Bulldogs ready to join Mountain West
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Moving day is Sunday as Fresno State officially joins the Mountain West Conference.
Fresno State players and coaches we talked to on Tuesday agreed - no matter what sport the teams must step up to compete for a title.
The Bulldog football team is ready to lead the charge into the Mountain West in the fall.
Quarterback Derek Carr will direct an entirely new scheme. He's been studying the new defenses he'll face.
Carr said, "I've definitely done my fair share of watching them on tape and they don't even know it. They won't even know how I got it. I'm making sure I'm watching them. My goal is to be prepared for every game."
The Bulldogs face a steep learning curve under new head coach Tim DeRuyter.
Deruyter explained, "We're still going to be playing Boise, Hawaii, San Diego State and Nevada but we're also going to looking at a team we haven't played in a while - Air Force Academy. Their offense is very, very different so there's a lot of learning that's going to be going on."
The Fresno State women's basketball team dominated the WAC, earning five straight trips to the NCAAs.
But new coach Raegan Pebley said tougher tests await in the Mountain West. She said, "As a league I know we want to be as competitive on a national level as the Pac-12 and we have work to get there but it's achievable."
For Bulldog shooting guard Kevin Olekaibe the conference switch offers a home game for his family and friends.
Olekaibe said, "Yeah I'm very excited, especially about going back to UNLV because I'm from Las Vegas. A lot of family and friends. Colorado State is good, San Diego State, New Mexico I heard its a great place to play in the pit."
Fresno State enters a conference which sent three teams to the NCAAs this past season.
Head coach Rodney Terry said, "The exposure from joining the type of league that we're joining right now from a basketball standpoint, one of the premier leagues in the country."
Fresno State athletes are spending the summer working out, trying to improve.
The Mountain West promises tougher competition and tougher atmospheres in many sports.
Volleyball outside hitter Korrin Wild said, "Yeah I'm really excited and I know the girls are and so is the coaching staff. It gives us something new to look forward to going into the season."
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