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?