The Fresno State Bulldog football team was dismantled by the USC Trojans 52-13 last Saturday afternoon. The lost marked the first season-opening loss for the Bulldogs in the Tim DeRuyter era.
The Bulldogs flat out ran into a better team. Coach DeRuyter didn’t say that exactly, but he admitted they ran into something. ” We ran into a buzz saw of a team, very talented and very well coached, ” said DeRuyter.
Whether the Bulldogs were outplayed, unprepared or maybe unfocused against the No. 15 team in the nation, DeRuyter believes that the latter will not be a problem this Saturday as the Bulldogs travel to Salt Lake City to play another Pac-12 opponent in the Utah Utes. ” The nice part is when you have a great challenge like Utah, the guys will be focused,” DeRuyter said.
The Bulldogs have put the USC game behind them and their sights are now set on the Utes. “You don’t have the luxury of feeling sorry for yourself, nobody does.” said DeRuyter. “You have to correct what you have to correct,” the coach added.
Fresno State has done a nice job under coach DeRuyter in terms of correcting mistakes and moving on from a loss. The Bulldogs have not lost consecutive games in the same season under the third-year coach.
DeRuyter and the Bulldogs have not only bounced back well after a loss, they have come back with a vengeance. In 2012 DeRuyter’s Bulldog’s avenged every loss by beating their next opponent by an average of 31.7 points.
In 2013 the team’s only regular season loss was against the Spartans at Jose State. The Bulldogs won their next game 24-17 against Utah State at home in the MWC Championship game.
Under DeRuyter and defensive coordinator Nick Toth the Bulldogs have bounced back very well after a poor defensive performance as well. Not counting the USC game (701 yards) the team has given up 500 or more yards five different times under DeRuyter and Toth. The Bulldogs rebounded all five times, allowing 204.2 fewer yards and 21.4 less points in their next game.
The Bulldogs art of avenging a loss will be tested as they will need to beat a Utah team that has sold out their last 26 home games under 10-year head coach Kyle Whittingham.
The Utes steamrolled the Idaho State Bengals 56-14 to start their season last Thursday night, totaling 589 yards of offense while scoring five rushing touchdowns and one through the air. The Utes also added two touchdowns on a punt and a kickoff return.
Who to Watch on Offense
The Utes’ 56 points against the Bengals was spread around throughout the offense and special teams.
Junior quarterback Travis Wilson played the first half of Thursday’s blowout win against Idaho State completing 13 of 18 passes for 265 yards and touchdown. Wilson also rushed for a 2-yard touchdown.
Junior running back Devontae Booker totaled 139 all-purpose yards with two rushing touchdowns.
Senior wide receiver Dres Anderson caught four balls for 111 yards, marking the seventh time in his career he has passed the 100-yard mark.
Receiver Kaelin Clay made his impact on special teams with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He added a 46-yard punt return for a touchdown as well.
Worth Noting: Plain and Simple
With the Utes playing their season opener on Thursday instead of Saturday, it gives them more time to prepare and they don’t have to travel.
The two teams have played each other nine teams with Utah holding a 5-4 advantage and 4-1 advantage in Salt Lake City.
Utah Beat Fresno state 17-16 in the 1999 Las Vegas Bowl.
Fresno State Bulldogs (0-1, 0-0 MWC) at Utah Utes (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12 )
Rice-Eccles Stadium (holds 45,807) Salt Lake City, Utah 12 pm PT