Bulldogs Dial In On SMU Out In Hawai'i

Dec. 22, 2012

By Jason Clay

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HONOLULU - The Fresno State football team continued refining its game plan for SMU with a two hour practice in helmets and shorts Saturday morning on the campus of the University of Hawai'i.

As the 2012 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl approaches, the Bulldogs are starting to dial in their focus on the game in what is their fourth day in O'ahu. Fresno State will face SMU on Monday at 5 p.m. on ESPN in the Bulldogs' 12th bowl game in the last 14 seasons.

"We're starting to get into game mode," head coach Tim DeRuyter said. "Our staff has done a really good job of putting a plan together. We'll have wrinkles on both sides of the ball, keep it kind of fresh for our guys. They know what they're doing, we've proven it all year and the kids have a lot of faith in them.

"We had a good practice today, really solid practices the last couple days. It's been a long time since we've played so we can't wait for Monday."

Defensively, Fresno State is entering the game very confident. With a month off from the end of the season, defensive coordinator Nick Toth knows that SMU will throw some new stuff at the Bulldogs in its run-and-shoot offense run by Mustang head coach June Jones.

"I'm pleased with where our guys are," Toth said. "The whole year though they've been the same, they were the same in spring ball and in camp. Their focus has been really good here so they've done it every day throughout the year and it doesn't surprise me and we got great guys doing it on defense.

"We're carrying more defense than we've carried all year, we've had a little bit more time to do it. They are going to give us something new. Coach Jones is the master of that system... there will be something that we have not seen."

On the other side of the ball, offensive coordinator Dave Schramm says the Bulldogs are ready to go. Fresno State won its last five games of the regular season and in those five wins it averaged 47.2 points and 515 yards of offense.

"We had good work back in Fresno, so that was our plan to get most of our work done out there and we're just polishing up out here," Schramm said.

Fresno State will attend the Sheraton Kick Off Banquet Saturday evening and hold a walk thru on Sunday at Aloha Stadium.

"We're excited, it's the last game for these 22 seniors and it's a chance to show the nation what Fresno State football is all about," DeRuyter added. "Hopefully it's a launching pad for next year."

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