Fresno State could be vulnerable.
The secondary is banged up and missing its top cover man.
The offense has been exposed after San Diego State last week showed the remainder of Fresno State's opponents how to disrupt the Bulldogs' timing and rhythm.
And one of these days, Fresno State's late-game magic is bound to run out, right? Four of the No. 16-ranked Bulldogs' seven victories have been decided by less than a touchdown and during the final 75 seconds — three times coming down to the last play.
Good thing for Fresno State (7-0, 4-0 Mountain West) that it returns home to face Nevada (3-5, 2-3) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Bulldog Stadium, where the Bulldogs are 10-0 under coach Tim DeRuyter. The Blackout game also is a sellout with Fresno State debuting its all-black uniforms and encouraging the crowd of 41,031 to wear black, too.
One more win and the Bulldogs will become the fifth team in school history to start a season 8-0, all while honing in on a BCS bowl game that likely will require Fresno State to go undefeated if it is to receive an automatic berth.
"Are we a great team right now? No," DeRuyter said. "We've got a lot of holes we've got to fix. Yeah, you bask in the fact that we're first place in our league and we're undefeated in the league. But we can't rest on anything because we have got to improve each week if we want to accomplish goals that we want to accomplish."
Among the Bulldogs' priorities is adjusting to the absence of top cornerback L.J. Jones, who sprained his knee during Fresno State's 35-28 overtime win at San Diego State.
Fresno State's pass defense already has been one of the worst in the nation, ranking 114th and giving up an average of 286.4 yards in the air.
Redshirt freshman Jamal Ellis will start in Jones' place at cornerback opposite Curtis Riley, a first-year starter. Jones leads the Bulldogs with nine pass deflections, to go along with two interceptions. Riley has four pass deflections and one pick.
Under first-year coach Brian Polian, Nevada has continued to run the pistol offense that the Wolf Pack excelled at under Hall of Fame coach Chris Ault.
Nevada has lost three straight entering the game, but the Wolf Pack offense is bolstered all around when junior quarterback Cody Fajardo is healthy. Fajardo, who missed two games because of a knee sprain earlier in the year, is averaging 291.7 passing yards as well as 52.2 rushing yards per game.
He has completed 67.8% of his passes and thrown nine touchdowns to one interception on the year. Perhaps most impressive is the Wolf Pack's efficiency in the red zone, ranking sixth in the nation with a score on 32 of 34 possessions inside an opponent's 20, including 25 touchdowns.
"Every year, Nevada is a good, tough game regardless of their record or our record," Fresno State nose guard Tyeler Davison said. "We know that Nevada is going to give us their best shot.
"They still run the pistol, which means we've got to stop that dive (run up the middle). We've got a good quarterback. We need to get more of a pass rush to help our secondary."
Fresno State's offense, meanwhile, could have a field day against a Nevada defense that has allowing an average of 36.3 points (ranked 108th in the country) and 496.4 total yards per game (117th).
But Fresno State will have to show that its seven-point production during the first half against San Diego was an aberration. And that Fresno State can counter when a defense attacks the way the Aztecs did — with their cornerbacks playing physical at the line of scrimmage to take away the short pass and their linebackers generating pressure toward the interior of Fresno State's line.
Fresno State yielded just three sacks in its first six games. Against San Diego State, the Bulldogs surrendered two sacks and quarterback Derek Carr was pressured much of the night.
DeRuyter believes the Bulldogs will be better prepared now having experienced such a defense. Bulldogs players believe they can continue to win as long as they don't get content with their success so far.
"Every week, the stakes get higher," Davison said. "We've just have to keep rising to the challenge, go 1-0 every week. It might get tougher. We have to keep getting better."
NO. 16 FRESNO STATE VS. NEVADA
Saturday: 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium (41,031)
Radio: KFIG (AM 940); KGST (AM 1600)
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6362, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Banteola_TheBee on Twitter.