I am a faithful Bulldog fan and always will be. I love Fresno State football and really am happy with what Pat Hill has brought us over the last ten years. However, I am at wit's end with this offense and what they have done. Every game we have the chance to absolutely take the other team out early on (as we did against Washington) and we don't do it. Yesterday up 7-0 we get the ball back on the 45 yard line. That is the time where you start going for the kill. I realize Dwayne Wright has been a great running back for us, but you throw the ball deep on the first play when you get it back. Instead Fresno gets the ball back and does absolutely nothing with it. I mean we had series where we ran the ball all three downs. TB only threw 9 passes by halftime. We were down 14-7 and he had thrown nine passes, you cannot say that is efficent by any means. I said Fresno would not be any better than an 8-4 team this season, but I was not counting on a loss to Washington. I figured we would have a three game losing streak with Hawaii (whom I picked to win 9-10 games), Boise, and LSU.
I came away from yesterday's game with one thought: our coaching is the reason we do not win games. I talked to MDG about it last night and he and I both agree that the coaches hold the team back. I know that sounds assanine but the truth is look at the play calling. We run such a predictable offense and the amazing thing is we should be 3-0 right now. How much talent does it take to do what the Dogs do on offense? I mean you have a quarterback who completes 50% of his passes (which in our system is horrible because the passing game is so one dimensional). Yesterday TB was saved by a false start on offense, and then threw the exact same ball again for an interception. Brandstater has a problem with a couple of fundamentals that quarterbacks cannot have. Here are some of his problems:
1) More often than not Brandstater throws off of his front or back foot. He does not set and just lets the ball fly, which is why he over and under throws receivers so much. Yesterday on third and fifteen he missed Fernandez wide open. On 3rd and eight he underthrew Fernandez who was wide open again. With the game on the line he had Fairman open on a middle slant (which is always open, I don't know why we don't exploit that more) not once but twice and both times overthrew him badly. All of this can be attributed to not setting himself as he throws.
2) TB does not seem to have pocket presence yet. He doesn't know when to move up, when to step back, or when to run. He just kind of looks lost in the shuffle during plays.
3) My biggest complaint of them all, he holds on to the ball to long. He waits and waits and waits until the receivers have cut four or five times. This is so frustrating to watch because you know with our three receivers and tight end that someone is open every play.
I don't know if Sean Norton is the answer. I don't know if opening up the passing game is the answer. But when you have Ralph Wood (who literally knows next to knothing about football) commenting on how Fresno State will not be able to rely on the run for the entire season then you know something is wrong. He unfortunately is right. I have been clamoring about this since our first game. If we don't start passing the ball we will not win games and eventually we will begin to get blown out. Boise will stop the run. LSU will definitely stop the run. Boise's weakness is the vertical game deep, something we cannot take advantage of right now.
In the end it is going to come down to play calling and opportunities. If the coaches dont give us opportunites then this will never end and we will finish 7-5 this season and not play in a bowl game. It could become an ugly season, I just hope it doesn't get to that.