"I thought we started the game well, I thought we complimented each other in all three phases," said DeRuyter. "I thought defensively, for most of the game, we really played well."
But a second half to forget, absent the same intensity and discipline as the first, erased coach DeRuyter's smile -- especially on the offensive side of the ball.
"We tried some different combinations of players in our offensive line so that may have had something to do with it," DeRuyter said. "But we've got to do a better job protecting Derek, and we've got to do a better job of being consistent in our assignments."
A win on Saturday at New Mexico would make Fresno State bowl eligible with six wins, but Coach DeRuyter said in no way is that a point of focus this week.
"Six wins to me is not something to celebrate," said DeRuyter. "I understand the ramification of being bowl eligible, but that's not our goal. Our goal is to win this conference."
To stay in the running for the Mountain West crown, the Bulldogs will need a more complete performance in Albuquerque. Coach DeRuyter says jumping out to a quick lead and forcing the Lobos to throw the ball would be a big help.
"Hopefully we can get up like we've done here at home some games, because we'd like to test them on that theory," DeRuyter said. "But clearly they're an excellent running team and if we can make them throw the ball, you make that offense left handed. And that's what we try to do."
"I'm pretty sure we'll be cheating up to the line a little, because the do run the ball quite a bit," said senior safety Phillip Thomas. "But still, you have to be disciplined with your eyes, and where your eyes are going to be."
Kickoff for Saturday's throwdown at University Stadium is set for 12:30pm Pacific, and will be televised on Comcast Sports California.