Bulldogs Wrap Up First Weekend of Practice

Aug. 5, 2012

By Jason Clay

FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State head football coach Tim DeRuyter came away from the first weekend of fall camp pleased with where his team stands after the first three practices.

The Bulldogs practiced Sunday morning in helmets and shoulder pads and the increase in intensity was noticeable, especially towards the end of the session when the offense went up against the defense. Even though DeRuyter is happy from what he has seen thus far, he says there is still a ways to go.

After Sunday, Fresno State has 26 practices remaining before the first game on Sept. 1 at home vs. Weber State.

"For our first day in half pads, our guys got after it pretty good and we had a pretty physical practice," DeRuyter said Sunday. "I like how our guys compete. We got a lot of energy at practice - early on we didn't, but it picked up as soon as we started competing against each other.

"I think that is how we are going to win is by both sides really pushing themselves."

The defense controlled much of Sunday's practice, from the 7-on-7 passing drills to the first two of three team sessions.

"I thought the defense for a little bit had the upper hand, they forced a bunch of turnovers," DeRuyter said.

The secondary was able to come up with four interceptions. Safeties Phillip Thomas and Derron Smith both picked off passes in the 7-on-7 drill and Cristin Wilson and Beau Fryer had picks in the team session.

None of the four interceptions came off of Bulldog starting quarterback Derek Carr. Carr has been very patient reading the defense and taking what they give him instead of forcing in throws to the tight coverage.

Fresno State ended Sunday's practice working on the two-minute drill. Up to that point, the offense had struggled against the defense.

The Bulldog first-team offense got the ball on their own 40-yard line with two timeouts and 1:45 on the clock.

Carr efficiently led 'Dogs down the field and into the end zone. He completed six-straight passes to start the drive, which get the ball inside the 10-yard line.

After a sack and an incompletion on a lob pass to Davante Adams, Carr went right back to Adams on the opposite side of the field for a 12-yard touchdown pass on third down.

"Offensively, we came down in the two-minute and Derek and Davante made a big play at the end," DeRuyter said. "It was good to see both sides have some success."

Other notes from Sunday's practice...
• With Fresno State not being able to go in full pads until practice No. 5 on Tuesday because of the NCAA mandated acclimatization period, the Bulldogs continue to do a lot of position individual work.
• The kickers got their first real shot at field goals Sunday. Blake Dunn and Quentin Breshears split all the kicks that were in the 30-40 yard-range. Both showed the ability to evaluate the ball quickly and put it through the uprights.
• Sophomore wide receiver Josh Harper has great hands and as Bulldog fans found out last year, is a talented receiver. Harper caught 35 passes for 497 yards and five touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2011. What might not be known about Harper is his ability to block. Harper made several big blocks on defenders Sunday that allowed the offense to rack up extra yardage. He is well on his way to becoming the complete package for receivers coach Ron Antoine.

"Discover Fresno State Football" - Fresno State season tickets are now on sale for as low as $140, less than $24 per game, through the Bulldog Ticket Office, online at GoBulldogs.com and can be purchased over the phone at 559-278-DOGS.