"We don't have any control over who's going to be showing up and playing against us," said Coach DeRuyter. "But we do control how we practice, how we prepare and how hard we play. And I know our guys play tremendously hard at Bulldog Stadium."
Coach admitted Saturday's Senior Day festivities will be emotional for him, for the sacrifices they have shown since DeRuyter's arrival two seasons ago.
"They've been on a heck of a journey," said DeRuyter. "A lot of these guys are fifth year seniors. They've experienced the highs so far this year and a lot of the lows."
"It's the] last regular season game in Bulldog Stadium for our seniors," said Wide Receiver Davante Adams. "So I'm going to do my part to go out there and produce for my team, and make sure these seniors go out victorious."
The Bulldogs will do their best to avoid a repeat of last season's first quarter in Albuquerque, that saw the Lobos race to a 21-0 lead before Fresno State stormed back for a 49-32 win.
"It was kind of a gut check for our team, being on the road and down three scores," said DeRuyter. "My lasting impression is the fact that nobody panicked on our sideline. It was just a matter of, 'Hey guys: Let's take care of the things we know we can do.'"
And with an early afternoon kickoff, both players and coaches are hoping for a third sellout at Bulldog Stadium this season, to watch Fresno State clinch a spot in the Mountain West Championship Game.
"The more people we can get at the games kind of gets us fired up," said Adams. "I don't see why they wouldn't want to be there."
"For this to be the final home game of the regular season, and the last chance to see some really terrific seniors as well as the rest of our team," added DeRuyter, "I'm hoping we get the chance to sell the thing out."
Kickoff is set for 1:00pm Pacific, and will be shown nationally on ESPNews.