Fresno State Football

Bulldogs offense has added dimension. Can it push them to greater heights at USC and this season?

Tedford on scrimmage clean up and facing USC

Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford hit some high points after the Bulldogs' 16th practice of fall camp – a situational mock game, the focus coming out of the second scrimmage in fall camp. The Bulldogs open the season Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at USC.
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Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford hit some high points after the Bulldogs' 16th practice of fall camp – a situational mock game, the focus coming out of the second scrimmage in fall camp. The Bulldogs open the season Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at USC.

Fresno State doesn’t have wideout KeeSean Johnson anymore. He took his school records and now is with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

But the position he vacated is far from barren. That was made clear every day during fall camp with Derrion Grim, Keric Wheatfall, Jalen Cropper, Zane Pope, Chris Coleman and Jamal Glaspie flying around the practice field.

That group lacks experience, though. The Bulldogs have just 24 returning receptions in the group with Grim last season catching 20 passes and Coleman four.

To put that in context, consider Army, an option team that ranked last among 130 FBS teams last season with only 52 completed passes in 13 games. The Black Knights’ returning wideouts combined for 22 of those catches in 2018.

Will Fresno State’s position inexperience show on Saturday night in the opener at USC?

That could be a key to the game for the Bulldogs, a 13.5 point underdog, and definitely is one thing to watch. Fresno State is running into a defense that lost a four-year starting cornerback in Iman Marshall, a three-year starting free safety in Marvell Tell III, a two-year starter at nickel in Ajene Harris and a starting corner in Isaiah Langley.

It would appear that the opportunity to make some plays is there..

The Fresno State Bulldogs college football team had a rough camp with some injuries at the running back position and while some of the names are different, position coach Jamie Christian said the group is back in order for the season-opener at USC.

And, as solid as the Bulldogs’ group was last season with Johnson setting school records for career receptions and receiving yards, this one has more explosive-play ability..

Fresno State, with quarterback Marcus McMaryion passing for 3,629 yards, had 56 pass plays that went for 20 or more yards, ranking third in the Mountain West Conference.

Yet, it had just three plays that went for 50 or more yards, tied for last in the league with Wyoming, which had one of the worst passing offenses in the nation.

Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
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