Fresno State had a large turnout on Thursday at its open tryout to find a walk-on kicker among its full-time students, 23 applicants in all including one 50-year-old and one young woman who actually has quite a bit of experience kicking inside Bulldog Stadium.
Bailey Smith, one of the team managers, has been out there before practices a time or two and kicked the football through the uprights from as far as 35 or 40 yards, though that is without a snap, hold and oncoming rush.
"She said she kicked extra points in high school," coach Tim DeRuyter said. "I think we have that range covered -- we're hoping to get a little longer range than that.
"But she's going to have to think about this because she gets paid to be a manager, she couldn't be paid to be a kicker. If she wins this thing, she'll have to make a tough decision."
Never miss a local story.
The applicants haven't been through a tryout yet -- that will come this weekend. Those who signed up must have physical exams and get their grades and academic standings checked.
"The 50-year-old guy, we're not sure if he's a full-time student so they're checking on that," DeRuyter said. "(Darrick Yray, operations assistant) didn't think he had enough hours."
But with a full field turning out, the Bulldogs should be able to find some kicking help to provide some depth behind freshman Kody Kroening and punter Garrett Swanson. Since Colin McGuire withdrew from school after the first game of the season, returning home to Texas to tend to some personal issues, Kroening and Swanson have handled all of the kicking and punting duties in practice and games.
Micenheimer out rest of season
Running back Malique Micenheimer had surgery on his right shoulder Wednesday and it has been determined that he will miss the rest of the season.
Bulldogs go long
The Bulldogs' Thursday practices do not usually run too long, but they pushed it this week. They were on the field for close to two hours, running offense and defense against scout teams.
At 0-3 and ranked last in the Mountain West Conference in total offense and total defense, there are a few areas that need addressing headed into a match up on Saturday against Southern Utah.
"We want to make sure we're set on everything," DeRuyter said. "We're simplifying some game plan stuff. Again, when you have a young team sometimes you have to adjust. Last year, we got to Thursday's and things kind of went like clockwork. We needed a little longer."
Starting QB a game-day decision
DeRuyter said the starting quarterback again would be a game-day decision. Junior Brian Burrell has started all of the Bulldogs' games, but some slow starts have them assessing whether Brandon Connette could get the offense on the scoreboard any faster.
"We've had that discussion and we'll see," DeRuyter said.
Fresno State has been outscored 52-2 in the first quarter of its games and those two points came following a punt when a Nebraska player batted the football out of the end zone.
In the loss at Utah, the Bulldogs ran 16 first-quarter plays that gained just four yards.
No matter who starts, both will play. Connette was held out last week against Nebraska because he did not get enough team reps with the No. 1 or No. 2 offenses during the week due to a right hand injury. In the first two games, the Bulldogs switched quarterbacks by quarter with Burrell starting and Connette taking the first series of the second quarter.
"No one has established themselves as the guy yet," DeRuyter said. "Until that happens, both will play."
Mickelson makes watch list
Inside (Mike) linebacker Karl Mickelsen has been selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2014 Senior Class Award in the bowl subdivision.
The players nominated for the award were selected on four areas of excellence -- community, classroom, character and competition. It is presented to a student-athlete who uses his or her platform in athletics to make a positive impact as a leader in the community.
Last season, former Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr was one of 10 finalists and was a first-team selection for the 2013 Senior Class Award.