Sep 18, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs wide receiver Erik Brooks (3) celebrate after making a catch for a touchdown against the UCLA Bruins in the fourth quarter Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

No. 22 Fresno State an overwhelming favorite vs. UNLV

Fresno State has turned out its fair share of NFL quarterbacks in recent years, but Jake Haener’s performance Saturday night at then-No. 13 UCLA might just be unmatched in terms of its scope and importance.

All he did was throw for 455 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 14 seconds left in a 40-37 upset win, propelling the Bulldogs into the rankings at No. 22 and earning praise nationally for a gritty effort that saw him overcome a painful hip injury.

Haener’s encore performance seems easy enough on paper. Fresno State (3-1) opens its Mountain West Conference schedule Friday night against visiting UNLV (0-3) as a 30 1/2-point favorite.

The Bulldogs are getting mentioned by some as a contender for the Group of Five’s spot in the New Year’s Day bowl lineup. Their one loss wasn’t exactly a disgrace, as they led then-No. 11 Oregon in the fourth quarter before falling 31-24 in Eugene.

Had Fresno State been able to finish out that game, it might be a Top 10 team with two road wins over Pac-12 foes. However, coach Kalen DeBoer’s squad didn’t let the Oregon defeat enter its mind in Pasadena.

“The biggest thing was the belief that we would win,” he said. “There was never a question coming into this game. We know what we are capable of. The best thing about this game is there aren’t any regrets.”

The only regrets in the Rose Bowl might have been from opposing coaches who wished they had Haener leading their huddle. He marched the Bulldogs 75 yards on six plays in just 40 seconds, connecting with Jalen Cropper on a 13-yard scoring strike for the decisive points.

It was the capper of a huge game for Cropper, who caught 14 passes for 141 yards. But Fresno State isn’t a one-dimensional offense, as proven by Ronnie Rivers’ season-high 136 yards rushing and two touchdowns at UCLA. Rivers, a fifth-year senior, has 2,927 yards and 38 scores in his career.

The Bulldogs’ average of 541.5 yards per game ranks ninth nationally and their 402.5 passing yards per game ranks fourth. Logic dictates both averages could go up against a Rebels team that is off to a rocky start.

A 48-3 home loss to No. 14 Iowa State last weekend kept UNLV winless under second-year coach Marcus Arroyo. The Rebels, who finished 0-6 in 2020, have allowed at least 35 points in each game this year. They have scored just 13 points total in their two games against FBS opponents.

Arroyo, whose team opened the season with a double-overtime home loss to FCS power Eastern Washington, inherited a program with a recent history of failure. He also inherited a brutal early schedule with three straight Top 25 foes, including Fresno State.

“The growth in our program will come from challenges like this, back-to-back Top 25 teams and seeing how we stand up against them and continue to find some good football in there,” Arroyo said after the Iowa State loss. “Particularly with a young group and with depth that’s different than some of those teams.”

The Rebels have started different quarterbacks in each of their first three games, none named Tate Martell. The former Ohio State and Miami backup relieved last week’s starter, Cameron Friel, and went 2 of 6 for 27 yards. It’s believed that Doug Brumfield, who missed the Iowa State game with an injury, will get the call in Fresno.

–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

@