Fresno State Football

Coming off a 12-win season, Fresno State starts this year under a big TV spotlight

The Pac-12 Conference announced its television schedule for the first three weeks of the 2019 football season on Thursday and the Fresno State Bulldogs’ opener at USC landed a prime spot.

The game, Aug. 31 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and be televised by ESPN.

USC last season was just 5-7, finishing in a tie for fourth with Arizona in the South Division of the Pac-12, and allowed more points (324) than it scored (313) for the first time since the 2000 season.

Fresno State last made a trip to Los Angeles a year ago, going into the Rose Bowl and beating UCLA 38-14. Fresno State, which is coming off a 12-2 season that included a Mountain West Conference championship and a Las Vegas Bowl win, outgained the Bruins 420 yards to 270 and senior quarterback Marcus McMaryion accounted for five touchdowns, four rushing and one passing.

The last time the Bulldogs were at the Coliseum was Aug. 30, 2014, a 52-13 Fresno State loss in the season after Derek Carr finished his Bulldogs career.

Before that, it was Nov. 19, 2005, when 16th-ranked Fresno State lost to No. 1 USC 50-42 in a game famous for its wild swings in momentum and Trojans star Reggie Bush’s career-high 294 rushing yards.

The Bulldogs’ game at USC is the ninth confirmed for television on Fresno State’s 12-game schedule. The Mountain West on May 2 announced its national television schedule with a game against UNLV at Bulldog Stadium moved to Friday Oct. 18 and a game at San Diego State moved to Friday Nov. 15. The game against UNLV will be televised by CBS Sports Network, the game at San Diego State by ESPN2.

AT&T SportsNet, Spectrum Sports (Hawaii), and Stadium also will select Mountain West games for television over the next few weeks.

Fresno State, which has won 22 games the past two seasons under coach Jeff Tedford, has 12 returning starters including just three on offense. Senior Jorge Reyna earned the starting quarterback position coming out of spring practices, winning a three-way competition with redshirt freshmen Ben Wooldridge and Steven Comstock.

Also Thursday, the Mountain West announced that the 2019 conference championship game will be televised by ESPN on Saturday, Dec. 7 and will be played at 1 p.m. Pacific time at the division champion with the highest MW winning percentage.

Fresno State schedule

Aug. 31: at USC, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Sept. 7: Minnesota, 7:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network

Sept. 21: Sacramento State, TBA

Sept. 28: at New Mexico State, TBA

Oct. 12: at Air Force, 4 p.m., CBS Sports Network

Oct. 18: UNLV, 7 p.m., CBS Sports Network

Oct. 26: Colorado State, TBA, ESPN Networks

Nov. 2: at Hawaii, TBA

Nov. 9: Utah State, 4 p.m., CBS Sports Network

Nov. 15: at San Diego State, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2

Nov. 23: Nevada, TBA, ESPN Networks

Nov. 30: at San Jose State, TBA, ESPN Networks