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: gobulldogs.com/559-278-DOGS (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.
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.