Jake Browning connected with Dante Pettis on a seven-yard touchdown on Sept. 16, 2017, to extend Washington's lead over Fresno State, 34-0, on their way to a 48-16 win. That was the last time Fresno State's defense allowed at least 30 points in a game.
Since that loss, Fresno State is 21-4, partly thanks to a defense allowing 14.4 points over those 25 games. They pitched one shutout, allowed seven or fewer points six more times (all vs. FBS teams) and have never allowed more than three touchdowns. No opponent has scored more than 27 points over that time.
Fresno State is one of 16 programs since 2000 who've held opponents under 30 points in at least 25 consecutive games. They're currently tied with LSU (Jan. 7, 2011, through Nov. 10, 2012) for the 15th-longest streak in the last 19 seasons. Georgia holds the longest streak since 2000; the Bulldogs held 42 consecutive opponents under 30 points from 2000-03.
Can Fresno State continue marching toward Georgia's post-2000 record?
Jeffrey Allison, 2018 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, left for the NFL, as did Second-Team safety Mike Bell. And First-Team cornerback Tank Kell and multi-year starting linebackers George Helmuth and James Bailey all graduated
However, defensive coordinator Bert Watts returns and leads a unit that ranked third nationally in red-zone defense (69 percent), fifth in first-half scoring (7.5 points) and second in second-half scoring (6.5). Key assistants Kenwick Thompson (linebackers) and J.D. Williams (defensive backs) are also back.
Disruptive linebacker Mykal Walker returns, along with corners Juju Hughes and Jaron Bryant in a secondary that allowed only 5.9 yards per attempt, 11th in the country. Other key players, including tackles Jasad Haynes and Kevin Atkins, also return.
Fresno State faces only one team in 2019 that averaged at least 30 points in 2018: Utah State, though the Aggies lost head coach Matt Wells and their entire offensive staff after averaging 45.4 points, second in the FBS. The Bulldogs' other 10 FBS opponents averaged only 25.6 points, slightly below the average for USC (26.1), Utah State's Week 1 opponent.
Fresno State is more than a year away from sniffing Georgia's 42-game record, but Mykal Walker, Juju Hughes and Jaron Bryant have the Bulldogs in position to make a serious run at it.