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

Fresno State vs. Utah State 11/14/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Fresno State visits Utah State on 11/14/2020 at 2:30PM.

Fresno State and Utah State 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 2-1 this season. Utah State is 0-3 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Fresno State Team Defense Preview

Fresno State has had 35 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 6.0 plays per drive. Fresno State lets opponents run a lot of plays per drive and in the Fourth Quarter, this team could be gassed. Fresno State has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. Passing plays make up 45.24% of their opponents’ play calls.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

This is a pushover defense. There is not enough push from the Defensive Line and not enough imagination from the Defensive Coordinator to cause chaos in the backfield.Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 3.45 yards per carry. Sorry to say this about this front seven, but the best way to make an average offensive line look good is for them to face this horrid front seven. 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.

This Defense has had average success disrupting the flow of the opposing offense.. Getting more specific, this front seven is a cause of a lot of headaches for offenses. They may be good enough to cause trouble in pass rush with just four rushers!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 37 total drives this season and they generate 5.62 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 52.40% of their play calls.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

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. 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. Fresno State can take credit for 2.77 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 has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Utah State Team Defense Preview

Utah State has had 30 total defensive drives this season and they yield 6.77 plays per drive. The struggle is real. Utah State cannot find a way to get opposing offenses off the field. Three and outs are not common and if the team needs a three-and-out late in a game to get the ball back, it is just not happening.Offensives should lick their lips given their inability to stop anyone, this is one of the worst defenses in the country. The Defensive Coordinator coaching search threads on Utah State message boards are flights of fantasy. Utah State opponents pass the football 56.16% of the time.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

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 3.2 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. Running backs should look forward to this porous defense filled with poor tacklers who take terrible angles. 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.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Utah State has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Utah State Team Offense Preview

Utah State has had 29 total drives this season and they generate 5.0 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Utah State is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. Struggles to get ahead of the chains and convert on third and fourth down are common, the offense can stagnate. Utah State passes the football 48.28% of the time.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

Utah State is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. 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 2.86 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to bust out big rushing plays.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the Utah State Offense. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Utah State has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing 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 764 yards and 5 touchdowns. He has thrown 3 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 149.6thus far this season. Jake Haener has thrown 3 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Jake Haener has 79.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 77.94 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 29.0 times this season, which puts him in the 75.98 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 307 rushing yards on 60 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 6 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Ronnie Rivers picked up 176 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 12 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 2 receiving touchdowns this season.

Keric Wheatfall WR 6-2 175

This season, Keric Wheatfall picked up 225 yards. He caught the ball 13 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Kevin Atkins DT 6-2 320

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Fresno State, Kevin Atkins has 11 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 78.14 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 93.47 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 Tackles for Fresno State, David Perales 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 89.2 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 85.91 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 2 fumbles this season.

Bralyn Lux DB 5-11 175

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, Bralyn Lux had 23 tackles which puts him in the 80.72 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 77.36 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Bralyn Lux as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 40.1 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Utah State Roster

The Players to Watch for Utah State

Jason Shelley QB 5-11 190

This season, Jason Shelley has put up 276 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 90.4thus far this season. Jason Shelley has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Jason Shelley has 60.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 71.71 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 21.0 times this season, which puts him in the 67.08 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Jaylen Warren RB 5-8 215

This season, Jaylen Warren has 116 rushing yards on 30 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 2 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Jaylen Warren picked up 6 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 2 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Devin Thompkins WR 5-7 160

This season, Devin Thompkins picked up 122 yards. He caught the ball 17 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Marcus Moore DL 6-3 280

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Utah State, Marcus Moore has 13 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 71.42 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 1 times this season, which put him in the 72.46 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Shaq Bond S 5-10 190

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 Utah State, Shaq Bond had 26 tackles which puts him in the 85.53 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 3 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 96.39 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Shaq Bond as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 40.1 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Zahodri Jackson CB 5-10 185

Considered 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 Utah State, Zahodri Jackson had 16 tackles which puts him in the 77.8 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 37.12 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Zahodri Jackson as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 38.98 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Fresno State vs. Utah State Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Fresno State 34 Utah State 31

Spread Pick: Utah State +10 -102 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: Fresno State -355 5Dimes
Total Pick: Over 53.5 -108 Heritage