Fresno State Football

September 3, 2014

Fresno State football: Offensive coordinator's focus is on Bulldogs' future, not Utes' past

Fresno State offensive coordinator Dave Schramm doesn't plan to get nostalgic as the Bulldogs head to play the assistant's former employer, the Utah Utes of the Pac-12.

Fresno State offensive coordinator Dave Schramm said he isn't any more excited about his return to Utah than he is about any other game on the schedule.

Before joining Fresno State's staff for the start of the 2012 season, Schramm was a seven-year assistant for the Utes, a run that included a 2009 Sugar Bowl victory.

But taking a stroll down memory lane in Salt Lake City this weekend takes a back seat to helping Fresno State continue on a similar path to the one that Utah has enjoyed on the football field.

Thanks in large part to the team's success, the Utes made the leap into one of college football's power conferences — moving from the Mountain West to the Pac-12 for the start of the 2011 season.

"Any time you've got talented guys, you've got a good chance to win a lot of games and we had a lot of success in the seven years I was there," Schramm said. "(Head coach) Kyle (Whittingham) has done a great job getting his guys ready to play.

"Obviously from what he's been able to do with that program, they wanted him in the Pac-12 Conference. And so it's a credit to him and what he's done in building that thing. What I saw from the first time I got to Utah and the first time I got here, it's very, very similar. This program is heading in the right direction."

Schramm served as the Utes' running backs coach and recruiting coordinator from 2005-08. He took over as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2009, then served as a co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach in 2010.

In his final season there, also Utah's first in the Pac-12, Schramm again oversaw the running backs.

Utah finished no worse than fourth in the Mountain West while Schramm was on the staff and went 6-1 in bowl games. In the final three seasons in the Mountain West, the Utes went 21-3 in conference games.

The highlight came in 2008, when a 13-0 BCS-busting season concluded with a 31-17 win against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

"There was a commitment there, a commitment from the administration that we were going to do everything we could," Schramm said. "We didn't take a back seat to anybody in our conference when it came to budget or recruiting wise, or what they were going to spend to make us successful.

"There was definitely a commitment made toward football having success. And it takes a great commitment from everybody."

Fresno State has gotten off to a strong start since Schramm's come aboard, with the Bulldogs winning back-to-back Mountain West titles in coach Tim DeRuyter's first two seasons.

Now the challenge is continuing that without relying on the players DeRuyter and Co. inherited at Fresno State, including quarterback Derek Carr and receiver Davante Adams — both now rookies in the NFL.

Week 1 didn't go well. Fresno State opened with a 52-13 loss at USC, which climbed one spot this week to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll.

"Hopefully, we can play better than we did last weekend and go from there," Schramm said. "I don't really look at (Saturday) as anything special or anything like that. Just going to try to win the game."

Schramm, meanwhile, likes where the Bulldogs are heading in a big-picture sense.

"I know (Fresno State President) Dr. (Joseph) Castro has been a breath of fresh air since I've been here," Schramm said. "Hopefully it can continue to grow. And when you have a great commitment from everybody, like we have here from our university and the community, it's a good place to be.

"With Dr. Castro here and the changes he's making, and the energy he's put in the football program, it's been phenomenal. We're excited about the direction he's taking it and look forward to seeing it grow to where it is now."

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