College Football Preview: The 2014 Fresno State Bulldogs
Fresno State begins life after Derek Carr in 2014.
2014 College Football Preview
The Fresno State Bulldogs look for continued success despite the loss of quarterback Derek Carr.
Overview: Tim DeRuyter has the luxury of having Derek Carr under center no more but still has extremely high expectations after an 11-2 finish in 2013. Can he find a capable replacement for the departed star and win another MWC title? The talent base is in place but seeing is believing.
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Offense: Goal number one is replacing Carr who completed 69% of his throws for over 5,000 yards and a laughable 50 touchdowns and eight picks. Brian Burrell was the only backup to throw a pass so he along with Myles Carr and Zack Greenlee will battle for the starting job. Whoever is under center loses Davante Adams and Isaiah Burse in the passing attack that take over 2,050 yards and 231 receptions with them. Josh Harper (79-1011) becomes the top option with several capable bodies filling in the void. The top two runners return with Josh Quezada (155-807) also totaling 290 receiving yards on 51 catches while Marteze Waller (124-646) is another quality option. The O-Line loses 1st Team All MWC LT Adam Wentworth but four players with starting experience are back.
Defense: The defensive front loses three of the top six although the top four received most of the minutes. This group has plenty of talent ready to go but zero experience once we get past the starters. The linebacking crew gets back their top four back including Ejiro Ederaine who led the the Bulldogs with 16.5 TFL and ten sacks. Both starting safeties are back with Derron Smith leading the secondary with seven interceptions while two of the top three corners are gone. Overall, seven of the top nine return but this group needs to limit big passing plays when the defense was not blitzing.
Special Teams: Garrett Swanson averaged over 43 yards on 52 punts with half not even returned while Colin McGuire went 8-11 on field goals. Dillon Root and Da'Mari Scott will share kick return duties but Fresno needs to find a PR with Burse graduating.
Outlook: The Bulldogs obviously need a competent signal caller and a few options in the passing game to be successful. There is talent in place but some of it's more of the unknown variety but DeRuyter seems to have his ducks in a row for another strong year.