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Posts Tagged ‘Victor Dean’

No. 91: Fresno State

The Mountain West beckons. Fresno State will make the move without Pat Hill, whose once-decorated tenure jumped the shark on Nov. 19, 2005 — U.S.C. 50, Fresno 42 — and never recovered. It was the defense that left town that evening; careful searching over the years since yielded no proof of life, and it was this defensive swoon that led Fresno to hire former Texas A&M interim head coach Tim DeRuyter as Hill’s replacement. What does DeRuyter bring to the table? Consider the two issues the Bulldogs must confront come September: this abysmal defense and the program’s new conference affiliation. DeRuyter tackles both concerns in one fell swoop, thanks not just to his defensive pedigree but also with his stops in the M.W.C. along the road to the Valley. In specific, DeRuyter has worked defensive wonders at Nevada and Air Force, the former a once-and-future conference rival and the latter one of the many new impediments the Bulldogs will face as a member of the Mountain West.
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    No. 63: Fresno State

    Of all the developments that have occurred in Fresno since the end of another eight-win season, it’s funny to think that the biggest change may be found right under the program’s feet: turf. As in field turf, as in a new playing surface at Bulldog Stadium, where the Bulldogs have used natural grass since the stadium’s construction in 1980. So what’s the big difference between grass and turf? Well, to paraphrase Tug McGraw, I’ve never smoked turf. But I can say that the number of injuries various Bulldogs have suffered over the years thanks to a poor playing surface surely was the impetus behind this move. Fresno State hopes that the change from grass to turf removes the dangling specter of various tweaks and sprains and yields a far healthier team, one that can take home not just the WAC in 2011 but also the Mountain West in 2012 and beyond.

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      The Countdown

      A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.