Monday, September 25, 2006

An Injury Worth Discussing?

I was searching the net today when I came across an interesting article in the Merced Sun-Star. According to the article Tom Brandstater was injured when he was hit early on in the Oregon game. Now anyone who has seen this hit knows Brandstater was on the ground for a good five minutes after he was drilled with a helmet directly to his ribs. However, Brandstater being hurt from this hit creates a situation that has continually upset me over the years with respect to Pat Hill. Now I am not saying Brandstater is truly hurt, I am going off of an article I read that was put in the paper in Merced. However, if this is true that means that Hill played a quarterback against Washington that was hurt. If he played Brandstater hurt then he put our chances of winning that game in jeopardy. If we had no other backup quarterback I could see why Brandstater played the entire game against Washington, but we have Norton. I don't know what is going on behind closed doors inside Fresno State's locker room but it is becoming quite disturbing. I am not sure what Sean Norton has done to make this situation so anti-Norton but am I the only who is beginning to think this is ridiculous? I realize this could be speculation and I might be way off base but if it is true then Hill is risking wins to keep someone in the game that is hurt. Why would someone do that to the football team? This has continually been a problem with the Hill regime in Fresno.

In the past we have seen Hill stick to his guns with both Volek and Carr. Those two quarterbacks worked out well for Fresno State as they both can be viewed as two of the better qb's the school has ever seen. However after these two qb's moved on the qb situation rapidly changed. Jeff Grady was supposed to step in as the next great Bulldogs qb but he was injured early in the 2002 season. A young inexperienced Freshman stepped in and was annointed the starter the rest of the season. His name was Paul Pinegar. Regardless of how Pinegar played over the course of his career he was always the starter. While the backups during Pinegar's tenure were not necessarily great, many times a change at qb could have changed the season around. Pat Hill did not budge and left Paul in there. Until the end of the 2005 season this decision always seemed like the right one.

While Pat Hill's decisions have paid off up to this point, if he did leave Brandstater in there injured I would love to hear why. I would love to hear the reasoning for keeping someone on the bench who is mobile and free of injury right now. I would love to hear the reason why we kept someone in to essentially hand the ball off play after play. Can Norton not accomplish a hand-off? Is it that hard for Norton to understand the offense? He seemed to have a grasp on it early in the season and I don't think he has given up hope on playing. Is Norton ever going to have a chance? The way it looks I would venture to guess that Colburn will be the second string quarterback next season. If Hill has a problem with Norton's height he obviously has not been watching Florida's Chris Leak who is also 5'11. he is listed at 6'0 but that is generous. He is leading Florida to an undefeated start and has looked amazing in Florida's offense. Leak is vertically challenged with respect to quarterback size, but is starting for the demanding Urban Meyer. Sean Norton cannot break into the Bulldogs offense even with Brandstater being hurt. I just wonder what Bulldog nation thinks about this? If this article were true does it bother anyone else that we essentially played someone that was hurt and could very well have cost us a win? Just wondering because it looked like Brandstater could have ran the ball many more times than he did but he held back. That really makes me wonder, what about everyone else?

16 comments:

Barkelnic said...

Your negativity without facts constantly amazes me. What does a "maybe" injury to our QB have to do with anything? Our QB did not lose the Wash game. It was a close contest between 2 evenly matched teams. The difference came down to special teams. Quit your Hill-bashing and Norton-dreaming. Nobody wans to win more than Hill. The Blog is beginning to drift into "whiner" territory.

mdg said...

barkelnic...you my friend are clueless!

no one is whining and no one is being negative, merely NSC and myself read this piece in the Merced Sun-Star, and had the same thought, what if Fresno State really did play with one hand tied behind its back? If that is true how could it have been a matchup of evenly matched teams?

Think about my friend, the Steve Cameron of the Merced Sun-Star reported Brandstater got hurt against Oregon...not a "maybe"...

...and if you look back at the Washington game look at Brandstater's play was it just bad or was he in pain?

Just something to ponder, it is not like Hill hasn't played an injured player over a healthy one before...

some of us know the facts, others just speculate, you can think whatever you want....

nsc said...

Barkelnic, I am not exactly whining here. I mean if I were whining wouldn't I be saying "Come on Hill, play Norton or we will lose every game from here on". I dont feel like I should justify myself as to why I speculate that Hill played an injured player. He has done it before and it makes no sense to me. Sorry I bothered you, but I am just speculating and that is all.

Anonymous said...

If Hill indeed played an injured TB over Norton, then I will change my mind and say that SN should transfer to a school who would not be afraid to use him.

I don't have a dog in this hunt, but I am a loyal Fresno State fan, and I want the best for the team AND the players. SN must do what is right for himself as well as for the team. To do otherwise would be to squander his college-years opporunity.

Anonymous said...

if the bulldogs want to hang with the big boys of college football, they must play the players who are going to produce regardless of position. There are many college teams out there who have made changes on both sides of the ball since week 1 and 2. Hill and his staff must do the same or the dogs willbe in trouble the rest of the year.

nsc said...

I have always had a problem with the way the Bulldogs swithced out their players. I understand having first and second team players but sometimes injuries can change everything. Look at Georgia for instance. Their qb plays a horrible first three quarters and they bring in Freshman Joe Cox. What happens? Georgia comes back and wins the game 14-13, not to mention Cox goes 9 for 11 with his only two incompletions being batted balls at the line.

