#57 Fresno State Football 2012 Preview

Fresno State Bulldogs

2012 Overall Rank: #57
#3 Mountain West Conference  
Fresno State College Football 2012 Team Preview
Fresno State Team Page


Fresno State was one of the bottom feeders in the Western Athletic Conference a season ago. Now they have moved to the Mountain West and are looking for a fresh start. Spearheading that fresh start is a new head coach, Tim DeRuyter.  The Bulldogs hope to make a splash in their new home. They look to be an improved squad and be competitive in the Mountain West.

2011 Record: (4-9, 3-4)
2011 Bowl: None  
Coach: Tim DeRuyter (0-0 at Fresno State, 1-0 Overall)   
Offensive Coordinator: Dave Schramm
Defensive Coordinator:  Nick Toth

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Robbie Rouse, RB, 1,607 yards
Passing: Derek Carr, QB, 3,544 yards
Receiving:  Jallen Saunders, WR, 1,065 yards
Tackles:  Travis Brown, LB, 57
Sacks: Tristan Okpalaugo, DL, 4
Interceptions: L.J. Jones, DB, 3

Other Key Returnees: WR Josh Harper, WR Isaiah Burse, DB Terrance Dennis

Key Losses: K Kevin Goessling, DL Logan Harrell, LB Kyle Knox

Fresno State has one of the most explosive offenses in the nation. The better news however, is that they are returning the three key players in their scheme: senior running back Robbie Rouse and their pair of juniors, receiver Jallen Saunders and trigger man Derek Carr. This nucleus will be difficult for opposing defenses to stop.  They averaged over 28 points per game a season ago as well as over 272 yards. Although both numbers are solid, they should be even better in the 2012 campaign. The Bulldogs have shown a strong running game and an aerial assault that can keep pace with the best of the best. This balance makes their offense even more deadly.  Defenses in the Mountain West should be trembling at the new arrival because this team lights up the scoreboard week in and week out.

As good as the Bulldogs offense was a season ago; their defense was equally as bad. They gave up an astronomical 435 yards per game as well as surrendering an astounding 35.15 points per contest. The defense struggled against the run but it was opponent’s pass offenses that tore apart this unit, allowing over 269 yards per game. To make matters worse for Fresno State, they could not generate enough turnovers and the offense was not protective enough of the ball, resulting in a turnover margin of -1.08, 116th in the nation. That poor of a turnover margin will not win you many games. Coach Tim DeRuyter will certainly make improving that turnover margin a priority this year.

The Bottom Line:
Fresno State was a young team a season ago and it showed. Now this year they are more mature, have a new conference and a new coach, so things look much different. They are a far better team than they were a season ago and should give many teams in the Mountain West fits. Their offense looks as dangerous as ever but will need to improve their offensive line play, which gave up 1.54 sacks per game, to take their offense to the next level. If they can do that and protect the football, this team will be right in the thick of things in their conference.

Projected Bowl: Independence Bowl

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 139.23 (75th in the nation, 4th in conference)  
Passing Offense: 272.62 (27, 4)
Total Offense: 411.85 (37, 3)
Scoring Offense: 28.54 (52, 5)
Rushing Defense: 166.62 (72, 6)   
Pass Defense: 269.23 (106, 7)
Total Defense: 435.85 (100, 6)  
Scoring Defense: 35.15 (106, 7)   
Turnover Margin: -1.08 (116, 8)
Sacks: 1.69 (77, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 1.54 (42, 4)