By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
HONOLULU - The Fresno State football team made its way to Hawai'i on Wednesday, arriving here six days before facing SMU in the 2012 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.
The Bulldogs took the five-and-a-half hour charter flight direct from Fresno and landed in Hawai'i around 4 p.m. local time.
"It was a little bit long, but once you get here it is awesome," head coach Tim DeRuyter said of the flight. "Our staff talked about this, if you aren't going to a BCS Bowl, I don't know if there is a better bowl out there. This location, the way the bowl people treat you, I was fortunate enough to come here in 2005 with the University of Nevada and had a great experience and I'm glad to be back."
Upon the teams arrival, the 'Dogs were briefed with a security meeting from the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl before attending the Heineken Beach Party BBQ at the Moana Surf Rider, the team hotel.
"I'm looking forward to spending these last few days with my teammates," is what senior running back Robbie Rouse said he was looking forward to on this trip.
This bowl game, which kicks off at 5 p.m. PT on Christmas Eve (ESPN/KMJ Radio), is the last for 22 Bulldog seniors.
"I'm really excited to check out the scenery in my free time," Rouse added. "I just want to take it all in and look at the beauty of this place."
DeRuyter plans to have an equal combination of preparation for the game, but also fun for his players.
"I want them to enjoy the experience here," DeRuyter said. "To me, that's part of the bowl game. The game's very, very important, but I want them to be able to enjoy the trip.
"We had nine wins this year, have the opportunity to get 10 and really put an exclamation point on this season. We're just excited about the opportunity to go against a really high-class SMU group."
The Bulldogs will practice from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the University of Hawai'i on Thursday morning. After practice, the team will head over to Pearl Harbor for a tour of the Memorial.
"Discover Fresno State Football" - The flagship radio station of Fresno State Football is KMJ 580 AM and the Spanish Flagship is KGST-AM "ESPN Deportes".
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