Fresno State started fall camp with Marc-David Bien-Amie and Nick Abbs on the right side of the offensive line, at guard and tackle and working with the No. 2 offense.
Line coach Ryan Grubb flipped that at the start of the week, and though moving the 350-pound Bien-Amie outside and the 293-pound Abbs inside might take a few seconds to fully chew on and digest the move is going to stick and gives the Bulldogs a nice start into building a top seven or eight with a starting lineup that appears fairly well set.
“Marc has got a little more explosiveness off the line of scrimmage in his pass set, so (playing in) space is OK for Marc, believe it or not. Even though he’s 350 pounds, he’s extremely athletic,” Grubb said. “And Nick has done really well in close quarters. Nick is such a big, wide body that he can occupy those gaps really well.
“Flipping those two I think was a really good move. I don’t see that changing. Those two need to get better at those two positions and I think they’ll be next-guy-in-the-game type of players. I’m really happy with how that flip went.”
The Bulldogs have run the same No. 1 line since the start of camp with Netane Muti at left tackle, Christian Cronk at left guard, Markus Boyer at center, Micah St. Andrew at right guard and Syrus Tuitele at right tackle.
Grubb said St. Andrew will get some center reps in practice next week following the first scrimmage to develop more options up front – he played there in the spring when Boyer missed some time with an injury.
But that line could be more consistent in the run game than the group last season, which led the Mountain West Conference in sacks and tackles for loss allowed, but was only eighth in rushing yards per game and ninth in rushing yards per play.
Edison product gets audition – Kevin Jeanniton, a walk-on from Edison High, has been getting some reps with the No. 1 and No. 2 defense the past few days, so that coach Jeff Tedford and the defensive staff can get a better evaluation on him.
“He shows up during team-type things,” Tedford said. “It’s really a rotation to see what goes on, give everybody a chance. If you’re always playing against the 3s, you never get to see what they can do with the 1s. You could be doing really well with the 3s, but then when you get with the 1s it’s not the same thing.
“It’s good to mix them up in there and let them play at a level the 1s are playing at. Maybe he does do the same thing against them, which would be great. But that’s the only way you can truly evaluate people is to put them against good competition.”
Who replaces Camacho? – In the spring, it appeared Fresno State would have a difficult time replacing senior Jimmy Camacho, who led the Mountain West with 25 field goals (seven more than anyone in the conference) and also handled the Bulldogs’ kickoffs.
Asa Fuller struggled and junior college transfer Mateo Thompson did not kick due to an injury. The Bulldogs added freshman Shane Ciucci to the mix this summer.
“Asa has improved a lot,” Tedford said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Asa’s improvement from the spring to now. We need to do a lot more of it – we’re going to ramp that up as far as the kicking is concerned in the next few weeks.”
Live action – The Bulldogs will run through around 90 plays on Saturday in a closed scrimmage, their first in fall camp.