Sometimes changes can be good, but we generally don't get to see that here at State because Hill tends to stick to the original guys regardless of what happens. The only time a change is made is if the player is out for the year such as Fairman is.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? The Merced Sun-star? Hey we have a monthly news letter at my work, do you want use it in your next column? Every coach around the country uses players who are hurt if they think they give the best chance to win. Tommy B. did not lose those games, our defense and special teams did. Nobody can expect to win if you let the other team march up and down the field. This just seems like another lame attempt to push for Sean Norton again. If Sean Norton is the best option then it will happen but only when coach Hill decides a change is neccesary and he has had a pretty good track record with his QB's. Now can you please find something good to write about instead of all this conspiracy and doom.

nsc said...

I see, so because I read an article and decided to write about it, I in turn wrote about something that was not interesting? Seeing that I did not say the article was true i do not feel bad about writing it. Instead I was just trying to give people something to think about. I think I did my job if people like you are upset with me for writing this. I am glad you are honest about how you feel but come on, most of the stuff I write is pretty straight forward. I should be able to write an article like this from time to time.

mdg said...

conspiracy and doom...I love it!

Dude this is a freaking blog, not a columnm but glad you're reading.

No one is pushing for Norton, he is not going to play this season. And most people know that. Brandstater has been the starter since spring ball. Hill obviously believes in Brandstater and not Norton. Okay with that said....

Hill said in preseason camp that he had two quarterbacks that he felt could (bull) start (shit) for his team...why even make that statement. Just say Tom's the man and Sean is the backup. Like I've said before, it is going to take something big to see Hill play Sean. I wouldn't be surprised to see Christensen ahead of Norton if Tom was unable to play.

Unlike most fans, I watched a lot of practices from preseason 2005 to spring until fall camp. Besides Tom's height, numerous first team reps and the expererience of backing up Pinegar last season, he has nothing on Sean when it comes to quarterbacking and throwing the ball. That isn't a knock against Tom either, because he is a fine quarterback, as well. He has vastly improved his game from a year ago.

I just don't understand why the coaching staff doesn't let him air out the ball. They let Pinegar air it out last year, and his arm is no where near as strong's as Tom's.

Against Washington Tom threw some bad balls that I never seen him throw. Now it could have been just nerves playing in his first road game or it could have been something else. No one knows but Tom.

Anonymous said...

Column, blog, a limerick on old toilet paper. It's all the same, someones thoughts (and the occasional fact) written down. I didn't say it wasn't interesting. If this blog wasn't interesting i wouldn't keep coming back. Just a little tired of the whole QB thing.

one question. Do you really think SN would fare any better if given the same restraints in the passing game that Tommy has on him such as not using the tight ends or the fact that he's not allowed to actually throw the ball that often?
It is hard for any QB to get a rythm if you don't get to throw the ball consistently.

Anonymous said...

I think Hill should consider changing things up a little. I was thinking the same as nsc in regards to the Georgia game. Sometimes change can be good. Personally, I think TB has performed well in the last three games and does not warrant any change. However, if he struggles, Hill should try something new. Can't hurt trying.

nsc said...

I don't think any quarterback can flourish in the system we run, so I have to agree with you on that point. We don't throw enough to do so. I also have to say that MDG is right on when it comes to what Hill said. I mean if you have no intentions of it being a truly fair competition then whats the point of saying it is? I also feel like if Tom were to be hurt Christensen would probably step in before Norton, but that's just an opinion of the guy who writes this blog and nothing more. In the end you are right, it wouldn't matter who is the qb, the coach doesn't let him throw so there isn't anyone who would look great in our system.

mdg said...

FS's system is rather vanilla this year, and Hagen even said the playbook was cut in half for Brandstater.

Somethings I just don't get. Pinegar started in 2002 at the last minute and took over for a very knowledgable QB in Grady. Cignetti may have dumbed down the playbook, but Pinegar still threw for nearly 3,000 yards and he didn't start in two games. And to top it off Berrian got hurt and his receiving corp often had RFr starters in Jamison and Jennings. The tailback was out of shape, slow-footed Rodney Davis. And Davis ran for over 1,500 yards. How is that possible? This year's team is far more talented and deeper, Brandstater should be having a field day.

It doesn't matter who is playing QB this year, the offense thus far has not been quarterback friendly. With a pounding ground game and talented receivers, Brandstater should be having a field day every game.

Last year the offense posted near 40 pts a game and Pinegar had great numbers. But if the offense continues their pedestrian run, even Hill has to call his offense rather "vanilla".

The only knock on Tommy is he holds onto the ball too long, but they may have been under coaches orders. He got his clock rung a few times against Oregon, and Hill doesn't want to lose his starting QB to a stupid hit on a scramble.

Anonymous said...

It is very true. Hill is very reluctant to use the best man at other positions besides QB. We have way too many recruits that do this grayshirt BS, then they redshirt, then they are Redshirt freshmen. By the time they are redshirt sophmores, they are already in thier 4th year in college. Kids want to go to college and get out and enjoy the chance to compete on the football field. Hill grayshirts recruits like it's gong out of style. Play em or don't recruit em.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the only time a backup can get some true quality playing time, is if the man in front of him blows a knee out or the first team guy graduates. How in the freakin way can the Bulldogs develop quality backups. Hill should do as the top programs in the nation do. Throw them into the fire and see what transpires. It seems year after year we get in this same old rut. Too bad it is becoming a habit.

Anonymous said...

I was searching the internet for the term "grayshirt" and this site came up with some info on how Hill grayshirts a lot of his guys. What does grayshirt mean? Does it use up a year? It is also funny that this site came up as I played soccer at Fresno State from 89-92.

Any info would be great. thanks