Ever since Pat Hill took over Fresno State in 1997, the Bulldogs have been known for their ability to knock off or put scares into some of the top teams in the country.
Despite all that nonconference success, one thing that has eluded Hill during his entire time in Fresno has been an outright WAC title.
``We've had some letdowns in the month of October,'' Hill said this week. ``Sometimes you slow down and try to take a little breather, but there are no breathers. Hopefully this team understands that.''
The 22nd-ranked Bulldogs (3-1) open conference play on Saturday against defending WAC champion Hawaii (1-3, 0-1).
The Warriors have won two straight against the Bulldogs, including a 68-37 victory in Fresno in 2006 that Hill hopes will serve as some sort of motivation this week.
eat that we open up with Hawaii at home. That's always been a very tough opponent for us. The last time they came to Fresno, they put one on us pretty good,'' Hill said. ``I'm not worried about a letdown. We haven't had a letdown yet. We can't afford to have a letdown as a football team. We're not the type of team that can just show up. We have to play every week.''
Since the WAC split into two conferences, with a group leaving to form the Mountain West following the 1998 season, the Bulldogs have been the most consistent team left.
But after finishing in a three-way tie for first place with Hawaii and TCU in 1999, the Bulldogs haven't been able to win even a share of the title since then.
They've lost at least two conference games every year, including back-to-back October losses to Boise State and Hawaii after making it all the way to No. 8 in the AP poll in 2001. Then after playing No. 1 Southern California to the wire late in the 2005 season, the Bulldogs needed just one win for at least a share of the title.
Fresno State lost at Nevada and at home to Louisiana Tech and finished tied for third place. The Bulldogs slipped to fifth place in 2006 and finished third last season.
t play well. I don't know what the reason was but I'm not going to blame it on our games out of conference.''
The Warriors won the WAC last season, racing through the conference undefeated and making it all the way to a BCS berth in the Sugar Bowl.
But with quarterback Colt Brennan gone to the NFL and coach June Jones to SMU, it's been a tough go in coach Greg McMackin's first season.
Hawaii's only win came at home against Weber State of the lower-division FCS. In three games against FBS teams, the Warriors have been outscored 93-34.
One of the biggest problems has been at quarterback, where Hawaii has started three players in four games in search of a replacement for Brennan. Injuries and other issues have made it hard to settle on a starter, but Inoke Funaki is expected to get his third start this week.
``People think we can't make a decision,'' McMackin said. ``It's not that. Every week it's a new problem and this week it's the same situation. In this offense, you need repetition. ... It hasn't been a position that's been very stable for us and it has detracted from our success.''
After ranking in the top 4 nationally in yards passing per game in each of the past nine seasons, the Warriors are last in the WAC and 58th in the nation with 216.2 yards per game this season.
15-game conference winning streak.
``Our team is right with us,'' McMackin said. ``Now we are in a situation that we don't control our destiny in the league. We've got to win one game a week, and win six games to go to a bowl game. We have to get better every week, but we improved more as a team in these last two weeks than we have ever before.''

Recent NCAAF Discussions

2017 NFL Draft Grades on Sun, Apr 2017 by Blade
Betting the 2017 NFL Draft on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
NFL Draft Preview on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
College / NBA today on Sun, Mar 2017 by TtomBoBadly

NCAAF Headlines

  • (STATS) - Ah hail the … Pioneer Football League?
    Yup, one of the two non-scholarship leagues in the FCS doubled its number of all-time NFL Draft picks on Saturday in the fifth round when the D...
  • ROME (AP) Jim Harbaugh stood with a megaphone, his team at his back, in front of more than a thousand spectators, some sporting maize and blue.
    He thanked the Italians in attendance for their...
  • (STATS) - FCS players are supposed to be undersized compared to their FBS counterparts, but they're not all that way.
    The Houston Texans drafted one of the exceptions on Saturday, selecting Bu...
  • FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Arkansas star running back Rawleigh Williams has been removed from the field after an injury during the team's final spring practice.
    The nature of the injury was not ...
  • (STATS) - Most FCS players usually hope just to make an NFL roster. About 16 hours apart, Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp and Samson Ebukam did better than that - they got to remain teammates.

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail 2017 Heisman Trophy Odds There are plenty of candidates for the 2017 Heisman Trophy. Here is a look at the favorites entering the summer.
Thumbnail UCLA vs. Texas A&M Odds Texas A&M and UCLA will have one of the featured meetings during the opening weekend of college football....

NCAAF Team Pages