'It's time to play:' Fresno State gears up for Saturday's game against USC

Jason Oliveira Image
Friday, August 30, 2019
'It's time to play:' Fresno State gears up for Saturday's game against USC
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None of this year's class of Bulldogs were alive when Fresno State upset USC in the '92 Freedom Bowl. Saturday, they'll get a shot at writing their own history.

LOS ANGELES (KFSN) -- Team leading rusher Ronnie Rivers grew up hearing stories about how his dad Ron Rivers helped the Bulldogs lift the Freedom Bowl trophy at Anaheim Stadium 27 years ago.

The elder Rivers capped the victory with a short touchdown run in the games final minutes on his way to a team-leading 104 yards on the ground.

"That's something he's reminded me about a couple of times. I've seen a couple of the clips," Rivers said.

That chilly damp night will remain in Bulldog lore as close to 30,000 Red Wavers witnessed the biggest victory in program history.

Fresno State outmuscled a Trojan team led by the likes of Willie McGinest and Curtis Conway 24-7.

"Yeah they did they their thing back then so you know...now it's our turn," Rivers said.

For most of these players, however, the '92 Freedom Bowl is nothing more than a blip in the school's football program.

Saturday's game will be quarterback Jorge Reyna's first Division I start under center.

The Los Angeles native is expecting upwards of 200 friends and family in attendance.

"Outside looking in it's very unique but coach Tedford has done a great job of keeping my mind settled and keeping my emotions calm," said Bulldogs quarterback, Jorge Reynas. "For us, it's just another game."

Coach Jeff Tedford is no stranger to playing in the coliseum having coached in the same conference as USC for more than a decade.

But Saturday's game will be his first visit to the Men of Troy as the Bulldogs head coach

"It's going to a cool environment coming out of that tunnel," Tedford said. "The Coliseum is a cool environment but you got to start somewhere and our guys have been working really hard and it's time to play."

Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. ESPN will broadcast the game.

Action News will have postgame coverage on at 11.