The Fresno State football outlook for 2016 season. After a disastrous season, the program needs to quickly find the groove of a few years ago.
Time to pull out of the nosedive.
With Derek Carr and one of college football’s top high-flying offenses, Fresno State crushed everything in its path during head coach Tim DeRuyter’s first two seasons with two Mountain West titles. Even Year Three – a total rebuilding season – ended up with an appearance in the Mountain West title game.
Now it’s the fifth season under DeRuyter and the Bulldogs are coming off a strange 3-9 campaign when nothing seemed to go right on either side of the ball – particularly on defense.
When Abilene Christian is the best win of the season, there’s a problem.
Yeah, Fresno State caught lightning in a bottle with Carr and the 2012 and 2013 seasons, but there’s been time now to build off that. DeRuyter and his staff have had a few years to get the parts into place, and now this needs to be the season that shows that one of the Mountain West’s power programs is back on track.
Seven starters return on offense with more developed depth than there was last year, while the defense needs to find something that works – it needs more difference-makers – among the six starters returning and all the young prospects who got their feet wet last year.
It’s not time to panic just yet, no matter what. DeRuyter is a terrific head coach and was an elite defensive coordinator, but this is an important year.
San Diego State has taken over the West division. Hawaii has a new head coach, UNLV is on the rise, San Jose State has the potential to be strong, and Nevada is always going to be good. Now it’s up to Fresno State to show that it’s on the verge of taking its division and conference back – if it can.