Dec. 18, 2013
By: Matt Burkholder
LAS VEGAS - The Fresno State football team took the field on Wednesday for its first practice at Rebel Park on the campus of UNLV in preparation for its much anticipated matchup versus USC in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. PT.
"We've had five good practices before this one [today] and had a real focused one today, "said head coach Tim DeRuyter. "We need another good one tomorrow, when you're playing a team like USC, you better be prepared, and I like our guys' focus.
"I expect us to play our best game of the year this coming Saturday," DeRuyter added.
The leader of the defense and team captain, safety Derron Smith, enters this bowl week more experienced and focused for the week. If the team holds steady and prepares for this game like the last, the Bulldogs will be in good shape.
"We have to keep practicing like we're practicing back home," Smith said. We can't let being in Vegas and being in a bowl game affect us. We have to come out here and prepare like we have been all year."
An item still lingering on all the players' minds is the mistakes made last season in the loss to SMU in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl, and how to correct it this time around for this year's senior class.
"We need to get this victory," said Davante Adams. "Last year we left with an L, this time we can't do that. We had fun in Hawai'i and didn't do well in the game, so this time we may have to limit the fun so we go out there and win this one."
No. 21/20 Fresno State will look to cement its legacy on Dec. 21 as the first Bulldog football team to ever reach 12 wins in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl against USC, a game televised nationally on ABC (12:30 p.m. PT).
"Catch the Wave" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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