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March 14, 2013
As Fresno State offensive coordinator Dave Schramm walked off the practice field on a comfortable but warmer Wednesday morning, he resembled a coach with a lot of confidence and some mild concerns.
Schramm and the Bulldogs are coming off of a record setting 2012 in which they lit up scoreboards and garnered national attention running a new offense in their first year in the Mountain West Conference (MWC).
But as the Bulldogs progress through spring ball, Schramm knows they can't be content with what they did last year.
"We've got a ways to go," Schramm said. "Guys still have to understand what their assignments are."
Yet, despite some mild concerns, Schramm is still pleased with the state of the offense as they prepare for 2013.
"We're light years ahead of where we were a year ago," Schramm said. "We're still in the process of finding some depth; it's playing itself out."
2012 was the first year for the Bulldogs in Coach Schramm's up-tempo spread system. Transitioning the team from a more traditional pro-style offense, the spread offense allowed Derek Carr to find his playmakers in space and get the ball to them.
The end result of this transition resulted in the Bulldogs scoring more points while leaving their opponents shaking their heads in disbelief.
In Schramm's first season as offensive coordinator, the Bulldogs ranked 17th nationally and led the Mountain West in scoring at 37.9 points per game. The 'Dogs also ranked 16th nationally in total offense with 477.5 yards per game and 12th in passing offense at 325.6 yards per game.
"This offense is about the players," Schramm said. "We've got some pretty dynamic football players and this offense is about what they can do."
As for the players, Schramm's offense turned some of them into conference and nationally recognized stars and it also unearthed some diamonds in the rough.
Seven all-conference players developed in the new spread offense, including Derek Carr, who was the 2012 Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and Davante Adams, the 2012 Mountain West Freshman of the Year. Add to that record-setting and all-time leading Fresno State rusher Robbie Rouse, Schramm's influence was instantaneous.
That Schramm was successful in his first year as offensive coordinator should come as no surprise to Bulldogs' fans.
Prior to coming to Fresno, he spent the previous seven seasons at Utah, where he also served as the coach of the running backs, quarterbacks and tight ends. During his tenure with the Utes, Schramm's offenses averaged 33.1 points per game in 2010 and 29.1 in 2009.
As Schramm enters his second season with the 'Dogs, he knows that his offense will require constant adjustment if they are able to maintain their level of excellence. "I don't think there was one game last year where we didn't have to make adjustments," Schramm said. "People are going to play you different every single week."
For 2013, Schramm will have the task of keeping players like Carr and Adams flourishing in the offense, while finding some new playmakers, especially in the running game, where the main concern is finding an adequate replacement for Robbie Rouse.
So far, Schramm likes what he sees from junior running back Darryl Cash. "Cash has done a great job," Schramm said. "He's a smart player and he's got really good vision."
As the Bulldogs embark in year two in Schramm's system in 2013, there will be some pressure to maintain their offensive excellence. But if everything falls in to place and some of the younger playmakers establish themselves, then Schramm's adjustments will be few and far between.
Stay tuned to FSBulldogs.com for more updates on 2013 Fresno State spring football. You can follow Jason on Twitter at @dodgerjason.
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