As anticipation mounts for opening night against Rutgers on Aug. 29, the Bulldogs held a light workout in Friday morning to get loose for their second scrimmage in the evening.
“We were just out here in helmets, going through a lot of situational work,” Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter said. “It’s some of the things that you don’t practice everyday, some of those things that you can do in a shorts and helmets practice.”
Despite the level of preparedness for the season, the practices remained intense, and DeRuyter is not letting his players get comfortable.
“Everything needs improvement,” DeRuyter said. “If guys are comfortable where they’re at, someone’s gonna go by them. I like the projection, but we’re not where we need to be yet.”
Curtis Riley, who played at Fullerton College prior to coming to walking on to the Fresno State football team, continues to impress at cornerback. Riley is making waves and reaching for a starting spot in the lineup.
“He’s a very skilled athlete. All of the guys in charge of the special teams want him. He’s surprised everyone because he was an unknown and now he’s a starter at the corner position,” defensive line coach Pete Germano said.
Going into the scrimmage, Germano’s eyes are not on his starters, but on the supporting team.
“The first group has done a great job and they’ve been pretty solid,” Germano said. I need to test the younger kids and see how the depth shapes up behind the ones.
“We’re going to put key guys in key situations to see how they perform, so we can get that depth in order and start working with the right people for the Rutgers game.”
Friday’s scrimmage will be the only practice open to the public this season.
“I hope [fans] like this version of Bulldog football,” DeRuyter said. We’ve got a lot of guys back; we have a lot of things similar to what we’ve done in the past. Hopefully they’ll see fast, physical football played fanatically – and that’s what our motto is.
“Our fans saw a glimpse of it last year and hopefully it’ll be faster and more physical this year.”