(Photo Courtesy of Laura's Eye Photography)- 1430 ESPN
Boise State (7-2) at (20) Fresno State (7-1) - 8:00 p.m. (et) ESPN HD
Boise State travels to Fresno State for a Thursday night ESPN contest between two teams that are 5-0 in WAC play. It's the latest into the season that two teams with no conference losses have played each other since Arizona State (4-0) beat Brigham Young (5-0), 24-13, on November 12, 1977. Both teams are currently riding impressive winning streaks. Boise State has won its last seven games overall and a WAC-record 31 consecutive conference games. Fresno State has a six-game winning streak and has won its last 10 WAC games. The Bulldogs' last conference loss came last year at Boise State, 33-16. -wacsports.com
Has there been a bigger game at Bulldog Stadium than the one that will take place tonight? Fresno State has hosted top ten teams in the past and other ranked teams including #20 Boise State in 2003. Cal and BYU were big home games in the past, and who could forget Marshall Faulk and San Diego State in 1993. The 63-37 win capped the Bulldogs WAC championship season. Maybe only the 2001 game against #10 Oregon State could rank side by side with today's game.
The hype has carried over to the ticket office, where it looks like just standing room only tickets will be available for today's game. The 5pm start will make it difficult for everyone to be in their seats by kickoff, but there should be no excuses. There has not been a game this big with so much on the line in a long time. In 2001 a packed house showed up on a Friday night to see the Bulldogs and Broncos. That game was moved to a weekday from a Saturday just weeks before kickoff. This year the Thursday kickoff has been on thcalendarer since the summer, no freakin excuses.
After the game join Paul and the gang at the 1430 ESPN tailgate for post game interviews and live post game talk. It is located on the third baseline of Beiden Field and has some great fanfare. Props to 1430 ESPN owner and former Bulldog nose guard Chris Pacheco for bringing the tailgating experience at Bulldogs Stadium to a whole other level.
Boise State defensive tackle Alex Guerrero was talking a little trash to local TV about the preseason hype Fresno State always gets. It seems Guerrero is a little jealous that ESPN analyst Mark May is always on the Bulldogs nuts.
Hey Mr. Guerrero if you and your boys would actually beat someone else other than a WAC school, maybe the love will go your way. As it stands Boise State had one chance to get the nation's attention and failed miserably at Georgia.
It is really a shame for the Broncos because they are a good team. The Broncos are not getting any respect nationally and a win over the Bulldogs would be huge.
Despite not winning a WAC title this decade, Fresno State is still considered the class of the conference. A win today would finally give them a ring to actually show it.
Linebacker Ahijah Lane (ankle), defensive tackle Jason Shirley (ankle), and kicker Clint Stitser (hip flexor) are all questionable for today's game. Joe Fernandez is still nursing a sore ankle but should play against the Broncos.
NCAA 06 PREDICTION
According to Sony Playstation's NCAA Football 06 Fresno State comes out on top for the first time in five years. Adam Jennings breaks open a scoreless ball game with a 48 yard punt return for a touchdown. Paul Pinegar adds a 16 yard touchdown pass to Jaron Fairman for a commanding 14-0 lead.
Boise State strikes back fast with a 76 yard drive in just 3 plays. Jared Zabransky finds a wide open Derek Schouman for a 61 yard touchdown pass. The Broncos tack on a field goal with only 15 seconds remaining in the half and cut the Bulldog lead to 14-10.
After a great kickoff return to the Bulldog 40 yard line, Paul Pinegar finds a streaking Fairman on a post pattern. Fairman breaks two tackles at the Boise 30 yard line and races to the endzone for the 60 yard touchdown. Bulldogs up 21-10 at the half.
Fresno State holds the Broncos scoreless in the second half, and Pinegar caps the scoring with a 1 yard sneak in the beginning of the fourth quarter. The defense stood tall intercepting three Zabransky passes, including one in the endzone, preserving the 28-10 win.