

Memphis

@

Oct 7th, 10:30 PM

Colorado State

Nevada

@

Oct 7th, 10:30 PM

UNLV

San Jose State

@