Pretty good write-up and I like the prediction.
Number(s) of the game
3.64 and 3.48. Those are the points allowed per trip inside the 40 by Fresno State and Houston, respectively, and they rank 13th and 9th in the FBS. Put another way, both teams allowed a touchdown in the red zone exactly 54.55% of the time in conference play (Fresno State: 12-of-22; Houston: 18-of-33). Whoever wins this battle will win this game.
This doesn’t strike me as a particularly good matchup for the Bulldogs, in the way that Boise State, at least, seemed like a battle of equals. The Cougars, like the Broncos, are remarkably similar to Fresno State, but it’s also clear that Houston will take the field with a singular talent that could disrupt many key strengths.
I do anticipate that the defense will play at its usual level, but I won’t be surprised if the offense scuffles more than usual because of the man in the middle of the Houston defense. If you’ve been paying attention to Fresno State football throughout November, expect more of the same, but the Bulldogs will probably need another year to erase its bowl drought. Houston 20, Fresno State 13.