Thursday, October 13, 2005
The Evolution of the Bulldog Offense
Bryson Sumlin and Wendell Mathis both topped 100 yards rushing for the first time this season. It was Sumlin's second straight 100 yard game, while it was Mathis' first for 2005.
The Bulldogs entered the season with one of the most potent running back tandems in the nation. Many expected Sumlin and Mathis to carry an offense that would rely heavily on the run. However, Fresno State has showed remarkable balance this year. They can run and pass with equal success, but have yet to do it in the same game since the opener against Weber State.
Paul Pinegar is in the midst of a great senior season. He is proving to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country. After the Bulldogs 3 game losing streak in 2004, Fresno State has won 9 of 10. During their 3 game skid, the Bulldogs failed to score more than 21 points. In the last ten games Fresno State has scored at least 34 points, while averaging 48.7, and Pinegar has been the center of that revitalization.
Pinegar and Fresno State have been able to counter whatever challenge that has been thrown their way this year. Against Oregon Pinegar passed for 418 yards and threw 3 tds, when the Duck defense loaded up the box to stop the run. In the Bulldogs other three games, he has not had to do much, but that is a credit to Sumlin, Mathis, and the defense and special teams.
The defense and special teams have given the Bulldogs short fields to work from all season, thus far. Fresno State has not had to move the ball far to score points. Statistics do not always tell the truth. Putting the stats aside, Fresno State has not been stopped offensively this year.
Utah State will see the Bulldogs best performance yet. Fresno State was going to open up the playbook against New Mexico State, but the rain scratched those plans.
If the skies are clear Saturday night, the Aggies should expect to see a similar offensive performance from the 2001 70-21 Bulldog win.
FRESNO STATE FOOTBALL RELEASE(PDF)