Is Fresno State prepared for a raid on its assistant coaches?

It’s November, which means it’s getting to be firing season around college football. Kentucky already has announced that Coach Joker Phillips won’t be back, more changes will be made after the season, and that will trickle down to assistant coaches through the winter closing in on spring, many with opportunities for better jobs in bigger places.

Fresno State Coach Tim DeRuyter has coaches on his staff that could be attractive candidates this offseason, given the Bulldogs’ turnaround this season.

And that could become an issue for Fresno State if BCS schools start calling. The athletic department has a budget of $2,600,136 for salary and benefits for its football staff in 2012-’13, up from $2,216,380 in 2011-’12. But there are 20 head coaches in the bowl subdivision making more than the entire Bulldogs’ staff this season.

‘’(Athletics Director Thomas Boeh) was great about giving me a salary pool to hire the guys we were able to hire. When you can get a guy like Dave Schramm from Utah to come here, Nick (Toth) from Texas A&M, those guys were making pretty good money so to be able to compete with those schools to bring them here, that was big for me to be able to get this thing off the ground,’’ DeRuyter said.

‘’Of course, these guys want to make as much money as they can and I don’t blame them. We’re going to try, at least I am as head coach, to do everything I can to get these guys as much money as I can.’’

But the reality in college football these days is the bigger the school, the bigger the budget and the bigger the paycheck.

‘’In this business, it’s very difficult to hold on to great assistants,’’ DeRuyter said. ‘’BCS schools have resources that, frankly, we don’t have. So what you have to try to do as a head coach is create an environment that is more comfortable for their families, a great work environment to come to and give guys opportunity for growth.

‘’If someone on our staff has an opportunity to double or triple their salary and they think it’s the best professional career move, I’ll thank them for their time and encourage them to go if that’s what they want to do. I think it’s a compliment to what our players have done that people would look at our staff.

‘’Obviously, it’s a reflection of both. But we don’t want to lose anyone on our staff because I feel I was very fortunate to be able to put a great staff together. But staffs want to be at places where they feel there’s a commitment to winning and it’s not always dollars, it’s can you consistently compete in the league that you’re in and hopefully we’ll be able to do that here.’’

DeRuyter and his status?

‘’I don’t worry about that kind of stuff,’’ he said. ‘’To me, all that stuff does is compliment what these guys have done. All we’re worried about is winning on Saturday. I talked to our team about it (Monday), we have not been in this position since 1999, where we have a target on our chest in November, and that’s where you want to be and where this program should be.

‘’So we need to go out and focus on Nevada because if you don’t they will embarrass you. If we have a week like we had last week, I think we can go out and take care of business.’’

With the Bulldogs’ Tyeler Davison, there’s no hole in the middle of the d-line

A week ago at New Mexico, Tyeler Davision, the Fresno State Bulldogs’ sophomore, played a ton of snaps at nose guard. He didn’t have to deal with double-teams as he has much of the season when defending the Lobos’ triple-option offense, but he likely will see more than a few on Saturday when the Bulldogs take on Hawaii in a Mountain West Conference game.

Still, defensive coordinator Nick Toth, short options across the line with Anthony Williams out for the season following foot surgery and Andy Jennings questionable with an ankle injury, has no doubt Davison will be able to shoulder a heavy load.

He might not have to – Hawaii has struggled to do much on offense, ranking 97th of 120 bowl subdivision teams in scoring, 103rd in rushing and 114th in total offense.

But Davison definitely is capable of playing a high number of snaps.

‘’He’s playing 80 to 85 percent of the snaps right now. That was different when Andy played – Andy didn’t play this past week,’’ said Toth, who has helped turn around the Bulldogs’ defense. ‘’But we’ll play Tyeler all day. He’s in great shape. We’ll play him all day and he wants to play.

‘’He hasn’t had any issues at all. He’s better in the fourth quarter. We dominated that second half (at New Mexico) and he was at his best in the second half. I feel totally comfortable with that kid playing all day long.’’

Fresno State won’t hold back end Andy Jennings; if he’s healthy, he plays against Hawaii

Andy Jennings made it through only a couple of plays at New Mexico before reinjuring a right foot that kept him off the practice field the through the middle of last week.

But the junior defensive end intends to be a go again on Saturday when Fresno State plays Hawaii at Bulldog Stadium, and there is no thought to holding him back with a game at Nevada and against the Air Force to close out the season – Hawaii is 1-6 and 0-4 in the conference while the Wolf Pack is 6-3 and 3-2 and the Falcons are 5-3 and at 4-1 in the MWC tied for second with the Bulldogs and San Diego State.

“We’re planning on Andy playing and Andy told me (Monday), ‘I’m planning on playing, coach.’ And I told him, ‘We’re planning on playing you,’ ” defensive coordinator Nick Toth said. ”We’re not worried about the opponent. If he can play, he’ll play.

”We’re not going to save him for anything- you don’t get enough opportunities. The kid works 12 months a year for these (games). If he is 70 percent and he can go, he’s going to go. I’m not going to save anybody. Unless he tells me, ‘I can’t go,’ he’s going to play. There’s no thought of saving him for the next week.’’