Fresno State has at least a couple of reasons not named Jeff Tedford to offer some early hope for a bounceback football season in 2017.
Preseason watch lists for national awards are rolling out and a pair of Bulldogs have made the initial cut.
Senior Aaron Mitchell was named to the 70-man watch list for the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the top center in college football. He is one of seven linemen from the Mountain West conference on the list.
Mitchell, who prepped at Cathedral Catholic High-San Diego, started all 12 games in the Bulldogs’ 1-11 campaign a year ago – the first four at left guard and the final eight at center.
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His 24 straight starts dating to his sophomore season lead the Bulldogs.
Kroening’s 15 straight field goals matched the Fresno State school record (Kevin Goessling, 2009). The former Valley Christian-San Jose standout’s 88.2 accuracy (15 of 17) in 2016 ranked No. 13 nationally and No. 5 in the Mountain West.
Tedford opens his first season as Fresno State’s head coach on Sept. 2, when Incarnate Word of San Antonio, Texas, visits Bulldog Stadium. Big tests await the following two weeks – Sept. 9 at Alabama and Sept. 16 at Washington.
FRESNO STATE 2017 SCHEDULE
Home games at Bulldog Stadium
- Sept. 2 vs. Incarnate Word, tbd
- Sept. 9 at Alabama, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
- Sept. 16 at Washington, 6:30 p.m. (Pac-12)
- Sept. 30 vs. Nevada, tbd
- Oct. 7 at San Jose State. tbd
- Oct. 14 vs. New Mexico, tbd
- Oct. 21 at San Diego State. 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
- Oct. 28 vs. UNLV, tbd
- Nov. 4 vs. Brigham Young, tbd (ESPN networks)
- Nov. 11 at Hawaii, tbd
- Nov. 18 at Wyoming, tbd
- Nov. 25 vs. Boise State, 12:30 p.m. (CBSSN)