Dec. 17, 2013
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Fresno State football team arrived in Las Vegas Tuesday night in advance of Saturday's game against USC in the 2013 Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.
The Bulldogs, who last played on Dec. 7 when they won the 2013 Mountain West Championship game over Utah State, feel they are entering this bowl game in rhythm and can compare the quick turnaround for the bowl to the regular season when coming off a bye week.
"Our guys have had a week and a half of good preparation, we know our opportunity and our guys are going to be ready for it," head coach Tim DeRuyter said.
Fresno State, who enters the game ranked No. 21 nationally with an 11-1 record and is seeking a program-record 12th victory, held five practices in Fresno and will have three more in Las Vegas before Saturday's game that is one of the first of the 2013 bowl season.
"There are advantages to playing a bowl the first week," DeRuyter said. "It's a time crunch a little bit with finals, but the nice thing is, while it is a reward to the players and we got a chance to play a BCS team like USC, you get the season over with before Christmas and these guys get the chance to get some well-deserved rest and be home for the holidays."
In addition to its game prep, Fresno State will participate in several events put on by the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.
"There will be fun events for them. Bowl games are rewards for players and coaches for the season," DeRuyter said. "You try to balance the reward part, but we still have some work to do. We'll get a little bit of both and hopefully have the right mix for Saturday."
The bowl festivities start on Wednesday with the Fremont Street Experience from 5-6:30 p.m. On Thursday, the team will participate in a couple charity events during the morning and at night after practice attend the Jabbawockeez Show at the Luxor Hotel.
On Friday, the day before the game, both teams will participate in the kick off luncheon from 12-1:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Then that evening, starting at 8 p.m., Fresno State will hold a pep rally for its fans in The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Bulldog Marching band and spirit team will have performances at the pep rally along with Tightwad Hill. The pep rally will run from 8-11 p.m.
Saturday's game kicks off at 12:30 p.m. and is being televised nationally on ABC. Pregame festivities for the Bulldog fans who traveled to Las Vegas include a tailgate party put on by the Fresno State Alumni Association, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon and is located at Star Nursery Fields at Sam Boyd Stadium (enter gate F12).
Fresno State will be wearing white uniform tops and pants along with its red throw-back helmets featuring the Bulldogs script in honor of the 1992 team coached by Jim Sweeney that defeated USC 24-7 in the Freedom Bowl.
"I do think that it is fitting, that in a year we are honoring coach Sweeney we are playing USC in our last game," DeRuyter said. "Hopefully we'll get a great turnout and put on a great game."
"Catch the Wave" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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