A new era of Fresno State football kicks off in 50 days, so we’re marking the occasion with 50 questions.
How many games will the Bulldogs win in 2017? More than three and fewer than seven.
So you’re saying they’ll either go 4-8, 5-7 or 6-6? Yes, Einstein, I am.
Are there any easy wins on the schedule? One. Incarnate Word.
Any others? Nope. When you’ve been as down as the Bulldogs have been recently, other teams label you that way.
Does Fresno State have any chance against Alabama and Washington? No.
Will they stay within five touchdowns? Depends what kind of a mood Nick Saban and Chris Petersen are in.
Then why schedule those games? Athletic director Jim Bartko can give you $2.4 million reasons. Don’t forget 2017-18 marks the return of wrestling and addition of women’s water polo. That’s two more mouths to feed.
Doesn’t new coach Jeff Tedford mind being the sacrificial lamb? Of course he minds. But in Year 1, when expectations are low, he minds less.
Does it matter that the Bulldogs have 16 returning starters when they’re from a 1-11 team? Leaning no, but the answer depends on how many of those starters keep those roles under the new regime.
What’s most to like about the schedule? The bye week before the conference opener, giving the team time to regroup after Alabama-Washington, and all Saturday games.
What are the “best” home games? BYU (Nov. 4) and Boise State (Nov. 25), but you’ll have to be patient since they don’t come till late.
Are the Bulldogs getting new uniforms? From what I’ve heard, no. And I hope you didn’t grow attached to those silver helmets.
Where will Tedford’s impact be most noticeable? Quarterback play. It’s been years since Fresno State had someone on staff with his knowledge at that crucial position.
So who will be the starter? Chason Virgil.
That sounds odd. Wouldn’t Tedford want his own guy? Tedford and offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer want the best guy in there. And in the spring, the best guy was Virgil.
Could things change during fall camp? Of course.
Do the Bulldogs still run the spread offense? Yes and no. The operative word is multiple. In certain situations you’ll still see spread-based formations. In others, it’ll be more of a pro set with more emphasis on edge blocking.
What’s your early impression of DeBoer? I like him. Comes across as a smart guy who’s also relatable. Good sense of humor, too.
Will DeBoer let his quarterbacks throw deep? He ought to. In the three seasons since Derek Carr, the Bulldogs have ranked 116th, 123rd and 109th in the nation in yards per attempt.
Who will be the starting running back? Tough one, because there are so many. Of the returners, Saevion Johnson is probably the best pure runner. But if it’s third-and-1, Josh Hokit gets the football.
Where has KeeSean Johnson made the biggest strides? Competitiveness and toughness. Now that Johnson has answered those questions, look for a 1,000-yard season.
Will the offensive line be any better? It should. Players who took their lumps last year should benefit from that experience, and one who didn’t (Netane Muti) is the best of the bunch.
Where’s the beef? Fresno State has 14 players listed at 300 pounds or more. That’s one more than last year.
Who’s the biggest Bulldog? True freshman Marc-David Bien-Aime (6-foot-5, 365), a tackle from Montreal, Canada.
Who’s the smallest? That would be redshirt freshman Kevin Parker (5-7, 147), a receiver from Oakland.
Who’s the best interview? Tie between receiver Delvon Hardaway and Kyle Hendrickson, recently converted to tight end.
How many Bulldogs are from the Valley? Of the 95 roster players, 26 hail from the Central Valley spanning Sacramento to Bakersfield.
26 Fresno State football players from the Central Valley between Sacramento and Bakersfield
Did Tedford err by importing a defensive coordinator from Canada? Not at all. I think Orlondo Steinauer will prove an inspired choice.
What makes you say that? Because despite the fundamental differences, college football has started to resemble the wide-open passing that is part and parcel of the Canadian Football League. Any adjustment period will be short.
What kind of defense will Steinauer run? A 4-3, from the looks of things.
How does that fit their personnel? Better than the 3-4 they ran under Tim DeRuyter, since there hasn’t been a true nose guard on campus since Tyeler Davison left.
Which position group is most unsettled? Defensive backs coach J.D. Williams has a ton to sort through. There’s quite a bit of talent, but just about all of it is untested.
Who’s the most fiery coach? Early returns point to defensive line coach Jamar Cain.
Who on this defense could blossom into an all-conference guy? Here are three names: defensive tackle Nathan Madsen, linebacker James Bailey and cornerback Ju Ju Hughes.
Which transfers could make an immediate impact? From what I saw in spring, cornerback Matt Boateng and receiver Nanami Parker.
Will any of the true freshmen play? Probably, but the coaches would rather avoid it in most every case.
Which players who struggled last season are primed for turnarounds? On offense, tackle David Patterson. On defense, cornerback Anthoula Kelly.
Do the Bulldogs really have two scholarship kickers? Uh huh.
Why? The previous staff recruited Jimmy Camacho to be the guy. Meanwhile, Kody Kroening blossomed into a Lou Groza Award semifinalist.
Will Fresno State go a third straight year without having a Mountain West Player of the Week? Better hope not. Believe it or not the last Bulldog honoree was Kyrie Wilson on Nov. 10, 2014.
Could the shaky APR situation cost the Bulldogs a bowl berth? Not this season, but 2018 is the concern.
How many of Tedford’s sons work for the athletic department? Both of them. Oldest son Taylor is an associate director of development for the Bulldog Scholarship Fund, while younger son Quinn is the assistant director of player personnel for the football team.
Who’s the person that placed Tedford’s head on the body of a Power Ranger on Twitter? That would be Mike Adsit, the new manager of football graphic design.
Manager of football graphic design? Yes, Fresno State has one of those. It’s 2017.
Will fans see any significant changes to Bulldog Stadium this fall? Not really.
Huh. But those much-needed stadium renovations are still happening, right? Bartko continues to say so. But other than some new drawings, not much news on that front.
Will I really be able to drink beer inside Bulldog Stadium? Cal State University Chancellor Timothy White recently gave each campus the discretion to sell alcohol at campus athletic events, lifting an 11-year restriction.
What is being considered? My understanding is beer won’t be sold at concession stands. Think beer gardens located inside the stadium.
How much are tickets? Season tickets start at $99 for end zones. If you want to be at the 15-yard line, expect to pay $199. There are also two mini-plans where you get BYU plus either two or three other games. Check gobulldogs.com for details. Single-game tickets have yet to go on sale.
Do you ever get tired of being such a Know It All? Can see I’ve worn out my welcome. Bye.