Upset Minded

Last week, Fresno State was an underdog looking to gain attention by beating a higher-ranked team at home, but the Bulldogs struggled offensively and missed opportunities in a tight defeat.

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On Saturday, they'll be on the other side of that scenario, hoping to justify their No. 25 ranking when they visit upset-minded Toledo for the first time.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Fresno St -7 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 91% of bets for this game have been placed on Fresno St -7 (View College Football bet percentages).

Fresno State (1-1) had billed last Saturday's matchup with then-No. 10 Wisconsin as one of the biggest home games in school history, but the Bulldogs fell just short in a heartbreaking 13-10 loss.

Kevin Goessling missed three field goals, including a 35-yarder in the fourth quarter, but coach Pat Hill didn't pin the loss on freshman. After racking up 163 yards in Fresno State's opener, running back Ryan Mathews managed just 54 on 17 carries Saturday, and the Bulldogs turned the ball over twice without a takeaway.

"This game does not fall on (Goessling) or any player," Hill said. "It was a team loss. There were so many missed opportunities on offense, defense and special teams."

"We can't blame anybody but ourselves," Mathews said. "We need to execute a little bit better."

The Bulldogs jumped into the poll after winning 24-7 at Rutgers in their Sept. 1 opener and stayed ranked this week despite dropping four spots following the loss. Voters likely took into account a defense that's allowed 20 total points in two games, both against BCS conference opponents.

"I think it shows there's a lot of respect for Wisconsin and a lot of respect for the Bulldogs," Hill told Fresno State's official Web site. "That was a big-time game with two very good football teams and unfortunately someone had to lose. ... We will bounce back."

It won't necessarily be easy against Toledo (1-1), especially in the Rockets' home opener. Toledo is 35-6 at the Glass Bowl since coach Tom Amstutz took over in 2001, including three wins in as many tries against ranked teams.

Two of those victories came in 2003, when the Rockets beat then-No. 9 Pittsburgh 35-31 and then-No. 21 Northern Illinois 49-30. Despite stumbling to 5-7 finishes each of the last two years, Toledo went 9-4 at home over that span.

Amstutz hopes the road back to a winning season began Saturday, when his team won 41-17 at Eastern Michigan, getting 168 rushing yards and two first-quarter touchdowns from DaJuane Collins.

The Rockets led 14-7 at the half and scored 27 points in the third quarter, when Aaron Opelt threw all three of his touchdown passes. Toledo's defense forced five turnovers in the game and allowed 265 total yards in difficult weather conditions.

"At halftime we came in and said we need to come out and explode," Collins said. "In the third quarter, everything seemed to click for us, offense and defense. Everything we did worked."

Very little worked for Toledo the first time the schools met, as Fresno State cruised to a 44-14 home win Sept. 27, 2005.

The Bulldogs blocked a punt and a field goal against Wisconsin, giving them 75 blocked kicks in 142 games since Hill took over in 1997.

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