The Fresno State Bulldogs will spend a long time on a bus on Friday, traveling to Reno for their game against Nevada. They will have their iPads and will be able to pass at least some of the time by watching game tape or a movie or a combination of the two in the horror flick, ‘Fresno State at New Mexico.’
It wasn’t all that bad – the Bulldogs did exit with a victory. But they allowed 349 rushing yards on 51 plays in that game and had several busts against the Lobos’ option – schemes similar to what they will see from the Wolf Pack on Saturday with their hold on first place in the Mountain West on the line.
Many of those busts occurred when the Bulldogs went outside their responsibility on a specific play, and given what is at stake against Nevada, they again could be suckered in to trying to do too much. So, trusting and sticking to responsibility has been an emphasis all week in practice and Coach Tim DeRuyter said the carryover from that New Mexico game should help, as well.
‘’I think what’s good is sometimes when you touch a stove and you realize it’s hot and you get burned, you learn that lesson a little more than someone just telling you,’’ he said. ‘’The fact we were able to escape out of New Mexico not playing great, getting hurt, helps this week in preparation for Nevada because they’ll run some similar schemes and so guys have got to realize if you don’t trust, if you think you have to make up for someone else, you’re going to make us susceptible to big plays.
‘’Hopefully, it’s a good lesson learned. We were able to lean it and still get a win, but it’s part of the learning process for our guys and hopefully they can take that to Reno.’’
Whether that one time is enough to drive the message home won’t be known until Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
‘’It’ the beauty of the option, but it’s something that forces you to be responsible and have guys trust that you’re going to do your job right or you’re going to get burned in a hurry. Hopefully our guys will use that lesson from the last game and not make those mistakes.’’ DeRuyter said.
‘’(Defensive coordinator Nick Toth) showed our guys, hey, look what happened in the New Mexico game, and here’s Reno running those plays. If we fit it right we should be fine, but if we don’t and you lose trust they’re capable of running it up on us.
‘’There’s a reason (Stefphon) Jefferson is leading the country in rushing – he’s a good back and they have a good scheme. I think our guys are conscious of that and realize now, moreso, because of what happened in the New Mexico game that they have to be consistent and they have to be diligent in taking their responsibility. They can’t just go, well, I thought this guy had it. That doesn’t work, you’ve got to go do what you’re supposed to do.’’