Dec. 18, 2013
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - On the first full day of events in Las Vegas, Fresno State and Southern California were both officially welcomed in to town Wednesday night as the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl hosted both teams for an eventful dinner on Fremont Street.
The Fremont Street Experience began with a media preview in Hotel D, featuring head coach Tim DeRuyter and players Derek Carr and Derron Smith from Fresno State and interim head coach Clay Helton along with players Cody Kessler and Jabari Ruffin from Southern California.
The teams met with the media from both markets along with the Las Vegas media to preview Saturday's game before posing in front of the trophy that will be presented to the winner of the 2013 Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.
The main event of the evening was down on the street where the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl fed both teams before some friendly competition on the stage and a performance from comedian George Wallace.
"It was fun just to be out here," defensive end Ben Letcher said about the event. "It is a fascinating city, so it's just fun to be out here and witness all the lights and everything."
Fresno State captured a couple of early victories over the Trojans on Wednesday, beating USC in the pie eating contest and a dance-off up on the stage.
Bulldog linemen Ryan Steele, Elijah Cox, Ioane Sagapolu and James Funk beat out four USC Trojans in the pie-eating contest. Then in the dance contest, Letcher stole the stage to give the Bulldogs a second win.
Even with a fun-filled dinner and the friendly games between the teams, the Bulldogs are focused on the task at hand and that is picking up win No. 12 of the season to set a new school record for victories in a year.
"Obviously in Las Vegas there are a lot of distractions, so the team is trying to stay focused and locked down," Letcher added.
Fresno State on Thursday morning will participate in a couple charitable events and hold team meetings before returning to the practice fields just after noon to refine its game plan for the Trojans.
On Thursday night, the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl is taking the Bulldogs to the Jabbawockeez Show at the Luxor Hotel.
"Catch the Wave" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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