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Fresno State at a glance

Receiver Josh Harper caught 13 touchdown passes for the Bulldogs last season. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Receiver Josh Harper caught 13 touchdown passes for the Bulldogs last season. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Coach: Tim DeRuyter, third year, 20-6.

Last year: 11-2 overall, 6-1 in the MWC, tied for first in West Division. Defeated Utah State 24-17 for conference championship, lost 45-20 to USC in Las Vegas Bowl

Predicted 2014 finish: 1st in West Division


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Preseason All-Conference: OL Cody Wichman, DL Tyeler Davison, LB Ejiro Ediraine, S Derron Smith (Def. Player of Year).

Starters/lettermen returning: 16/37

Returning statistical leaders: QB Brian Burrell, 7-12, 51 yards, no TDs; RB Josh Quezada, 155-807, 6 TDs; WR Josh Harper, 79-1,011, 13 TDs: LB Karl Mickelsen 97 tackles.

Notable: It’s the power of TV. Starting with their Sept. 26 game at New Mexico, the Bulldogs play four consecutive games on Friday nights. … Harper caught 10 passes for 161 yards and three touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 69-28 rout of New Mexico in November. If that sounds like a lot, consider that Davante Adams, now with the Green Bay Packers, caught nine passes for 246 yards and four TDs in that game. … Fresno State is using a drone with an attached camera to help videotape its practices, the Fresno Bee reported.

Quotable: “The best thing right now is that we have a chip on our shoulder. That’s a dangerous thing, I think, for our Fresno State football team that’s won two championships. They’re angry, and I think that’s good” – defensive coordinator Nick Toth, regarding a Bulldogs defense that ranked 86th nationally in points allowed per game (30.3).

Outlook: DeRuyter took over a basically healthy program from Pat Hill in 2012, revamped the offense and the results have been little short of spectacular. The Bulldogs lose a two-time Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year in QB Derek Carr and a prolific wide receiver in Adams, yet once again are picked to win the West Division.


Aug. 30: at USC


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Sept. 6: at Utah

Sept. 13: Nebraska

Sept. 20: Southern Utah

Sept. 26: at New Mexico

Oct. 3: San Diego State

Oct. 10: at UNLV

Oct. 17: Boise State

Nov. 1: at Wyoming

Nov. 8: San Jose State

Nov. 22: at Nevada

Nov. 29: Hawaii

– Rick Wright

First in a series on Mountain West teams. Saturday: San Diego State