Fresno State Football

Fresno State at New Mexico State preview: 17 ‘Dogs have played in first game and list could grow

The Fresno State football team had to replace a lot of starters this season, nine on offense and six on defense, so it’s no surprise that 17 players have played in their first career games for the Bulldogs and 16 made their first career starts.

That number could go up again on Saturday when the Bulldogs play at New Mexico State in their final non-conference game.

Coach Jeff Tedford said that cornerback Chris Gaston, who started the first two games, will miss a couple of weeks due to an injury that required a surgery. Freshman Deshawn Ruffin, who started at that corner spot against Sacramento State, came out of that game injured.

Freshman Randy Jordan finished the game at corner, and if he gets the start at New Mexico State it would be the first for the Tulare Union High product.

“Those guys are good players,” Tedford said. “They’re young, but that’s OK. They’ll compete. They know what they need to do. We’ll coach them up and they’ll do a good job. We have confidence in them.

“But, there are a few freshmen that are playing on the field. It’s just a matter of preparation, getting out there and feeling comfortable, and you have to start somewhere with experience, right?”

The players to make first career starts at USC ...

WR Jalen Cropper, freshman

CB Chris Gaston, RS sophomore

WR Jamal Glaspie, freshman

DE Isaiah Johnson, sophomore

LB Arron Mosby, junior

QB Jorge Reyna, RS senior

TE Juan Rodriguez, RS junior

OL Matt Smith, RS junior

DE Andrew Wright, RS junior

against Minnesota ...

LB Levelle Bailey, freshman

WR Chris Coleman, RS sophomore

WR Zane Pope, RS sophomore

against Sacramento State ...

CB Deshawn Ruffin, freshman

TE Cam Sutton, RSsenior

OL Nick Aibuedefe, RS senior

DE Alex Cruz, RS sophomore

The details: how to watch, and more

When: Saturday, 5 p.m.

Where: Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, N.M. (30,343)

TV: FloFootball is a subscription-based ($12.50 monthly) online service recommended for use in a Chrome browser (Adam Young, Danny Knee); FOX Sports Arizona Plus (DirecTV, channel 686-2).

Other ways to get FloFootball: If you have an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV (fourth generation only), Roku or Roku app on your Smart TV, search for FloSports in the App Store or in the Roku Channel Store.

Radio: 940AM/ESPN (Paul Loeffler, Pat Hill and Cameron Worrell)

Series: Bulldogs lead 17-1

Most recent meetings:

2011 – Aggies 48-45

2010 Bulldogs 33-10

2009 – Bulldogs 34-3

2008 – Bulldogs 24-17

2007 – Bulldogs 30-23

Vegas line: Bulldogs -17.5

Weather: high 80s and sunny with an evening low of 61 degrees

Tickets to future Bulldogs home games: (3647) or any ticket-resale site. Single-game tickets start at $27. Go to the Fresno State website for details about promotions and pregame and in-game activities.

Bulldogs vs. Sacramento State replay: available on Facebook

Records: Bulldogs 1-2, Aggies 0-4

About that Aggies pass offense …

New Mexico State has attempted an average of 41.5 passes a game, 11th-most in the nation. It is, though, just 59th in passing yards per game.

Fresno State cornerback Jaron Bryant, left, breaks up a pass intended for San Jose State receiver JaQuan Blackwell, center, in the Bulldogs’ 31-13 victory over the Spartans Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA

The Aggies are averaging just 6.1 yards per pass attempt. For a little context, Fresno State in its 1-11 season in 2016 averaged 6.3 yards per pass attempt; this year’s Bulldogs are averaging 7.5.

New Mexico State quarterback Josh Adkins has hit 103 of 160 passes (64.4%) for 1,000 yards with five touchdowns, but six interceptions.

The six picks have Adkins tied for second in the nation with Arkansas quarterback Nick Starkel (five by San Jose State in last week’s upset win) and behind a quarterback the Bulldogs will see later this season, Hawaii’s Cole McDonald, who has thrown nine interceptions.


Bulldogs’ Keric Wheatfall makes fast impression on pass game

David Carr with some insight in the play and the positives of Jorge Reyna

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