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'Dogs prepare for life without Rouse

March 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
When the Bulldogs strap on the pads for the August 29th season opener against Rutgers, they'll do so without one of the most popular players ever to wear a Bulldog uniform.

"Robbie was a guy that was a very dynamic player for us and in this conference and every game he played. With our game plan there were certain ways that we wanted to get him the ball," Said offensive coordinator Dave Schramm.

So one of the biggest questions presented to the Bulldogs in this spring camp is how to replace a four-year letter winner at running back.

The leading rusher in Fresno State history.

And the inspirational leader of the Bulldog program?

"We don't have that one leader. We're missing Robbie. We're just supporting each other as a team and we know we're all together in this," said running back Malique Micenheimer.

"Right now we're trying to figure out who the guy or guys are that are going to fill that spot. They've got big shoes to fill. That's what spring ball and fall camp are for," added Schramm.

It looked like incoming sophomore Marteze Waller would grab the reigns to the position, until suffering a knee injury last week that will sideline him the rest of camp.

"Right now I feel like it's just a group of brothers helping each other out. We all help each other lead but it's not just one person," added Micenheimer.

"They know if they want to play, if they want to be on the field, then they'd better produce. If that guy's got the desire to be the starter then the competition will come out of them," said Schramm.

So don't expect the offense to change much in the absence of Rouse.

"The offense is really based on what the defense gives us, so if the situation presents itself, we're going to run the football," said Schramm.

And they won't shy away from the razzle dazzle plays that brought the Red Wave to its feet last year.

"I think once we get more comfortable with the offense as a group I think we can bring up some of those things. Some of us can throw the ball a little bit," said a joking Micenheimer.

"We've obviously got to feel good about our ability to execute them with the players we've got. Robbie had the ability to do a lot of things. Now do we have another guy that can do that? We'll find out," added Schramm.


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