No. 25 Fresno St. takes a 13-game winning streak into matchup against struggling Nevada

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Friday, September 29, 2023

Nevada and Fresno State are programs going in the opposite directions.

The 25th-ranked Bulldogs (4-0) come into their Mountain West opener against the Wolf Pack on a 13-game winning streak that has vaulted them into the AP poll for the first time this season.

Nevada (0-4) comes into the game Saturday night in Fresno in far different circumstances, having lost 14 straight games for the longest active losing streak in the FBS.

Fresno State's winning streak is the second longest to two-time defending national champion Georgia, which has won 21 straight games.

"When you're 4-0 that can be even more challenging than 1-4 because of expectations and everybody patting you on the back and that type of thing," Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford said. "It's human nature to get in your comfort zone so we have to do our best to stay out of that."

The Bulldogs have two wins against Power Five teams, having won at Purdue and Arizona State. They then scored 53 points last week against Kent State as the offense is finding its stride behind transfer quarterback Mikey Keene.

"I feel like just time, honestly," Keene said about the difference for the offense last week. "We've got a group that hasn't been playing together for a really, really long time but at the same time, just everyone building that trust around each other and the timing and chemistry with one another."


Keene transferred to Fresno State from Central Florida and has done a good job taking over for Jake Haener, who was taken in the fourth round of the NFL draft after a strong college career.

Keene has completed 67.5% of his passes for 1,205 yards and 12 TDs in four games. He has thrown multiple TD passes each week and hasn't thrown an interception the past two games.


Nevada could be making a change at quarterback after starting Brendon Lewis the first four games. Lewis, a transfer from Colorado, has struggled this season. He has yet to throw a TD pass in four starts and hasn't topped 200 yards passing in any game.

Freshman A.J. Bianco has fared better in a mop-up role, throwing a late TD pass in the opener at Southern California and running for a late TD last week. He has completed 65% of his passes, averaging 10.8 yards per attempt compared to 5.1 for Lewis.


The Bulldogs are once again deep at receiver. Erik Brooks leads the way with 32 catches for 448 yards and four TDs. But freshman Jalen Moss had seven catches for 120 yards and a TD last week against Kent State and sixth-year senior Jaelen Gill has TD catches in three of four games.


The Wolf Pack were in position for their first win since Sept. 3, 2002, against Texas State last week. They jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead in the rematch at Texas State before allowing touchdowns on five of the first six drives of the second half to lose 35-24. Four of the scores came on plays of at least 25 yards as Nevada was unable to limit big plays.


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