Fresno State Bulldogs (4-2) vs. Wyoming Cowboys (4-1)
The Wyoming Cowboys look to rebound when they take on the Fresno State Bulldogs on Saturday. Wyoming had won their first four games of the season but suffered their first defeat when they fell to the Air Force last Saturday, 24-14. Fresno State saw their three-game winning streak come to an end when they lost to Hawaii on October 2, 27-24.
The Bulldogs are favored by 3.5-points in this game. Fresno State has won two of the last three meetings between these teams, including the last two. The last time these teams met was in October 2018 when the Bulldogs defeated the Cowboys, 27-3. Wyoming has not defeated Fresno State since November 2014.
Hawaii Rallies to Down BulldogsFresno State held a 24-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Hawaii rallied for 17 points in the final frame to earn a 27-24 victory. Fresno State dominated this game, putting up 505 yards of offense to 348, but could not come away with the victory. Quarterback Jake Haener threw for 388 yards and three touchdowns, but his four interceptions played a huge role in the team’s loss.
For the first time, we have ✌️ players on the watch list for the Maxwell Award🏆@TheMaxwellAward is presented annually to the Collegiate Player of the Year@lilronnie_20 | @jakehaener10 | #GoDogs | #PrideOfTheValley pic.twitter.com/GZ0RTP65YT— Fresno State Football (@FresnoStateFB) October 7, 2021
Fresno State is averaging 39.0 points per game, 13th in the nation, and they are 47th in points allowed per contest at 22.5. This is an offense putting up big numbers, averaging 519.8 yards per game, including 396.0 through the air. Despite the tough outing against Hawaii, Haener is a stellar performer, completing 69.5% of his passes for 2230 yards and 18 touchdowns. He had just two interceptions through the first five games.
His primary target has been Jalen Cropper who has 44 catches for 528 yards and nine touchdowns. Josh Kelly has 29 catches for 461 yards. The ground attack has been a solid complement with Ronnie Rivers rushing for 420 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
The defense has recorded 16 sacks and eight turnovers, including seven fumble recoveries. Arron Mosby has been a force on the field, recording three sacks, forcing three fumbles, and recovering two. Evan Williams is the team leader with 41 tackles and has a fumble recovery. Kevin Atkins leads the team with 4.5 sacks.
Second Quarter Surge Not Enough for CowboysWyoming scored 14 second-quarter points, but that was the only offense they could produce in a 24-14 loss to Air Force. Quarterback Sean Chambers ran for a touchdown and threw for another, but he completed just 11 of 28 passes for 143 yards. The Cowboys produced 257 yards of total offense and held onto the ball for just 21:12 in the game.
Wyoming is averaging 30.4 points per game and allowing 23.4 points per contest, both 58th in the nation. The Cowboys offense is averaging 345.8 yards per game. Chambers has been a quality game manager, completing 54.0% of his passes for 893 yards and six touchdowns. He has thrown only three interceptions.
The offense has been led by Xazavian Valladay, who has rushed for 436 yards on 84 carries, a 5.2 yards per carry average. Titus Swen has been a great backup, rushing for 216 yards and averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Ayden Eberhardt and Isaiah Neyor are tied for the team lead with 16 receptions each. Neyor has four touchdown receptions.
Wyoming has 14 sacks, six interceptions, and four fumble recoveries. Azizi Hearn leads the team with 3.5 sacks. C.J. Coldon is the team leader with 33 tackles, with two players close behind with 29 each.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Statistically, these teams are very evenly matched. However, Wyoming does not have the playmakers that Fresno State does. The Bulldogs have one of the most formidable offenses in all of college football, and they clearly have the better quarterback and weapons at the wide receiver position. There is no one who can guard Cropper for the Cowboys, which means they are going to have to double, maybe even triple-team him. That is going to open the door for Kelly and Keric Wheatfall, who should each have a huge game.
Fresno State is 19-8-1 ATS in their last 28 games on the road and is 19-8-1 ATS in their last 28 games against teams with a winning record. Wyoming is 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games. Fresno state clearly comes away with a victory.
Full-Game Total Pick
Combined, these teams are averaging nearly 70 points per contest, which bodes well for a high-scoring affair. It is true that they are only allowing 46 points per game combined, but most of the success the Fresno State defense had come against UConn and Cal Poly. They have given up at least 30 points in three of their other four games, and gave up 27 to Hawaii, including 17 in that fourth quarter. So, they can be scored upon.
Wyoming has given up at least 22 points in three of their last four games, including 43 to Northern Illinois University. This is a group that hopes to make big plays by forcing fumbles, but that is not an area where they should expect to get many loose balls against a very good Fresno State defense.
Take Fresno State to win, 38-24.