Thursday's Conversation With Fresno State's Tyeler Davison
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Welcome to Thursday’s Conversation. Each week, one Mountain West student-athlete will be featured by answering a series of questions.
Joining the conversation this week is Fresno State’s Tyeler Davison. The senior nose guard is a two-time first-team All-Mountain West honoree (2012 and 2014; second-team in 2013) and has played a pivotal role in the Bulldogs’ current three-game win streak. Fresno State (5-3 MW, 6-6 overall) clinched its second straight West Division crown last week with a 28-21 win over Hawai‘i. The victory also made Fresno State bowl-eligible. The Bulldogs will attempt to become the second-ever team to win three straight Mountain West titles, joining TCU (2009-11).
Davison and the Bulldogs will head to Boise, Idaho, to take on Mountain Division champion and No. 22 Boise State (7-1, 10-2) in the 2014 Sports Authority Mountain West Football Championship Game. The game will be televised on CBS and kicks off at 8 p.m. MT / 7 p.m. PT.
Question: It’s been an interesting season for Fresno State. You started the year with three straight losses, then followed that with three wins in a row, punctuated by another three-game losing streak. You’ve now won three straight games and find yourself in the 2014 Sports Authority Mountain West Football Championship Game against Boise State. Can you describe the swings of emotion this team has gone through?
Answer: We definitely have had a roller coaster of a season in terms of emotion. There was a learning curve to this team; we had to learn a different way to win games compared to the last few seasons. I think that’s why we had a rough start, but we’re getting things together now. We have put the past behind us and it’s all about the next game. Our motto is to win the day, go 1-0 that day. Those last three games with our backs against the wall and being a must-win, I think that taught us how to approach each day and win each day. It’s the same situation this week. We’re not concerned with what happened in the past, we’re focused on improving each day we step out on the football field.
Q: Fresno State Head Coach Tim DeRuyter talked about how the Wyoming game was really a turning point for the team. No one was happy with how the team played in that game. How did the guys in the locker room manage to stick together after a game like that and how much did that result motivate the team to finish out the season on a positive note?
A: Losing in front of our crowd and in our stadium like that was tough, but we knew we still had a chance and that kept us fighting. We knew that we didn’t play to our full potential that game and we wanted to show what we could accomplish if we put everything together. No one was willing to give up and everyone was really motivated to end the season on a positive note.
Q: The three-game win streak not only put you into the 2014 Sports Authority Mountain West Football Championship Game for the second straight year, it also made Fresno State bowl-eligible. As a senior, how important was it for you that the team at least earn the opportunity to be selected for a bowl game?
A: You always want to make it to a bowl game at end of season. We knew we had to work hard to get there so it’s a nice accomplishment. That bowl game will be a lot nicer if we win the MW Championship game. I’m really proud of the team for making it here.
Q: In your final home game as a Bulldog last week against Hawai‘i, you recorded a career-high three sacks. What were the emotions like before, during and after that game?
A: I didn’t dwell on the emotions of it leading up to the game. Walking down the ramp and warming up with the other defensive linemen and knowing that last time doing it after so many hours of work on the field during and off-season and playing all the games here, it was a bittersweet moment. I’m glad I had one last chance to play in Bulldog Stadium and that we were able to get the win. Of course I was very happy to get the three sacks, too. That was like the cherry on top of the sundae.
Q: What’s it going to take for Fresno State to walk out of Boise with the Mountain West championship trophy?
A: We have to play to our potential. We have to play a game where we everyone executes their assignments on every play and give every single ounce of effort. Any given Saturday, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You’re a different team than you were last week so we have to make sure we’re the best team we can be this week.
Q: Your bio says you like to fish. What type of fish do you like to catch and what’s been your biggest catch so far?
A: I’ve been fishing since I was a young kid. My dad got me started; he’d take me with him out on the boat when I was little and I’ve been doing it ever since. I’ll catch anything that’ll bite the hook, but I do like to catch bass. Last year, I caught a nice 9-pounder.
Do you have a student-athlete you’d like to see featured in an upcoming Thursday's Conversation? Contact Dan Johnson at djohnson@TheMW.com