Dec. 19, 2013
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter says that the Bulldogs are locked in and prepared for a big game against a big-time opponent in USC, as the 'Dogs are just now two days out of Saturday's Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.
"Our guys are ready to play," DeRuyter said Thursday after the team practice at UNLV. "I like that we got here on Tuesday night, our guys had a chance to enjoy things, we are cutting back curfew every day. Today we had a really focused practice."
Fresno State (11-1) is looking to snap a four-game losing streak in bowl games and do something that no other Bulldog team has ever done before - win 12 games in a season.
"They know that we got a chance to do something historic," DeRuyter said. "In the history of Fresno State football, I don't believe there has been a 12-win team and our guys have a chance to do it against a storied program like USC. Our guys are excited."
Despite being in Sin City and arriving on Tuesday in advance of Saturday's game, Fresno State has tried to make this trip as routine as possible. After practice on Thursday, the team lifted with strength and conditioning coach Joey Boese as they normally do two days before a game.
"We want to keep things just as consistent as we can and UNLV has been just awesome letting us their facilities and we appreciate that," DeRuyter said. "Our guys are just on that track of normal game mode."
Even with that focus of keeping the same routine, bowl games do present unique challenges.
DeRuyter plans to draw on experiences learned over his past two bowls - the loss to SMU last season with the Bulldogs in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl and in 2011 when he led Texas A&M as the interim head coach to a win over Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas - to help Fresno State put an exclamation point on what has already been a banner year.
"I guess the biggest thing I've kind of learned is the process of trying to balance the reward for the players as well as trying to get them focused on the game," DeRuyter said. "We didn't do it as well last year, we're hoping to improve that, and we've changed some things up and we're always going to try to fix some things that aren't right and keep improving."
Thursday's practice was the Bulldogs' last work practice before the game. On Friday, the team will hold a brief walk-thru.
Saturday's game between the Trojans and Bulldogs kicks off at 12:30 p.m. and is televised nationally on ABC.
This is the seventh All-America team Adams has been named to this season and the third for Carr. The duo has hooked up on 122 passes for 1,645 yards and 23 touchdowns this year.
"Catch the Wave" - The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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