No. 25 Fresno State looks to keep rolling vs. Nevada

Field Level Media

September 28, 2023 at 1:35 am.

No. 25 Fresno State figures to have few issues stretching its winning streak to 14 straight games when it hosts struggling Nevada in the Mountain West opener for both schools on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs (4-0) own the second-longest winning streak in the country behind top-ranked Georgia (21), while the Wolf Pack (0-4) have dropped 14 straight contests, the longest FBS losing skid in the country.

But don’t make mention of a possible easy night on the football field to Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford. He’ll quickly remind you about the Bulldogs losing four of their first five games in 2022 before starting the winning streak.

“When you’re 4-0, that can be even more challenging than 1-4 because of expectation and everybody patting you on the back and all that type of thing,” Tedford said during a press conference. “It’s human nature to get in your comfort zone, so we have to do our best to stay out of that.

“We’re just going to go to work each week, one day at a time and just try to continue to get better every week.”

The Bulldogs’ winning streak is the second-longest in school history behind a 17-game stretch in 1988-89.

Fresno State’s season resume includes a 39-35 victory over Purdue of the Big Ten and a 29-0 trouncing of Arizona State of the Pac-12. Both games were played on the road.

Last week, the Bulldogs rolled to a 53-10 victory over visiting Kent State. Quarterback Mikey Keene was 24-of-31 passing for 325 yards and four touchdowns.

Keene has thrown for 1,205 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions while helping Fresno State average 38.8 points per game.

Meanwhile, Nevada is allowing 41.3 points per game and its defeats include being trampled at home 33-6 by FCS program Idaho. Last week, the Wolf Pack led by 17 at halftime before succumbing 35-24 at Texas State.

Tedford urges his troops to pay no attention to Nevada’s 0-4 record.

“You’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game every week in the conference,” Tedford said. “People are extra motivated for conference play, so you know you’re going to get everybody’s best shot.”

Wolf Pack coach Ken Wilson is trying to remain upbeat despite the program’s long victory drought. This season’s four setbacks are by an average of 24.3 points, including a 66-14 loss at then-No. 6 Southern California.

“Well, we haven’t won a game, so (we are) not where we need to be,” Wilson said during a press conference. “We played some really good football teams. The last two games, we’ve been ahead or tied at halftime and lost those games in the second half. We’ve got to learn to finish games and do disciplined football at the end of games. I think our better days are ahead of us.”

Wilson insists the skid is close to ending.

“It’s going to happen,” Wilson said. “They’re going to play that way. Every win means something. … At the end of the day, if you do the little things play after play after play and you continue to improve like we are, you’re going to win football games.”

Nevada quarterback Brendon Lewis hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass while compiling 550 yards and tossing two interceptions. Lewis leads the squad with 171 rushing yards and has scored two touchdowns.

Fresno State has won the past two meetings and four of the last six. The Bulldogs won 41-14 in Reno last season.

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