Fresno State coach Pat Hill was in the mood to talk on Wednesday morning. Some nuggets from the Bulldogs as they prepare for Saturday night’s game in Lincoln:
>> Hill has been to Memorial Stadium before, as an assistant coach with Utah in 1980. Nebraska beat the Utes 55-9 to open the season.
>> Known for playing just about anywhere, Fresno State has been to LSU, Tennessee, Oklahoma and USC in recent years. Still, Hill says, “The toughest place I’ve ever played is Hawaii … when it’s really rocking.”
>> Fresno State, already with four new starters on its offensive line, lost its center to a high ankle sprain just minutes into last week’s game against Cal. The Bulldogs moved their right guard to center, their right tackle to right guard and plugged in a freshman at right tackle.
>> All told, 33 of the 66 players that Fresno State took on its first road trip had never before played in a college game. “About as young a team as we’ve had here in a real long time,” Hill said.
>> Hill said the mobility of Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez looked good to him last Saturday. “He outran his fullback to the end zone when he was supposed to be out blocking for him,” Hill said.
>> A pair of option plays hurt Fresno State against Cal, but Hill said the Bulldogs see plenty of option and mobile quarterbacks most seasons. Take out three runs, he said, and Fresno State gave up 60 yards on the other 30 carries.
>> Sophomore quarterback Derek Carr completed 21 of 33 passes for 142 yards in his first career start, with one touchdown and one interception. But Hill said Fresno State had four drops and little or no yards after the catch, and that two of the four sacks were of the Bulldogs’ own doing.
“I thought Derek played well,” Hill said.
We’ll have more on Carr in Thursday’s paper. He’s the younger brother of former Fresno State quarterback David Carr, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft.