With quarterback Derek Carr, running back Robbie Rouse and Davante Adams, Fresno State did a lot of good things on offense last season in winning a share of the Mountain West Conference football title — the Bulldogs were 12th in the bowl subdivision in passing offense, 16th in total offense and 17th in scoring.
But there were some things that definitely needed improvement, the things offensive coordinator Dave Schramm said cost the Bulldogs possessions and games.
On third downs, in the red zone and with turnovers, the Bulldogs had some rough stretches. Though running better than 77 plays per game, Schramm also said the Bulldogs need to play at a better tempo.
So there will be an emphasis for the Bulldogs this spring on clean up, perhaps just as much as finding replacements for Rouse, starting center Richard Helepiko, starting left guard Matt Hunt and wide out Rashad Evans, along with developing depth in the line and at the receiver positions.
There is a lot of work to do in the 15 spring practices, which start Monday morning. Schramm discussed some of what is ahead for the Bulldogs and his expectations.
Question: You guys got a lot of stuff done last year, put up a lot of points, even with some depth issues on the line and at the receiver positions. For the first year in the system, I’d have to think you’re pretty happy with at least some of the aspects of that …
Schramm: It’s a good start. We did a lot of good things. We’ve got a lot of things to improve on, but I’m certainly happy with the start we had in the first year and looking forward to building on that.
Obviously you showed a lot with some of the trick plays. But, in that first year, how deep did you get into the offensive playbook. How much is still there?
A lot of what we do is personnel-based, and I’ve said it since the day I got here: It’s a player’s offense. It isn’t about the plays, it’s about the players and what we can and can’t do and what we believe our strengths are. We try to always play to our players’ strengths, and at the same time don’t ask them to do stuff that we don’t think they’re good at. When you start to do that, and you start to get stubborn about the scheme … you know, the scheme isn’t any good if the players can’t do it.