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March 11, 2013
With temperatures heating up, so are the Bulldogs who have just six more spring practices until their annual spring scrimmage on March 23.
Today the Bulldogs held their first full scrimmage of the spring as individual drills and special teams were cut short as the majority of the practice revolved around game situations.
Referees were out to police the game and everyone got a chance to prove themselves on offense, defense and special teams.
The game even got some huge cracks and produced a scary moment as an ambulance was brought onto the field to attend to a player and backup quarterback candidate Marcus McDade took a shot that kept him down on the field for minutes as well.
Defensive Coordinator Nick Toth liked what he saw from his defense today, but is still looking for improvement.
"I did like our guys effort today, I thought our physicality was decent," Toth said. "But we missed a couple of tackles that cost us points, so there's stuff we can get better at."
One of the leaders on the defense at outside linebacker, Jeremiah Toma, was pleased with today's effort and believes the group could be special in 2013.
"We were a little rusty when we came out, but I feel good about where we are as a defense," Toma said.
One thing the defense has been getting praise on all spring is their ability to create turnovers which Toma said it really is a work in progress to create the success they've had and hope to continue.
"It's a lot of work that goes into it, it takes all 11 guys doing exactly what you're supposed to do," Toma said. "All it takes is one guy to mess up and the whole play is ruined."
After today's scrimmage Toth expressed his concern for a lack of depth at linebacker, but Toma believes the guys filling in have continued to work hard and have put themselves out there to fill the needs left by departing seniors.
"I've respected the guys that stepped up this year, who put it on their shoulders and came out to work every day," Toma said. "I don't look at these guys as young guys, but as vets because they really work like that."
One guy that has especially caught Toma's eye and Toth's as well has been Kyrie Wilson, a sophomore who is looking to fill in at inside linebacker in Toth's 3-4 scheme.
"He's come a long way, he's by far the best athlete we have on the linebacker core hands down," Toma said. "He's on his game now and he has a bright future ahead so I'm excited to see him this year."
As far as Toma, he is just happy to be back on the field for his senior season after he had a eye opening experience when he suffered an injury that forced him to miss four games. Toma has prepared for this season through countless hours of hard work and is counting down the days the season starts.
"Everyday I'm thinking what am I going to put in my memory book and when I leave this field I leave everything out, not just for me, but my brothers too," Toma said. "Every single one us give, give, give every day and it's all for one goal. It's amazing to see so many people come together, I'm excited for my senior year."
And while the question surrounds this team on just how good they can be, Toma said it's all on them to match the expectations put on them.
"It looks good on paper to see the numbers and it doesn't matter where the media wants to rate us at," Toma said. "I love that people are paying attention to us, but it's on us and we got to do what we want to do."
You can follow Rudy Rendon on Twitter at @rendonrudy.
Fresno State NEWS