After a strong season opening performance against Florida State, top ranked Alabama opens the home schedule Saturday afternoon against the Fresno State Bulldogs.

The matchup marks the first ever meeting between Alabama and Fresno State.

Out on the west coast, Fresno State ushered in the 2017 season with a 66-0 demolition at home against Incarnate Word.

The victory was the first win for Jeff Tedford as Fresno State’s head coach.

Prior to his hiring at Fresno State, Tedford compiled an 82-57 in 11 seasons as Cal’s head coach including a Pac 12 Conference co-championship in 2006.

Before Alabama’s home opener, discover three things you need to know about Fresno State.

 

Jeff Tedford QB Developer

While Tedford coached players like Marshawn Lynch, Deshaun Jackson, J.J. Arrington and Jahvid Best at Cal, the former head coach has worked his best magic as a tutor of quarterbacks.

Prior to taking the head coaching position at Cal, Tedford was a quarterbacks coach at Fresno State from 1992-1997 and at Oregon from 1998-2001.

In his career as an assistant and head coach, he has mentored future NFL quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers, Kyle Boller, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Trent Dilfer and Akili Smith. Dilfer and Rodgers later went on to win Super Bowls with the Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers respectively.

 

Recent Struggles as a Program

Coming into the 2017 season, Fresno State has suffered losing records for three consecutive seasons.

From 2014-2016, Fresno State went 10-24 including a 1-11 record in 2016. Last year’s 1-11 campaign was the worst season in program history since 1944 when they finished 0-6 under Earl Wright.

In the previous 24 seasons, the Bulldogs posted a record of 275-161-3 with all but 20 of those wins coming under the direction of Jim Sweeney and Pat Hill.

 

Senior-Heavy Defense

As Alabama’s offense puts the memories of facing the Florida State defense in the rear view mirror, they will encounter another experienced defense in Fresno State.

The Bulldogs are projected to start six seniors among their 11 starters including four seniors along the defensive line.

The quartet of Robert Stanley, Malik Forrester, Nathan Madsen and Tobenna Okeke have started a combined total of 59 games in their Fresno State careers.

Last season, Forrester, Okeke and Stanley each ranked among the top 10 tacklers on the team with Stanley recording 54 tackles and three tackles for loss.