Saturday, October 28, 2006
College Football: The Greatest Game Alive
Every week I look forward to a Saturday of college football filled with upsets and the unexpected. Today was no different as I watched a Trojan team I usually follow with great interest lose to Oregon State 33-31. Yes this is the same Oregon State team that went into Boise and lost 42-14 earlier this season. Now most of you probably wonder what the heck this has to do with Fresno State. If USC can go into Oregon State and lose then there is more than a fighter's chance that Fresno can play on the smurf turf and come away with a win. I know most of you have little faith in the Bulldogs this year but there is no reason to count them out of this game on Wednesday. Here are just a few reasons why Fresno State has a chance Wednesday:
1) First of all I do not agree with the Kelly Carr show and how intricate Boise's offense is. It is a one man show that starts and ends with Ian Johnson. If a defense can shut him down (although no one has yet) they in turn will heavily impair what Boise can do on offense. Zabransky can play there is no doubt about that but let's not confuse this man with Ryan Dinwiddie. Z does not make the same great decisions that Dinwiddie did when he played for Boise and will not torch Fresno's defense like Colt Brennan did. Truth be told although Hawaii does have a loss in conference most feel they are the best team in the WAC and not Boise State. Fresno's defensive strength (yes they actually have one) is stopping the run betwen the tackles which also happens to be Johnson's strength when he runs the ball. If Shirley and Leonard continue their stellar play the Broncos are going to have to look elsewhere to score.
2) College football has more surprises than any other sport out there. Week in and week out there are more upsets partly due to the fact that there are so many schools in Division 1A football. Who's to say having ten days off doesn't help the Dogs get back to where their health needs to be? Who's to say Boise is going to play the perfect game like they always seem to against the Bulldogs? Remember we did beat the Broncos last year so that aura of invincibilty that seemed to be there is gone. Each time we have gone to Boise the games have been closer with the last game being a 33-16 loss. This time the Dogs may be down but they are definitely not out. They have no pressure on them in this game and actually do have something to play for. Hill knows this team needs to open up the playbook to win this game and I think he will. Which brings me to the last reason.
3) The Dogs will open it up in this one. The conservative play calling has not worked and Hill knows we have five games left to do something this season. Hill will not remain the way he has all year and maybe FormerDog will come in and say something good here in the game against Boise. Their pass defense is their weakness and to win a game you have to exploit the weakness of the other team. Williams and Fernandez should be good for this game and West as we all know is becoming a star for the Bulldogs. Norton will be given the opportunity to throw often so it is going to come down to pass protection for him. I know that we have not done the greatest job of protecting this season but Wednesday the Dogs will be ready. We are not playing LSU and although the Broncos are ranked right there with LSU they are not nearly as talented as the Tigers are.
I know most people do not feel that the Dogs can win this game but just as an example Texas Tech is up 24-7 against Texas right now. Texas Tech may not win the game but right now they are playing well against a very sound Texas team (Does this remind anyone of Fresno State-USC last year?). Fresno State needs to come out on fire against Boise. Whatever the line is on the game I am taking the Bulldogs. I know we barely survived the spread against LSU (which was the first time it has happened this year) but this weekend a couple of upsets have happened that I picked. Texas Tech over Texas and Clemson losing to Virginia Tech were two of them. No I do not know everything nor do I make sense in many of the games I pick, but I feel like Fresno State will have a chance to win this game. This time they will come through and end Boise's dream BCS season, Fresno State 38 Boise State 35.
Note - I chose the picture of Wendell Mathis at USC because I wanted to talk about upsets and that was as close to a huge upset as Fresno State will ever be a part of.