`Dogs Sport Full Pads for First Time in Camp
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
Being in full pads for the first time, there was a noticeable rise in the level of energy and excitement at Wednesday's practice.
Fresno State did a lot of situational work in the team portion of practice, working on second down plays and the Bulldogs ended the day with one live team session, tackling down to the ground for the first time all camp.
"I was encouraged," head coach Tim DeRuyter told the media after practice. "When you go full pads, you can do some drills live. We were able to do some situational work here at the end where we do a second down play into a third, we have different situations and a couple of guys showed up. Greg Watson made a heck of a play on a third down, making guys miss and ended up having a huge play for a touchdown."
The play that DeRuyter referred to was one of the two main highlights from Wednesday's practice. Watson took a screen pass from quarterback Brandon Connette, got key blocks on the outside, was able to make a defender miss as he took the ball roughly 70 yards in for a touchdown.
The second highlight play of the day really signaled that football is back, as it involved the first big hit of camp. When the Bulldogs were working on their kickoff return unit, freshman tight end Chad Olsen put on a crushing block that knocked his defender to the ground and brought on a lot of cheers from teammates and the coaching staff.
"Another guy who showed up in special teams today was Chad Olsen," DeRuyter said. "We're doing some drill work and physically, he's letting his pads do the talking. He got after it today."
Fresno State's offense is starting to come into its rhythm, which was evident in Wednesday's practice. Typically this time of year, the defense is ahead of the offense but the offense is now starting to catch up and is competing well with the defensive unit that returns eight starters.
Offensive coordinator Dave Schramm said that Wednesday was the first true glimpse of seeing where his unit is at as they work on installing all of their schemes.
"It's the first football practice. All this other stuff, we were just trying to get lined up," Schramm joked about the first four practices when the team was not dressed in full pads. "We finally got to play a little bit of football today."
The Bulldog quarterbacks and receivers found good connections in the one-on-ones against the defensive backs and then again in the 7-on-7 drills. Then up front working on the running game, the first offensive line from left to right of Alex Fifita, Sean Rubalcava, Bo Bonnheim, Cody Wichmann and Justin Northern had a good session going up against the No. 1 defensive line of Tyeler Davison, Maurice Poyadue and Todd Hunt. There were good battles going on in that top group.
It was not all offense on this day, however. Junior college transfer Corey Ferguson was able to intercept a pass that came off the hands of Aaron Peck and Dalen Jones stripped the ball away from tight end Riley Barnes to force a fumble.
Single-Game Tickets Sold Out
For more information on tickets, call the Bulldog ticket office at 559-278-DOGS.
"Be Bold" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes 1600 AM.