Haener officially candidate for big quarterback award, says Rivers will play Saturday

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – We learned Tuesday Fresno State senior quarterback Jake Haener is now one of 40 college quarterbacks, who is officially a candidate for the Davey O’Brien Award, given annually to college football’s top quarterback.

The 16 semifinalists for the award will be announced November 9th.

There is a fan voting component to this award, as the top five vote getters on the @DaveyOBrien InstagramTwitter and Facebook accounts, will receive bonus committee votes, which will be added to the ballots cast by the National Selection Committee.

Of course, Haener and the rest of the Bulldogs are busy preparing for a showdown with undefeated and nationally-ranked San Diego State this Saturday, and even though he didn’t participate in any live practice reps Tuesday, Haener says he expects star running back Ronnie Rivers to play in that game.

“Ronnie’s gonna go, yeah,” said Haener after Tuesday’s practice. “I know he’s doing a lot of rehab this week and getting ready, doing everything he can to be close to 100 percent by Saturday. It’s not as bad as last year, so that’s the positive part, so it’s looking good.”

Haener making reference to the lower leg injury Ronnie suffered at Nevada in the fall of 2020, which forced him out of that game, and caused him to miss almost all of the Bulldogs 2020 season season finale the next week at New Mexico.

Even without Ronnie for the last three quarters last week against Nevada, the Fresno State rushing attack has been finding its rhythm recently, with Jordan Mims picking up the slack against the Wolf Pack after Rivers was forced out of the game after suffering his lower leg injury on a long touchdown run at the end of the first quarter.

Mims finished the night with a career-high 23 carries for 134 yards and one touchdown on the ground, and also added four receptions for 20 yards and an additional touchdown.

“It just makes my job a lot easier, having a really solid run game, with two really good running backs,” said Haener. “It’s definitely helpful, and the O’line took the challenge of being more physical in the trenches.”

“Every game is big, but this one in particular, it’s a West team, they’re undefeated, they’re 20th in the nation or what not, it’s a big game, and it’s a trophy game as well,” said Mims about the matchup with the Aztecs Saturday night in Carson. “I feel like every week is a big game, but this one most importantly is a big one.”

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