FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State Athletics Department today announced the two additional non-conference games to the 2011 Bulldog football schedule. With the addition of two in-state schools, including the University of California, the upcoming season is expected to be one of the most exciting and competitive in Bulldog history.
Fresno State will open the season on Sept. 3 against the Cal Bears at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. It will be just the third meeting between the two schools with Fresno State holding a 2-0 lead in the series. Fresno State won the last meeting 17-3 in 2000 at Bulldog Stadium. Russ Potts Productions and WFI Stadium, Inc.. will serve as the game's promoters. Information on tickets, telecast and kickoff time will be announced at later dates
The Dogs will close the season on Dec. 3 at San Diego State. The Bulldogs and Aztecs have not played since 2002, a 16-14 Fresno State win at Bulldog Stadium. The two schools will be conference members beginning in 2012 when Fresno State joins the Mountain West Conference. The game will be played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Fresno State and San Diego State have played 50 times in a series that began in 1923. The Aztecs are 8-4 this season and making their first bowl appearance since 1998. SDSU is headed to the Poinsettia Bowl in its own stadium to play Navy on Dec. 23.
The additional of Cal and San Diego State completes the non-conference portion of the schedule that includes Nebraska, Boise State, Mississippi and North Dakota.
"We are very pleased to have arrived at agreements with Cal and San Diego State," said Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh. "These additions complete a 2011 schedule that provides the traditional challenge for our coaches and players as well as eight opportunities for fans to see their Bulldogs play in the state of California."
Because Fresno State is scheduled to play at Hawai'i next season, it is eligible to play 13 regular season games. The Dogs will play six home games, six on the road and one neutral site game. Fresno State has not played 13 regular season games since 2003.
"We have not played 13 regular season games for a few years," said head coach Pat Hill. "We felt adding a 13th game would be good if it was something that would be good for our fans and program. Adding San Diego State back to the schedule was a win-win situation for both schools. They are a long-time rival, a Cal State school and a program on the rise. We are looking forward to it."
The Bulldogs will host three non-conference opponents, two which have never played in Fresno. North Dakota invades Bulldog Stadium on Sept. 16 for the home opener and then the Dogs host back-to-back games against Ole Miss of the SEC and No. 10 Boise State on Oct. 1 and Oct. 8, respectively. The Rebels will be the first team from the SEC to play in Bulldog Stadium. Fresno State lost at Ole Miss 55-38 earlier this season in the first meeting between the two schools.
With the departure of Boise State to the Mountain West Conference in 2011, Fresno State will host three WAC opponents (San Jose State, La Tech and Utah State) with WAC road games at Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico State and Idaho. Those game dates and times will be determined in the coming months.
Fresno State will travel to Nebraska for the first-ever meeting with the Cornhuskers on Sept. 10. That begins a series that will see the Huskers return to Bulldog Stadium Sept. 13, 2014. Nebraska (10-3) is ranked No. 16 in the polls after losing to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game. The Huskers are heading to the Big Ten Conference beginning next season.
"We are excited to get Ole Miss at home and looking forward to beginning a home and home series with a program like Nebraska that has been one of the nation's elite programs for the last 50 years," said Hill. "This is going to be a really tough schedule. With road games at two top 25 teams Nevada and Hawaii in the WAC, and non-conference games against perennial Top 25 programs Boise State, Cal, Nebraska and Ole Miss this is going to be one of the best schedules in school history."
2011 Fresno State Football Schedule
Date Opponent Site/(Stadium)
Sept. 3 California/San Francisco, Calif. (Candlestick Park)
Sept. 10 Nebraska /Lincoln, Nebr. (Memorial Stadium)
Sept. 17 North Dakota /Fresno, Calif. (Bulldog Stadium)
Oct. 1 Mississippi /Fresno, Calif. (Bulldog Stadium)
Oct. 8 Boise State /Fresno, Calif. (Bulldog Stadium)
Dec. 3 San Diego State /San Diego, Calif. (Qualcomm Stadium)
WAC Home Opponents: Louisiana Tech, San Jose State, Utah State WAC Road Opponents: Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico State *- WAC schedule will be announced in the spring.