After falling to #11 Oregon 31-24 in week 1 (Ducks now #4 in the AP Top 25), the Dogs will head to the Rose Bowl to face #13 UCLA (2-0).
RELATED: Turnovers doom upset chances as Fresno State falls 31-24 to #11 Oregon
The Bruins look to be a much different team than the one FS beat back in 2018. "They're going to make plays, so it's tackling and getting guys down so you can live to see another down," head coach Kalen DeBoer said Monday.
Would be a 4th straight win for @FresnoStateFB against UCLA. @KalenDeBoer & @GrubbRyan speaking today about the difference the Red Wave made for the team in '18 when FS won 38-14. @ABC30 pic.twitter.com/eZ7NDEiC1X— Stephen Hicks (@StephenABC30) September 13, 2021
UCLA is coming off a bye week but beat #16 LSU 38-27 in week 1.
"This is what you call real football," said defensive coordinator William Inge. "Your cleats need to be laced up, your helmet needs to be strapped, the air needs to be in it and your shoulder pads need to be ready."
At 2-0 on the season, the Bruins are off to its best start under head coach Chip Kelly.
Ten years prior, #25 FS won 36-31 in front of an estimated 20k @FresnoStateFB fans. The @ABC30 report from @JasonOliveiraTV in '08 that included a kiss for Pat Hill at the end 😂 pic.twitter.com/FouVZy2ybD— Stephen Hicks (@StephenABC30) September 13, 2021
Coach DeBoer and his staff know they need to avoid another slow start to have a chance at the upset.
"It's super important for them to just play well all the time. They start putting unneeded pressure on themselves, especially I think when you're looking at Jake (Haener)," DeBoer said. "He just wants to go right out of the gates and make it happen, and you got to take what the defense gives. You got to make sure you're in the right check. Make sure you're communicating properly."
Offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb echoed those thoughts, saying, "We're super excited with what they can do with the ball and we want to get that on the front side of the football game. I think it was right at 34% of our gains were explosive Saturday (plays over 16 yards) and getting some of those front-loaded more in the first quarter would be a lot better and put a little less stress on the team."
👀 RED WAVE, LET'S GO‼️ https://t.co/Pw11zPh4sp— Fresno State Football (@FresnoStateFB) September 13, 2021
Kick-off from the Rose Bowl is set for Saturday at 7:45 and will be broadcast on the PAC-12 Network.