Sunday, November 06, 2005
The O is Back!
Fresno State came out and did exactly what everyone expected and hoped they would have done the last five games. The offense exploded for over 500 yards of total offense, and for the first time this year Pinegar passed for over 300 yards, a running back(Wendell Mathis) ran for over 100 yards and a receiver (Paul Williams) had over 100 yards receiving.
Pinegar has played spectacular this year, but rarely since the loss at Oregon, has he had to pass the ball in order for the Bulldogs to win. He completed 22 of 35 passes for 368 yards and 3 touchdowns passing and one rushing. It was a complete attack as Mathis continued his midseason dominance with 105 yards on the ground and 1 touchdown.
Pinegar's passing performance is exactly what was needed and was almost picture perfect. There very few bad throws, no ints, but there were a couple of times he could have avoided the sack better. Boise State has to be thinking twice about stacking the box this Thursday after watching tape of Pinegar's performance.
Speaking of the Broncos, they beat up New Mexico State 56-6 to set up the Western Athletic Conference showdown between first place Fresno State and Boise State. It will be the first time ever the schools will meet when both are undefeated in conference play.
At 7-1 (5-0), the Bulldogs are off to their best start since 1991. Yet, everything did not go perfect against the Spartans. The rush defense and special teams did not play like their usual self.
San Jose State was held to only 54 yards passing, but they ran for 211 yards, 50 more than Fresno State. However, most of the yards were on halfback draws in shotgun formation. San Jose State was not able to line up and pound the Bulldogs.
It has to be somewhat of a concern considering Boise State is one of the best rushing teams in the country. The Broncos use running back by committee. Not one is even closely talented to Fresno State's Mathis or Bryson Sumlin, but each one is effective in a different way.
For the first time in recent memory Fresno State muffed a long snap on a punt. The muff gave the Spartans the ball in Fresno State territory, but Bulldogs held San Jose State to no points.
Other than that, Thursday night's game on ESPN HD against Boise State could not have been set up any better. For those who will not be able to attend in person, catch the kickoff on ESPN HD at 5pm, ESPN's top broadcast duo Mike Tirico and Kirk Herbstreit will call the game.