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February 21, 2013
After a dreadful 4-9 season and the ousting of head coach Pat Hill, the Bulldogs entered the 2012 season needing change.
The pieces seemed to be in place for success on the offensive side of the ball, but something needed to put them all together.
And while incoming head coach Tim DeRuyter
DeRuyter brought upon a spread offense attack and the Bulldogs thrived carrying the No. 16 ranked offense in the country.
Now the question is whether Fresno State can repeat that success in 2013.
The Bulldogs lost three starters on offense, most notably the all-time leading rusher in Bulldog history Robbie Rouse, who was durable and productive racking up 75 percent of the carries.
To fill Rouse's void, DeRuyter will look towards incumbent sophomore Marteze Waller, who was the team's second leading rusher with a mere 174 yards.
Two interior lineman Richard Helepiko and Matt Hunt have also departed and the Bulldogs were quick to address the problem with recruiting.
DeRuyter took on six offensive lineman Josh Tremblay, Patrick Kim, Sean Rubalcava, Kolby Drew, Elijah Cox and David Patterson as he hopes that they can compete right away and be part of an offensive line that took criticism after the loss to SMU in the Hawaii Bowl.
While competition will drive these position groups in spring, there will not be too much competition expected at wide receiver and quarterback which is the bread and butter of DeRuyter's attack.
Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year Derek Carr is back at the helm for his senior season and he expects to finish what he started in 2012 where he threw for 36 touchdowns, best for fourth in the FBS.
But not only is Carr returning, so are all his weapons at wide receiver.
The most notable is redshirt sophomore Davante Adams who caught passes for over 1,100 yards and 13 touchdowns becoming the first Mountain West freshman wide receiver to receive first team all-conference honors.
These two groups carry the offense and instantly make the Bulldogs a threat to compete in any game whether its close or a shootout. Fresno State is holding something not all teams have: big play capability and a chance to do something special in 2013.
The 2013 season has everyone talking and the weapons are in place, but can the Bulldogs repeat as Mountain West Champions and give themselves a chance of obtaining a BCS birth?
No need to look further than Derek Carr and Devante Adams as leaders on offense and together the capability of torching defenses.
Again the question lies with an offensive line that was exposed in the Hawaii Bowl. To compete right away are junior college transfers Josh Tremblay and Patrick Kim. Both have a legitimate shot at earning playing time this fall and being able to participate in the spring is a huge plus.
All-time leading rusher Robbie Rouse and offensive lineman Matt Hunt and Richard Helepiko who all contributed greatly in the team's first conference championship since 1999. Also standout wide receiver Rashad Evans was a major factor last season and will be missed.
What's the downside:
Injuries, as well as the interior line not gelling together to help anchor the Bulldogs dangerous weapons on offense. Also, will the team fold under the high expectations?
The Bulldogs return as conference champs and the offense carries the team over the top in search for their first BCS birth.
Stay tuned to FSBulldogs.com for more updates on the 2013 Fresno State football team.
You can follow Rudy Rendon on Twitter at @rendonrudy.
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