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March 4, 2013
When the referees walked down the ramp at Bulldog Stadium on Monday it could only mean one thing, live action.
The Mountain West champions participated in live full contact drills and players on both sides of the ball got to participate in the action.
The quarterbacks switched on offense every six plays and each got a chance to show what they got running the daunted spread offense the Bulldogs put on display on their way to their first championship since 1999.
While it is early and the 41,000 plus fans weren't in their seats making up the red wave, the sounds of the game echoed throughout the stadium.
Mistakes were definitely made as players adjusted to the speed of the game, but head coach Tim DeRuyter was impressed with what he saw.
"I was encouraged with both sides of the ball and we had some great physical play," DeRuyter said. "All in all I thought we got better today."
Live action also gave DeRuyter a better chance to look at a couple position groups, particularly the offensive line and running backs.
The offensive line is trying to fit the right couple of guys to play up front, but for the most part DeRuyter likes the potential and only time will tell how well the group can be.
"Each day guys are getting better, but beyond that first group we haven't had a consistent effort from guys to say they are ready for prime time yet," DeRuyter said. "But we still have 10 more practices in the spring, 29 in the fall and I'm confident we'll get there."
Replacing Robbie Rouse has been a hot topic during spring ball, and running backs coach Joe Wade has been working with multiple backs getting them prepared.
"There's a lot of good learning going on," Wade said. "There's mistakes here and there and hopefully they learn from those, but they are getting good experience in spring."
And while Wade did not go in to too much depth about the plan for the backs as far as who will be taking a majority of the carries, his answer was simple when it came to what he wants from whoever replaces Rouse.
"Everything," Wade said. "They need to be able to run, to protect, to be able to run routes and become comfortable and run full speed knowing what they are doing."
You can follow Rudy Rendon on Twitter at @rendonrudy.
Fresno State NEWS