That's A Wrap From Las Vegas
July 23, 2013
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - After a first day overloaded with preseason hype for the Fresno State football team, which included predictions for the 'Dogs to win the West Division of the Mountain West and receiving the preseason offensive and defensive players of the year, the second and final day of the 2013 MW Media Days was much more mellow.
Day two featured just the head coaches throughout the league, and for Fresno State's Tim DeRuyter, a lot of focus from the media was on how his team will fair in year two.
"We didn't finish [last] season as well as we wanted, obviously we didn't play very well in the bowl game, so I think our guys had a little bit of a chip on their shoulder during the offseason," DeRuyter said. "We were pleased with our year last year, having a share of the conference championship, but now with the two division format, I think it is great for our league and our guys are relishing the opportunity."
Fresno State returns 15 starters, seven on offense and eight on defense, highlighted by quarterback Derek Carr and free safety Derron Smith who were voted as the league's preseason offensive and defensive players of the year.
Even with all the hype, DeRuyter says the differences between last year's Fresno State team and this seasons remains to be seen.
"I like our team and I like our work ethic, but we'll have to see come this fall," DeRuyter said. "We had a couple of games last year where our guys were pretty resilient, we were down a couple scores against San Diego State and against New Mexico and our guys fought back to win those games, that's what you have to do to win a championship.
"This year's team, we got to replace Robbie Rouse, Phillip Thomas and four other guys. Can we do that? It remains to be seen."
Fresno State reports for fall camp on Aug. 1 and will have 29 practices to sure up the holes vacated by the some of the players DeRuyter referred to. Come practice time, it will all be about refining the brand of football DeRuyter wants from his program, and that is fast, physical and fanatical.
"When the fans saw the product that we brought out on the field, saw the things that Derek [Carr] and our offense did with our skill, saw what our defense was able to do, people started to get excited about the brand of football that we put out there," DeRuyter said.
The Bulldogs open the much anticipated 2013 campaign on Aug. 29 at home against Rutgers.
"To have an opponent like Rutgers to open the year gives our players a great sense of urgency," DeRuyter said. "We're real excited to get started."
"Discover Fresno State Football" - 2013 Fresno State football season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at gobulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647). The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.