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Huge Respect for Bulldogs in Top 25 Poll Despite Nail-Biting Win

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Jalen Cropper soars for his second TD reception of the game against UNLV on Friday, Sept. 24. (GV Wire/Randy Reed)
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Fresno State advanced four spots to No. 18 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll after rallying to defeat UNLV on Friday night.

The 4-1 Bulldogs remain the highest-ranked college football team in California.

What’s more, Fresno State is ahead of two undefeated Big 12 Conference schools:  No. 19 Oklahoma State (4-0) and No. 21 Baylor (4-0). Finally, the Bulldogs are ahead of No. 22 Auburn (3-1) of the Southeastern Conference.

Sept. 27 Press Conference Recap

Sept. 27 Full Press Conference

Bulldogs Play Next at Hawaii

Next up for Fresno State is a Mountain Conference matchup at Hawaii (2-3) on Saturday. The kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m., and the game will be aired on CBS Sports Network. The Rainbow Warriors defeated New Mexico State 41-21 on Saturday.

Fresno State and Hawaii have faced one common opponent this season in UCLA. The Bulldogs prevailed 40-37 over the Bruins, while Hawaii lost 44-10 to the Bruins at the Rose Bowl.

Cropper Is MW Offensive Player of the Week

Fresno State managed to put away UNLV 38-30 after trailing 14-0 early in the game thanks to the Jake Haener-Jalen Cropper aerial combination.

The Mountain West named Cropper as its conference offensive player of the week on Monday. He finished with 10 catches for 108 yards and four touchdowns. His four receiving TDs tied the Bulldogs’ single-game program record. Haener’s five TD passes were the most in a game by a Bulldog quarterback since Derek Carr in 2013.

Bulldogs defensive end Arron Mosby (3) forces a fourth-quarter fumble against UNLV on Friday, Sept. 24. (GV Wire/Randy Reed)

Mosby Stands Out on Defense

On the defensive side, Arron Mosby led Fresno State with two tackles for losses and forced a fumble that halted a UNLV drive. The senior defensive end has 8.5 tackles for losses in five games.

“For this game, I’ll just say it was a humbling moment for our team, you know,” Mosby said. “Coming off a big win (over UCLA), you have people pumping you up, your head’s in the sky and stuff like that. … It was great to see our team keep fighting and come out with a victory.”

Upsets Shake up Rankings

Two upsets on Saturday helped Fresno State move up in the AP poll. Ninth-ranked Clemson fell in double overtime to unranked North Carolina State. And, Baylor dropped No. 14 Iowa State out of the rankings with a 31-29 win.

Fresno State isn’t receiving nearly as much love in this week’s USA TODAY Sports AFCA football coaches poll. They are ranked No. 21.

 

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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