The Minnesota Golden Gophers are certainly paying their respects to Fresno State ahead of their Week 2 matchup at TCF Bank Stadium.

At least head coach P.J Fleck is.

The Gophers are fresh off a 48-10 win over New Mexico State University — a great way to start Fleck’s second season with the program — and even though Fresno State is also not a power-five program, the Minnesota coach spoke highly about the Bulldogs ahead of this Saturday’s game.

In fact, Fleck believes, according to Andy Greder of, that Fresno State is basically at the level of any of Minnesota’s Big Ten opponents:

“I think it’s a Big Ten opponent,” Fleck said Monday. “Absolutely, which is a compliment to them. They remind me of when we were in the last few years at Western Michigan. We felt like we were that caliber. You can see it all over the field for them. They play with an extreme confidence.”

The Bulldogs are coming off a Week 1 romp of the Idaho Vandals, a game that saw Fresno State put up 79 points and 486 yards of total offense while giving up only 13 points to Idaho and forcing a total of five turnovers on defense — including five interceptions.

Speaking to the media, Fleck specially mentioned Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion — a former Oregon State player — and linebacker Jeff Allison, who led Fresno State in tackles last weekend with six.

In all, Fresno State is a talented team capable of giving a growing program like Minnesota a scare. At the very least, though, we know the Gophers won’t be caught looking ahead of the Bulldogs.

Fleck knows what’s at stake, so he’ll have his team prepared.