Fresno State junior linebacker Kesomi Mafi will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury suffered in the Bulldogs’ loss at Alabama.
Senior Justin Green is at the top of the depth chart at the Sam linebacker position, and with Mafi out sophomore Justin Rice moves up to the No. 2. But Mafi was a key piece for the Bulldogs, working his way up after joining the program on Aug. 10, about a week and a half into fall camp.
“Mafi is a very good football player, runs very well and is very physical,” coach Jeff Tedford said. “He was another guy that was new and each week was trying to learn the whole thing, but a very good football player so we’ll miss him.”
Mafi, who came to Fresno State from Laney College, has already used his redshirt season.
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Against the run – Green, who is 6 feet 4 inches but only 210 pounds, worked in the spring and at the start of fall camp at defensive end before moving to Sam linebacker. He said those reps on the line set him up well for defending the run.
“Being with the line, you learn how to be a hog, just really working and being physical … you’re not afraid to use your face and stuff. You know how physical you have to be.”
Advantage Tedford? – Tedford spent last season as a consultant at Washington, but Huskies coach Chris Petersen said at his weekly press conference that they had not had many conversations of late.
“I didn’t even know we were playing those guys until he got the job and everybody said, ‘Take his playbook,’” Petersen said. “I was chuckling until someone told me we actually played ’em and I’m like, ‘Yeah, you’d better get his playbook.’ But by then it was probably too late.”
The more the merrier – After a review of game tape, Fresno State now has 32 players who have played their first snaps this season, up from 28. That is the most first-year players to see the field at Fresno State over the past four seasons – there were 30 in 2016 and 2015 and 22 in 2014.
Coleman progressing – Freshman cornerback Chris Coleman, who suffered a broken foot at the start of fall camp, has started to do some rehab work on the field. He was expected to miss four to six weeks and come back during the Bulldogs’ bye week, at which time they were to assess whether he could see the field this season or would take a redshirt year.
“We’ll see,” Tedford said. “It’s whenever he comes back, where we are at that point. We’ll see what happens when he gets back.”
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
On to Seattle
FRESNO STATE AT WASHINGTON
- Opening kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Husky Stadium (capacity 70,138)
- Records: Bulldogs 1-1, Huskies 2-0
- TV: Pac-12 Network
- Season-opening results: Fresno State defeated Incarnate Word 66-0 at home and lost at No. 1 Alabama 41-10; No. 6 Washington won at Rutgers 30-14 and defeated Montana 63-7 at home
- Head-to-head: Fresno State and Washington meet for the fourth time, all in Seattle and all in September. Washington won 49-14 in 1979 and 21-20 in 2006. Fresno State won 35-16 in 2004.
- Local connection: Ricky McCoy is a Washington redshirt sophomore defensive lineman out of Roosevelt High. McCoy (6-2, 292) played in two games in 2016 but has yet to see time in 2017.
- More online: Check out Robert Kuwada’s updates and video at fresnobee.com/bulldogs or download the Bulldog Buzz mobile app