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2013 Fresno State
Schedule and Odds
Fresno State couldn't have hoped for a better start to Tim DeRuyter's tenure after he took a four-win team to a bowl game and nine wins in his first season of work. The Bulldogs should be even better in 2013 which is why many are picking them to finish in the Top 25 and win the MWC.
Returning will be everyone in the passing game including quarterback Derek Carr who finished with 4,104 yards and a 37-to-7, TD-to-INT ratio. With all of his top receivers back, most notably sophomore Davante Adams (102 receptions, 1,312 yards, 14 TDs), there's no reason Carr and company will regress. Sure, all-time leading rusher Robbie Rouse is gone, but they have a couple backs that can fill in nicely. The weak spot in this offense was in the offensive line last year which showed its ugly head in their bowl game loss, but DeRuyter went out and signed four JUCO transfers to bolster that part of his squad. If the line can come around, watch out.
Defensively, the Bulldogs showed just as much promise last year as they transformed into a 3-4 attacking unit. They aren't losing many players from that side of the ball. Returning will be all three linemen and three starters from a secondary that was ranked No. 2 nationally in pass defense last season. A couple names will move around at linebacker, but they still have plenty of depth so it won't be a problem.
2013 Fresno State Football Schedule
Aug. 29 vs. Rutgers
Sept. 7 vs. Cal-Poly
Sept. 14 at Colorado
Sept. 20 vs. Boise State
Sept. 28 at Hawaii
Oct. 5 at Idaho
Oct. 19 vs. UNLV
Oct. 26 at San Diego State
Nov. 2 vs. Nevada
Nov. 9 at Wyoming
Nov. 23 vs. New Mexico
Nov. 29 at San Jose State
Fresno State's schedule will make things smoother for a team that already looks primed for a good season. They lost two non-conference games last year with both being on the road. This year's schedule is a bit easier as they won't face Oregon. The Bulldogs open the season at home against Rutgers and that's about it for tough out-of-conference games unless Colorado can be considered one.
They'll get Boise State at home this year which was their only conference lost last season. That's actually their first MWC game of the season which is something you don't see too often, with two of the better teams in the conference facing off early in the year. If the Bulldogs can get through that game, a 7-0 record could be in sight until they have to go to San Diego State. The Aztecs and San Jose State will be Fresno State's only other real challenges besides Boise State. SDSU finished 7-1 in conference play last year while the Spartans are coming over from the WAC with a top-level quarterback.
As long as Derek Carr doesn't get hurt or he suddenly forgets how to throw the ball, Fresno State should be in line for at least nine wins. With 15 starters returning and in the second year under DeRuyter, the Bulldogs could find themselves at 10 wins and beyond.
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