LAS VEGAS — Fresno State football coach Tim DeRuyter called the Bulldogs’ win against Boise State last year a “huge catharsis for not just our football team and coaching staff but for our entire community.”
The Bulldogs beat the Broncos 41-40 last September in Fresno, Calif. That ended a string of seven straight losses to the Broncos.
“Getting that monkey off our back was huge,” DeRuyter said at the Mountain West media preview. “Now the journey to climb to the top of the mountain starts again. Now the next monkey on our back is can we do it in Boise. That’s what I love as a football coach — you constantly have challenges out there.”
Fresno State is 0-6 in Boise since the teams began playing annually in 2001. This year’s game is Friday, Oct. 17, on ESPN. The matchup has become a staple of ESPN’s Friday night lineup.
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“I can remember being at other schools on Friday nights and watching Boise and Fresno play,” DeRuyter said.
Nevada coach Brian Polian made waves on National Signing Day when he indicated — without using the school name — that Boise State’s new coaching staff had gone after most of his committed recruits.
On Wednesday, Polian said he didn’t have a problem with the Broncos calling the recruits. His issue, he said, was that they repeatedly called one or two prospects who told them no.
“I have no issue with the initial contact being made,” he said. “But when one of the guys in our recruiting class comes to me and says, ‘Coach, I’ve told them no four times and the calls keep coming .’
Polian said he has spoken to Boise State coach Bryan Harsin. He also has worked on the same coaching staffs in recent years as Boise State coordinators Mike Sanford (Stanford) and Marcel Yates (Texas A&M).
“I have no problem with them being upset,” Polian said. “ ‘Who cares what he says — they’ve beaten us once in 10 years.’ I like Marcel and Mike very much. Mike is at no shortage of opinions and neither am I. It is what it is. We’re in a competitive business. Even against friends, it’s competition.”
Polian on Sanford: “Mike has endless amounts of energy. He’s a great recruiter. It was to the point sometimes where when we were at Stanford and he had just arrived, we said, ‘Cuz, you better bring it back a little bit or you’re not going to make it through the year.’ ”
Polian on Yates: “Another really polished recruiter and I really enjoyed his way with the players.”
San Diego State coach Rocky Long’s secret to beating Boise State: “We kept it close and got lucky to win it at the end.”
The Aztecs beat the Broncos 34-31 in overtime last year in San Diego. They won 21-19 in 2012 in Boise.
“We kept it close and got lucky to win it at the end,” Long said. “The trick is to keep it close.”
Long said he expects Boise State’s struggles last year (8-5) to be a “one-year thing” and for winning to continue under Harsin.
“This is easy because there is something about Boise,” he said. “There’s been a lot of coaches that have come through Boise that have won a whole bunch of games, right? So they hire really good coaches, but there’s something special about Boise and Boise State that allows that program to be good no matter who the coach is. I’m sure he’ll do a great job of coaching, but they will be good like they always are. “There is something special there. I wish I knew what it was because we could bottle it and all make a bunch of money, but there’s something about that community, there’s something about that school that promotes that type of excellence. Now they have a lot of nice things that the rest of us don’t have, but I’m not complaining because they earned them. Their facilities are better than everyone else in the league, probably their budget is a little bit better, but they deserve it because they earned it. It wasn’t given to them and then they started winning. They were winning and because of winning they got that stuff. There’s been five or six coaches that have come through there with great success. They are doing a good of coaching, but there’s something special about Boise and Boise State for them to be that successful for that long. There’s something in the inner circle that works.”
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