With game day fast approaching I thought now was a good time to know your enemy for Saturday. A pair of podcasters from Beware of Bulldogs reached out and we swapped podcast recordings, you can hear that tomorrow, but in the meantime I asked Caleb Nale some questions for the site. You can find Beware of Bulldogs on TSFKAT. Let’s see what they have to say shall we? Keep an eye and ear out for the next episode of the Boiler Alert podcast in order to hear our full conversation with these two guys. It really was a lot of fun.
I think it’s fair to say that most Purdue football fans aren’t entirely familiar with the Fresno State program so I’m going to just ask a baseline question. What is Fresno State’s identity?
When it comes to describing an identity of a football program one could describe it in many ways. Here is what comes to mind when we talk to players, coaches, and anyone involved within the program:Family, Mental Toughness, and Perseverance. Family always comes first in this program. The coaching staff is built of former Bulldogs. Former players are encouraged to visit and welcomed when they do. This culture of family is passed down to the players who take it very seriously and because of this they play for each other, making everyone better. Mental toughness is a given as most players come to Fresno State with a chip on their shoulder because they were overlooked in college or stayed home to play but had to hear so much negative about Fresno from their peers. Either way they are ready to prove everyone wrong. Lastly, you will never see a Fresno State football give up. Because they play for/with their family and because they are mentally tough, Fresno State Bulldogs never quit. You know the kid on the blacktop that may never be the most athletic or most skilled but always ends up sending you home with bumps and bruises and hating the game? That kid is Fresno State.
Who are the key players on offense and defense that Purdue fans need to keep an eye on?
QB Mikey Keene - 3rd QB Jeff Tedford has brought in from the transfer portal. Has experience starting at UCF.
TE Tre Watson - Big boy and freaky athlete.
WR Jaelen Gil - Transfer WR from Boston College. FAST and will be used like last year’s electric playmaker Nikko Remigio.
OC Pat McCann - First year as Offensive Coordinator so how well oiled will the offense be and how similar will the playbook be to last year’s successful offense?
Linebackers - Extremely deep!
CBs Cam Lockeridge & Carlton Johnson - experienced, fearless, athletic
S Dean Clark - Transfer from Kent St. who will be all over the field.
Just watch the entire defense. They can be very good.
Obviously last year was a very successful season for the Bulldogs finishing the season 10-4, are similar results expected this year?
Last year was a great season, however due to injuries some would say they expected more (myself included). When it comes to expectations for this years team, it may come as a surprise to most, but they are similar to last year’s expectations. Yes, the team lost many pieces that produced at a high level last year, but this coaching staff does not rebuild, they reload. Expectations are to compete for aMountain West title in an improved Mountain West Conference. As the prosperity preacher Joel Osteen tells all the poor people on TV, “When you have big dreams, you’re going to have big challenges. If you were an average person you would have average problems.” Another reminder from a wise person that never watched Osteen, my grandfather, “Always keep your expectations low and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”
Fresno State is currently on a 9 game winning streak dating back to October 15, 2022, and including a bowl win over Washington State, what do they have to do against Purdue to make it 10 in a row?
To continue our 9 game winning streak the Bulldogs must be disciplined on offense. No turnovers and dominate on the ground. Our defense will most likely keep us in games. So all the offense has to do is take advantage of good field position, hold on to the football, and let that clock tick. If we do end up airing it out and are successful, I believe it will fall on the offensive line being much improved and making things easy for a new QB.
What position or position grouping is the biggest question mark coming into week one?
The biggest positional question mark for this Fresno State football team has to be the defensive line. I believe it to be deep, however many are worried we lack the players to repeat what David Perales did last season. Who will produce SACKs and TFLs? Who will demand a double team, if any? Can the front four stop the run?A close 2nd would be O-line. Fresno State seems to be cursed at the o-line position because every year we have multiple injuries and a different five seem to be out their every game. This year however, I have been praying more and I think it’s time we exorcise this demon and send it back from whence it came.
Fresno State found themselves ranked 24th in the final AP Top 25 last year. Do you think that was a fair ranking given their schedule and results?
Regarding our 24th ranking last year. It was nice, however we tend to not care what media says about us. We accomplished our goals of aMountain West championship and LA Bowl victory so whatever happened after was extra. Was it fair? Sure. Will we play Anyone? Anytime?Anywhere? Absolutely! Especially if the media is drooling over them.
Finally, if I tell you on Sunday that Purdue was the winner, what would you think was the deciding factor?
If I was told about a Purdue win on Sunday, the deciding factor would be we had two or three turnovers and either Hudson Card is the real deal or we struggled to stop the run.