Fresno State Football

Fresno State’s Michael Lazarus, Chris Moliga suspended for opener

Michael Lazarus
Michael Lazarus Fresno State Athletics

Fresno State has suspended inside linebacker Michael Lazarus and running back Chris Moliga for one game for violations of team rules and athletic department policy.

Neither was expected to see much if any playing time in the Bulldogs’ opener on Thursday against Abilene Christian.

“Unfortunately, we have two guys that will be suspended for the first game for violations of team and athletic department rules,” coach Tim DeRuyter said Thursday. “Our guys know there are standards and when you slip up there’s a price to be paid – and they’re going to pay with the first game.”

Lazarus, who had shoulder surgery after the 2014 season, has spent most of the first 24 of 29 practices in a rehab mode with trainer Tony Hill and strength and conditioning coach Joey Boese. Lazarus played in seven games last season as a true freshman, but has slipped down the depth chart while out with the shoulder injury.

Moliga, took a redshirt year last season, his first at Fresno State. He was moved to running back from outside linebacker in spring practices, and through camp has been behind starter Marteze Waller, senior Malique Micenheimer and Dustin Garrison, a graduate transfer from West Virginia.

“It affected their preparation time,” DeRuyter said. “We knew that they weren’t going to play and so because of that they weren’t getting the reps that maybe they could have to compete for a job. Again, that’s one of the repercussions of making bad decisions. But they’re both, I believe, good young kids and hopefully they don’t let this define them and they learn from it.”

Season opener

Fresno State vs. Abilene Christian

Thursday: 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium

Radio: KFIG (AM 940), KGST (AM 1600)

In Saturday’s Bee: Fresno State preview section, with position and opponent breakdowns, stats and more