Nov 23, 2013; Fresno, CA, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs running back Dontel James (5) runs onto the field with teammates before the start of the game against the New Mexico Lobos at Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs defeated the Lobos 69-28. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

USC vs. Fresno State: An Opening Primer to the Bulldogs

The Steve Sarkisian era kicks off this Saturday at the Coliseum, as the college football season is brought in with a rematch of last year’s Las Vegas Bowl against the Fresno State Bulldogs.

For the second year in a row, Sarkisian is opening against the team he played in Vegas, though these Bulldogs won’t be the same pack that were sounded defeated by the Trojans in December.

Gone is Derek Carr, and his favorite weapon Davante Adams. In is Duke transfer Brandon Connette, along with his quarterback competition counterpart and Carr backup Brian Burrell.

While the Bulldogs on the field might be new for the Trojans, the Fresno State they play for is very much the same campus sitting off Highway 99 when you decide to take the civic route through the central valley to Sacramento.

So to get your feet wet with the first game of the season, let’s gets to know that Fresno State.

Four semi-cool things you didn’t know about Fresno State:

  • According to Google search engine statistics, ‘fresno state green v’ accounts for the second-most search queries that include the school’s name, behind “reggie bush fresno state highlights”. So what’s a funny-looking green V doing on a fire engine red helmet? In short, it’s because neither NorCal nor SoCal wants to be associated with the beautiful city of Fresno. The V stands for the San Joaquin Valley, or the Central Valley, as a way of expanding the Bulldogs’ fan base from Sacramento to Bakersfield. In the heart of the Pat Hill era, it worked, as Fresno State has been known for traveling well despite being a mid-major. Upwards of 20,000-plus red-clad fans flocked to the Coliseum in 2005 to watch the 10-1 Bulldogs nearly pull off the biggest upset in the history of college football.
  • Fresno State has a winery on campus. Yes, literally. USC has Traddies, while Fresno State has an actual winery. It’s the first “commercially bonded” winery of its kind on a college campus, and agricultural students at Fresno State can take classes on wine-making, which helps to educate the future of the California wine industry.
  • One of Fresno State’s most heralded alums is none other Armen Alchian, a renowned economist. He’s so heralded in fact, that he left Fresno State, graduated from Stanford and then founded the “UCLA Tradition” of economics at UCLA. Add that to the list of imported traditions at UCLA, next to their fight song, school colors and strategy for hiring a failed NFL head coach with the hopes of turning around a football program on the decline.
  • Speaking of traditions, Fresno State’s mascot is named ‘Timeout’. He started prancing around the sidelines at Bulldog Stadium in the ’80s, but the school itself called a timeout in 2007 and decided to take it upon themselves to give him a make over. As you would expect –and ASU can attest to this– it was a bad decision. The students hated the new-look Bulldog, saying in the student newspaper that “it looked more like a cat and wears clothes that are maybe a little too tight for his own good”. The cougar-esque Timeout only lasted a season, which was still longer than The Real Housewives of Fresno.

Factoids on Fresno State:

Full name: California State University, Fresno
Location: Fresno, Calif.
Founded: 1911
Enrollment: 23,060
Endowment: $142.8 billion
Acceptance Rate: 59.8%
School colors: Cardinal and Blue
Home stadium: Bulldog Stadium (c. 41,031)
Uniform outfitter: Nike
Best local burger: Dog House Grill
Number of Sonic Drive-Ins within a five-mile radius: Four
Number of In-N-Out locations within a five-mile radius: Three
Best place for a Fresno State student to find a date: Haunted Cornfield at Raisin Hell Ranch

Alumni

Most famous Fresno State grad:

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Most infamous Fresno State grad:

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Fresno State’s Fight Song:

“Fight Victory”
Fight Varsity
On your toes dig in and hit that line!
We’re all pulling hard for you
So fight and give the best there is in you

Fight Varsity
On your toes dig in and hit that line!
We’ll fight on to victory
We’re always true to Fresno State!
B-U-L-L-D-O-G-S
GO DOGS GO!
FIGHT DOGS FIGHT!
“GOOO DOGS!”

Fight Varsity
On your toes dig in and hit that line!
We’re all pulling hard for you
So fight and give the best there is in you

Fight Varsity
On your toes dig in and hit that line!
We’ll fight on to victory
We’re always true to Fresno State!

Fresno State Tweeps:

Blogs and Sites to Follow:

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Tags: Football USC Trojans

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