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Returning from his four-game suspension, Rashad Evans collects 100 yards en route to becoming the top receiver in last Saturday’s game against the Aztecs. Photos By Roe Borunda / The Collegian

WR Evans meshes with spread offense

Returning from his four-game suspension, Rashad Evans collects 100 yards en route to becoming the top receiver in last Saturday’s game against the Aztecs.
Photos By Roe Borunda / The Collegian

It seems like every week the Bulldogs are scoring multiple points in a variety of ways.

Whether it comes through the rushing game or the passing game, Fresno State knows how to score in waves.

“Honestly, when we go into a game we feel like we should put up numbers all the time,” wide receiver Rashad Evans said.

Last Saturday, the ’Dogs put up a hefty 52 points. They also limited San Diego State to only 160 yards passing, 19 fewer than the Aztecs had in rushing.

“It’s something we emphasize since Day One. I think Nick Toth and our defensive staff do a great job of teaching,” coach Tim DeRuyter said.

Although the Bulldogs’ defense was impressive, Fresno State’s offense really stood out.

“The thing that impress me most was that we kept fighting. We stuck to it and kept working hard. It ended up going our way,” offensive coordinator Dave Schramm said.

The main contributors to this high-powered attack for the ’Dogs were quarterback Derek Carr, and wide receivers Evans and Josh Harper. With the return of Evans, Fresno State was able to call multiple plays featuring a spread four or five attacking scheme.

“They (the offense) did well and put up some good numbers. It was a good game for us and a good win,” Schramm said.

“It comes from Derek reading the defense and the o-line blocking and everybody else doing their assignments,” Evans said. “It’s just a team effort.”

The way in which the Bulldogs were able to dominate so strongly on offense is a key feature for future games. Opposing defenses will now have to not only focus on stopping Fresno State’s running game – showcasing running back Robbie Rouse – but also its passing game.

“Like I said before, we’re going to take what the defense gives us,” Schramm said. “They’re going to have to choose. If they want to try to stop the run like San Diego State did and load the box, we’re going to throw the football. If they try to stop the pass, then we’re going to run the football.”

The win against San Diego State was quite an achievement for the Bulldogs because they were able to accomplish it with Rouse having a subpar game. Against the Aztecs, Rouse was able to rush for only 70 yards. He also lost two fumbles and had 18 negative yards. Although Rouse had two touchdowns, both were only 1-yard scores.

“It wasn’t anything that Robbie did. But he’s got to take care of the ball better. He put the ball on the ground twice,” DeRuyter said.

In addition to not only keeping the opposing secondary on its heels, the return of Evans also helped out with the ’Dogs’ special teams. Wide receiver Isaiah Burse, who normally handles kick returns, will begin to share duties with Evans. A dynamic player, who is able to make opposing defensive players miss, Evans could be a force to reckon with.

“I feel I can be a dynamic returner and be able to make people miss. It’s always better to go untouched,” Evans said.

“I like the fact that we got some weapons in our receiving crew. He’s (Evans) probably as explosive of a guy that we have,” DeRuyter added.

The Bulldogs will continue Mountain West Conference play by going on the road for two games. Playing the Rams in Colorado, and then continuing on to Boise State to play the Broncos, Fresno State will need to learn to win on the road.

“Winning on the road is tough,” DeRuyter said. “We’re going to point out every mistake we made and get it corrected. Whether we win or lose, we have to do that. We got to learn to win on the road.”

A key component for the ’Dogs will rest in the offense and how well Carr and the wide receiver corps can continue to mesh together. If Evans, Harper and Carr can come close to resembling what they did in the game against the Aztecs, they hopefully will find success on the road.

“We got a tough opponent here on the road. So that one is behind us now and we’re looking forward to the next one,” Schramm said. “We got to continue working hard. This is a completely different opponent. We’re going on the road into a hostel environment.”