Three Things That Changed the Game: Fresno State

While there are often a large number of plays that decidedly impact a football game, there are almost always two to three things that really shape the game. You know. The big plays. The big stats. The battles within the game that are won or lost. Throughout football season, I will revisit three key happenings from the previous game and talk about the impact they had overall. While the chosen topics may not have ultimately decided the victor, they will always have had a profound impact on the game.

The three things I've chosen for the Fresno State game are:

1. The Rebel Receivers

2. The Rebels stayed turnover-free

3. Ralph Williams' sack of Derek Carr

1. The Rebel Receivers

It's funny to say that the Rebel receivers were the biggest gamechanging factor in a game that saw just eight completions. If you watched the game, you'll understand why I put them here. Completions to receivers went for 46, 40, 22, 13, 6, and 57 yards chornologically. The trio of Ja-Mes Logan (an underrated possession guy), Donte Moncrief (a speedy possession receiver), and Nick Brassell (the speedster) can really make a difference in games. Sure, this came against a Fresno State team with a seemingly porous defense, but it was great to see the receivers go up strong for the ball and come down with it. Nick Brassell also drew a pass interference call on what was certain to be a long touchdown. This group is special, and they're only going to get better with some quarterback stability.

2. The Rebels stayed turnover-free

The Rebel defense forced two turnovers, leading the team to a two possession victory over the Bulldogs, who forced no turnovers. I talked with Whiskey Wednesday moments after the game, and we agreed that Randall Mackey appeared to throwing passes with the intention of keeping the ball in Rebel hands. This resulted in a poor completion percentage (44%), but the ball was regularly thrown at the sideline where only Rebel receivers were in position to make the catch. While this strategy won't work against a team that threatens to score on us every time they touch the ball, it worked against Fresno State. By not turning the ball over, we kept ourselves in good field position (thanks to Tyler Campbell) and ensured that Fresno would generally have to drive a long field in order to score. In a game the Rebels couldn't give away, they didn't.

3. Ralph Williams' sack of David Carr

The Rebels were holding onto a 20-14 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the first half. The Bulldogs had just gotten the ball to the Ole Miss four yard line after a long pass to Jalen Saunders and quick two yard run. On second and goal from the four, Freshman LB Ralph Williams shot throgh the line and sacked Derek Carr for an eleven yard loss. The Bulldogs eventually settled for a 32 yard field goal.... which they missed. a 21-20 Fresno State lead at the end of the half would have forced the Rebs to play quite differently for the remainder of the game. Instead, they were able to continue battling with Fresno for momentum and ultimately put them away.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Red Cup Rebellion

You must be a member of Red Cup Rebellion to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Red Cup Rebellion. You should read them.

Join Red Cup Rebellion

You must be a member of Red Cup Rebellion to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Red Cup Rebellion. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker