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Mountain West spotlight: Fresno State has strong run game to support new QB

FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS

Coach: Tim DeRuyter

Record: 26-14 (fourth season); 26-14 career

Last year: 6-8 overall, 5-3 MW

Last bowl: 2014 Hawaii (L, 30-6 against Rice)

Returning starters: 6 offense, 5 defense, 3 specialists

Story line: The Bulldogs named their starting quarterback Wednesday – sophomore Zack Greenlee, beating out freshman Chason Virgil and West Virginia transfer Ford Childress. However, DeRuyter said he expects Virgil to play some during Sept. 5’s opener. Fresno State loses its top receiver, too, so the run game will be leaned on plenty. Defensively, it needs to cut down the 32.4 ppg it allowed last year.

Star player: Senior running back Marteze Waller was excellent in his first season as a starter, rushing 225 times for 1,368 yards and 11 touchdowns while adding 27 receptions. With the Bulldogs breaking in a new quarterback, they'll rely on Waller (5-foot-11, 215 pounds) even more in 2015.

Quotable: "A year ago we were very, very young, we're going to still be young at a few positions, especially quarterback. I like guys that learn from their mistakes, and we made a few of them last year, so hopefully we can learn from those." — DeRuyter on his team returning some experience

NOTE: This is the fifth in our series profiling the Mountain West’s football teams (except Boise State). We started with the West Division, and go in reverse order of the preseason poll, found here.

Previous Mountain West previews

UNLV

Hawaii

San Jose State

Nevada

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