Coming off a 35-point road loss, Bulldogs head football coach Tim DeRuyter has a tough task at hand preparing the team to face the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
The Golden Hurricane come to Bulldog Stadium with a spread offense that will provide many challenges to DeRuyter’s defense, which struggled with many blown assignments the previous week against Toledo.
“They have really good skill. They’re very balanced. They do a heck of a job with tempo, spreading you out sideline to sideline,” DeRuyter said.
Tulsa is Fresno State’s fourth and final nonconference opponent of 2016. The Bulldogs (1-2) begin Mountain West Conference play on Oct. 1 at UNLV
Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery leads the Golden Hurricane with a 2-1 record. Tulsa convincingly beat North Carolina A&T last week, and has beaten Mountain West member San Jose State, 45-10.
The Golden Hurricane’s only loss came in Columbus against the now No. 2-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
Montgomery is in his second season as head coach. Tulsa was 6-7 in 2015. Before Tulsa, he coached under Art Briles at Baylor as offensive coordinator. He was an integral part of Baylor’s transition in becoming one of the highest-powered offenses in the country.
Although Fresno is going through a rough patch, Montgomery is not expecting to have an easy time, having faced DeRuyter before when they were offensive and defensive coordinators respectively.
“[DeRuyter] provides you some problems as he does a lot of things defensively, keeps you thinking, so we’ve got our hands full,” Montgomery said.
The Bulldogs are hoping to avoid falling to 1-3 and enduring a similar fate to the nine-loss 2015 season. Although the struggles have persisted into 2016, DeRuyter sees a much different team that puts in greater effort.
“This is a very different team than last year. When we poured through that tape, we wanted to make sure our guys continued to compete, continued to fight. We didn’t see guys loafing,” DeRuyter said.
Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Bulldog Stadium. The game will be broadcast locally on 940 AM ESPN Radio.