For the Madera Tribune
The Fresno State football team has worked itself through the first 11 practices of fall camp. Coming up with practice No. 12 this morning, the Bulldogs will get their first gauge on where they stand after being put through game-like situations.
Saturday will be the team’s first scrimmage of fall camp, one that is free and open for the public to attend (8:30-11 a.m., Bulldog Stadium).
Coaches and fans alike are eager to see the progress this team has made through a week and a half of fall camp.
“This is our first live scrimmage, first opportunity for our guys to make plays,” head coach Tim DeRuyter said. “We challenged them (after practice Friday) when you are doing a lot of things over the course of the last 11 practices where there is a lot of thud, you assume the defense makes the play. In a scrimmage we’ll have the chance for offensive players to make guys miss and defensive guys to either make the play or not make the play.”
Saturday’s scrimmage will start with the offense looking to move the ball up and down the field against the defense. The scrimmage will also have situational portions with the Bulldogs working in the red zone and in the two-minute drill to simulation end-of-half or end-of-game scenarios.
“I want to see our offense play with a rhythm, make good decisions by the quarterback and defensively, you want to see them get some take-aways,” DeRuyter said.
Through the first 11 practices, the defense has exceled on the turnover front. Cornerback Mike Bell had an interception for the defense at Friday’s practice.
“Our defense is playing fast, being efficient, they are making plays and creating some take-aways,” DeRuyter said. “That is a little bit of a concern on offense, but most of the time (the defense) is making plays, not the offense giving it up. It is the defense stripping the ball, breaking on balls, making interceptions.”
With the players working to secure spots in the two-deep, this is an important first opportunity to state their case for playing time.
“You prove during the week whether you deserve more or less reps during the scrimmages, but after we evaluate scrimmages depth charts change potentially,” DeRuyter said. “It is as true to game-like conditions as we can get and it is big for our evaluation process.”
The Red Wave is invited to attend the Bulldogs’ first scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 8:30 a.m. It will be the only open practice to the public the team will have leading up to the season. Fans will be invited on to the field following the practice and the first 300 fans will be offered a free 2016 schedule poster. Parking will be free and first come, first serve in the Blue Lot – overflow will be directed to the White Lot.
Season tickets, mini plans and single-game tickets for the 2016 Fresno State football season are now on sale at GoBulldogs.com or by calling 278-3647.