Fresno State head football coach Jeff Tedford, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle and offensive coordinator Pat McCann met with the media on Monday at the program’s weekly press conference. It took place two days after the Bulldogs beat Arizona State, 29-0, in Tempe, Arizona. That win kept the Bulldogs undefeated, at 3-0.
Here are some of the topics the coaches talked about at Monday’s press conference.
Red zone improvement needed
Tedford said Saturday’s 29-0 win over Arizona State was a good win, but there are still areas, especially offensively, where the Bulldogs need to get better.
McCann also offered some thoughts on the red zone issues.
It should be mentioned that Mikey Keene completed his first 14 passes on Saturday, as the Bulldogs got a touchdown and a field goal on their first two offensive possessions. Overall, McCann thinks the offensive performance was pretty good.
And McCann also gave us a new term we haven’t heard before: “opportunity balls.” It was in reference to the touchdown pass from Keene to Jaelen Gill on Saturday.
Johnson’s “special night”
Tedford and Coyle were asked about Carlton Johnson’s individual performance on Saturday. Johnson intercepted three passes as the Bulldogs tied a program record by forcing eight turnovers. The three interceptions by Johnson tied the single-game program record, and the Mountain West record.
Confidence builder, donuts, discipline
We asked Coyle if the defensive performance by the Bulldogs, which included five interceptions and three fumbles, could help build confidence for the unit and pay dividends down the road.
Another impressive defensive performance also might get the Bulldog defenders some more donuts.
Punishment for penalties
Tedford spoke before Coyle at the press conference, so he apparently wasn’t already aware about the donuts for the defense on Sunday. However, when Tedford was asked about possibly rewarding his defense with something for the shutout, he told the story of a different kind of “reward” for his team.
Holmes, Remlinger make impact
Coyle said it was great to see defensive lineman Jacob Holmes have a nice game (one fumble recovery, one sack) playing close to his hometown in Arizona. Like Mikey Keene, Holmes went to Chandler High School, a short drive from the Arizona State campus.
Jacob Holmes wasn’t the only reserve defensive lineman to make an impact. Senior Charles Remlinger also had a sack, and Coyle shared a fun story about Remlinger’s nickname.
Headset issue in Tempe
During the second half of the win at Arizona State, the headsets providing communication from the Fresno State sideline to the booth (where Coyle and McCann usually call games) apparently went down. Both coordinators eventually made their way down to the field, but for a short period of time they both had to just watch the game like fans.
Back-to-back home games
The Bulldogs now have back-to-back home games, starting this Saturday at 7:30pm against Kent State from the Mid-American Conference (MAC). They will then host Nevada in the Mountain West opener on September 30th.
Preparing for Kent State
The 1-2 Golden Flashes were picked to finish last in their six-team division in the MAC in the preseason poll of the MAC coaches. They have a first-year head coach, and had huge losses to the transfer portal this past offseason after their previous head coach, Sean Lewis, left Kent State to take the offensive coordinator position at Colorado under Deion Sanders.
The Golden Flashes got blown out at Central Florida, 56-6, in their opener. They played better against Arkansas in a 28-6 loss on September 9th. Last week, they beat FCS school Central Connecticut State, 38-10, for their first win.
With a new head coach and a bunch of new players, Coyle was asked if that complicated the preparation for the Golden Flashes.