College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Fresno State vs. Nevada 12/5/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Fresno State visits Nevada on 12/5/2020 at 10:30PM.

Fresno State and Nevada face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Fresno State has a record of 3-1 this season. Nevada is 5-1 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Fresno State Team Defense Preview

Fresno State has had 48 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.54 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive opponents run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Fresno State opponents pass the football 46.99% of the time.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Defenses want to stop offenses from getting into a 3rd Down where the options are plentiful. Unfortunately, this defense is too porous to limit those choices. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 3.07 yards per carry. This defense lets offensive lines have too much control over them on the ground, too much push from the opposing offensive line. This is a team that is getting gashed too much for the tastes of their base. Linebackers are not stopping the bleeding well enough. Long breakout runs against this Defense are far too common. This is a very porous rushing defense that is incapable of preventing a situation where their safeties chase down a running back or quarterback.

Disruptive plays are a part of the fabric of this team’s defensive effort. Game changing plays that drive Offensive Coordinators and Quarterbacks crazy, they find ways to deliver. Fresno State should have a sign ready for opponents near the Visitor Locker Room that says “Welcome to Hell”, this front seven is deep and they cause a lot of problems. Fresno State has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Fresno State Team Offense Preview

Fresno State has had 52 total drives this season and they generate 5.4 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Fresno State is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. Passing plays make up 52.67% of their play calls.Fresno State tends to pass more than other teams.

Fresno State struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.8 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the Fresno State Offense. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Fresno State is a better passing team than running team this season.

Nevada Team Defense Preview

Nevada has had 68 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.57 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive opponents run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Passing plays make up 51.19% of their opponents’ play calls.Nevada tends to face teams that prefer to air it out or opponents want to air it out against them.

Nevada opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Nevada can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.77 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average defense when it comes to how offensive lines control or fail to control them on the ground. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. This front seven is simply unable to make an impact, something must change or else the problems will repeat. Nevada has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Nevada Team Offense Preview

Nevada has had 68 total drives this season and they generate 5.6 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Nevada is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. Passing plays make up 63.78% of their play calls.This is an Air Raid Offense team, they are going to pass the ball a lot and running plays are only used to keep opponents honest.

Nevada struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Nevada can take credit for 2.73 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They are capable of busting out a long run, which is really good when the team has the ball in their own territory.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the Nevada Offense. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Nevada is a better passing team than running team this season.

The Fresno State Roster

The Players to Watch for Fresno State

Jake Haener QB 6-1 194

This season, Jake Haener has put up 1186 yards and 9 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 164.8thus far this season. Jake Haener has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Jake Haener has 64.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 68.57 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 36.0 times this season, which puts him in the 74.44 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Ronnie Rivers RB 5-9 195

This season, Ronnie Rivers has 439 rushing yards on 85 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 7 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Ronnie Rivers picked up 227 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 18 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 2 receiving touchdowns this season.

Jalen Cropper WR 6-0 160

This season, Jalen Cropper picked up 279 yards. He caught the ball 18 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 4 receiving touchdowns this season.

Kevin Atkins DT 6-2 320

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Fresno State, Kevin Atkins has 16 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 90.37 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 4 times this season, which put him in the 97.94 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

David Perales DL 6-3 240

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Fresno State, David Perales has 21 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 5 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 88.36 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 4 times this season, which put him in the 94.33 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 3 fumbles this season.

Evan Williams DB 6-0 198.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Fresno State, Evan Williams had 27 tackles which puts him in the 76.88 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 32.62 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Evan Williams as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 38.31 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

The Nevada Roster

The Players to Watch for Nevada

Carson Strong QB 6-4 215

This season, Carson Strong has put up 1973 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 160.6thus far this season. Carson Strong has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Carson Strong has -82.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 0.32 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 17.0 times this season, which puts him in the 53.02 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Toa Taua RB 5-9 210

This season, Toa Taua has 438 rushing yards on 72 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 3 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Toa Taua picked up 96 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 18 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Romeo Doubs WR 6-2 200

This season, Romeo Doubs picked up 780 yards. He caught the ball 36 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 9 receiving touchdowns this season.

Dom Peterson DT 6-0 285

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Nevada, Dom Peterson has 27 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 7 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 97.71 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 4 times this season, which put him in the 97.94 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Sam Hammond DE 6-5 265

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Nevada, Sam Hammond has 23 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 6 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 92.0 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 3 times this season, which put him in the 90.49 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Tyson Williams DB 5-9 200.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Nevada, Tyson Williams had 37 tackles which puts him in the 89.62 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 32.62 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Tyson Williams as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 84.5 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Fresno State vs. Nevada Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Fresno State 27 Nevada 34

Spread Pick: Nevada -6.5 -112 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: Nevada -234 matchbook
Total Pick: Over 58.5 -114 Pinnacle Sports