Facts and figures
Where: Fresno, Calif. (501,362)
Colors: Red and blue
Record: 4-2, 2-0 Mountain West
Last game: Beat Colorado State 28-7 on Saturday in Fort Collins.
Tim DeRuyter spent 16 years as a defensive coordinator before Fresno State hired him to replace Pat Hill, the longtime face of the program. DeRuyter was the coordinator at Texas A&M (2010-11) and Air Force (2007-09). He also served as the co-coordinator at Nevada (2005-06) and the coordinator at Ohio (2004-04, 1995-98).
He played linebacker at Air Force.
He has taken a different approach than Hill, who was famous for his willingness to play several marquee opponents each year.
Well play anyone, anytime, anywhere, DeRuyter said, but our goal is to win this league.
The Bulldogs new spread offense is producing 39.5 points and 315.5 passing yards per game. There is a catch, though they average 52.7 points at home and 26.3 on the road. They have not scored 30 points in any of their three road trips, including a 27-26 loss at Tulsa.
DeRuyter runs an aggressive 3-4 scheme that has produced 18 turnovers (No. 1 in the Football Bowl Subdivision) and 20 sacks (tied for ninth) while baffling quarterbacks (eight touchdowns, 12 interceptions).
Senior safety Phillip Thomas tops the nation with six interceptions, which is two more than any other FBS player and more than the team registered all of last season (five). In fact, the Bulldogs have forced more turnovers this season than in any of the past six, when they finished 111th or worse in takeaways every year.
The Bulldogs have changed their schemes under the new coaching staff. They produced a big play last week, a blocked punt, but havent broken any long kick returns yet. Their coverage units are strong allowing 18.2 yards on kickoffs and 3.2 yards on punts. Kicker Quentin Breshears is 6-of-8 on field goals, but three missed kicks (one short field goal, two PATs) proved costly at Tulsa. Punter Andrew Shapiro is an oddity he can do rugby kicks with either foot, allowing him to roll either direction.
Did you know?
Fresno State has won more bowl games at Bronco Stadium (two, in 2004 and 2007) than it has regular-season games (one, in 1984).