Sunday, October 22, 2006
A Bayou Sized Beating
What do you take from a game like last nights? How can you look at a physical beating such as the one LSU gave us and find positives? Fresno State was outplayed in every possible aspect of college football last night in their 38-6 blowout loss to SEC powerhouse LSU. The funny thing is if you watched this game Fresno State had a chance in the second half to get right back in the game. Trailing 17-3 Sean Norton hit Paul Williams for a 30-35 yard gain to put Fresno State on the 20 yard line. Unfortunately I am not so sure the play calling after that made any sense. On first and goal from the seven yard line Wright ran up the middle for a gain of three. After a false start on Fresno State Norton hit West on an out pattern that did not go into the end zone. On third and goal Hagen called a flare out to Wright that once again did not go into the end zone. I don't understand how you can have three plays from inside the seven yard line and not one time do you actually go to the end zone with the ball. Week after week the playcalling on this team continually gets worse. I cannot count how many times Fresno State ran on first and second down once again last night and the crazy thing is Sean Norton played well. He finished 13-20 for 134 yards but had three dropped passes that were put right where they needed to be. Williams dropped a deep ball but did get crushed after the ball landed in his hands. Marlin Moore dropped maybe the most important throw of the game early on. Fresno State already down 7-0 went deep and Moore was alone on the right side and somehow the ball went right through his hands. The last drop was a great throw right into the hands of Kinter on fourth down that someho was also dropped. If these passes are caught this game is much closer and Norton finishes 16-20 for about 200 yards. Norton did not throw one ball that was in danger and continually put it where it needed to be. Our QB future is fine and I think offensively we will have the tools to score non stop with the right play calling.
Once again our defense was absolutely terrible. LSU has great team speed but sometimes I am left wondering why Mays does not attack the hole on a run to the left or right. The scheme to sit back and let a RB who is much faster than you come at you without attacking makes no sense. On LSU's first TD Mays sat back and let the RB run right by him. We just don't have the athletes on defense to shut anyone down this season. The D-Line did well last night pressuring Russell countless times but when we needed pressure on him we did not get it. On 3rd and 15 Russell threw a 58 yard touchdown. The D-line leeds to get pressure in these types of situations. At the same time I have come to the realization we just do not have the corner opposite McCauley to shut anyone down. It does not matter if it is Jefferson, Jenkins, or Simmons that side of the field is continually getting exposed. Our defense has so much work to do to get better but I will say I was impressed with the amount of blitzing from other positions on defense last night. At least Brown didn't sit back and just let the other team fire away play after play. This game was a step up from the Hawaii game and gives us some confidence going into the Boise State game. Boise's pass defense is just as bad as ours, but they score plenty of points to cover up that problem. This game should actually be a pretty decent one as long as Fresno State can stop Boise's RB Johnson which I think they can. Overall the Boise game should be a pretty close affair with the Dogs being in the game the entire way. At the same time we have ten days to prepare meaning our guys will be fresh for the game.
I know LSU beat us, and I know in the end the score was ugly. But Fresno played much better this weekend than they did against Hawaii. I feel like this team is on its way to fixing these problems and eventually we will be right back where we were before: Challenging Boise for the WAC title year in and year out.