Bulldogs Predicted to Win West Division of Mountain West


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In addition to the preseason predicted order of finish, as voted upon by members of the media, the league office also announced the preseason all-conference team.

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr and free safety Derron Smith were named the league's preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively. The Bulldogs had seven players in all that were voted to the 2013 MW Football Preseason All-Conference Team, which were two more selections than any other school in the conference had. San Jose State came in second with five players on the squad.

Joining Carr on the preseason all-conference team for offense was wide receiver Davante Adams, tight end Marcel Jensen and left tackle Austin Wentworth. Defensively, Smith was joined on the team by defensive lineman Tyeler Davison and cornerback L.J. Jones.

Fresno State, which finished its first season of Mountain West play as tri-champions with a 7-1 mark (9-4 overall) in 2012, received 39 of the 41 first-place votes in the West Division. San Diego State was voted to finish second in the division followed closely by league newcomer San Jose State. Nevada was slated to finish fourth in front of UNLV at No. 5 and Hawai'i in sixth.

Boise State received 40 of the 41 first-place votes as the favorite to win the Mountain Division.

Since the Mountain West began play in 1999, only six teams chosen by the league media to win the conference crown have actually done so, and only twice has the title been shared by multiple teams.

This season marks the first time in conference history for divisional play. Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State and Wyoming make up the Mountain Division, with Fresno State, Hawai`i, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State and UNLV comprising the West Division. The two divisional winners will meet in the inaugural MW Championship Game, which will be held Dec. 7, 2013 at the home stadium of the divisional champion with the highest BCS ranking.

Carr, the 2012 MW Offensive Player of the Year, threw for a Conference-record 4,104 yards to rank eighth in the nation a year ago. He tossed 37 touchdowns on the season (tying for third nationally), against just seven interceptions. The Bakersfield, Calif., product completed a league-record 344 passes on 511 attempts for a 67.3 completion percentage. Carr had three games of more than 400 yards passing, which set a new MW standard. With his 3,544 passing yards in 2011, Carr joined Trent Dilfer (1992-93) as the only Bulldog quarterbacks to pass for over 3,000 yards in consecutive seasons.

Smith, a 2012 All-MW first-team honoree, finished last season with six interceptions, good for second-best in the MW and tied for fifth nationally. The Banning, Calif., native ranked second on the team with 79 tackles, and in addition, had two pass breakups and one forced fumble. Smith keyed a defensive effort that saw the Bulldogs earn national top-20 rankings in pass defense (second at 167.15 ypg), interceptions (third at 22), pass efficiency defense (fourth at 100.75) and opponent completion percentage (fifth at .514).

"Discover Fresno State Football" - 2013 Fresno State football season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at gobulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647). The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.

Assistant Director Athletic Communications Jason Clay contributed to this report.

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