Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Morning After

Last night was as tough a loss as Fresno State has ever experienced. As I explained last night there is so much wrong with Fresno State right now that there is not one area that can fix everything. The next few days I am going to go over the areas I really feel need the most attention in the order of their importance. For me the number one area of improvement is coaching. Pat Hill, Steve Hagen, and Dan Brown are not getting the job done. Of course all of this will fall on Pat Hill because he is the head coach and he is not preparing the Dogs the way he has in the past. The Bulldogs do not look ready when they come out on the field anymore. Not only do they not look ready to play, they also have no fire. I miss the days of David Carr led teams that were out to beat the world. Pat Hill seems to have lost his fire as the head coach and in the coming weeks it is going to be as important as ever for him to find a way to rediscover it.

The most obvious question is where does this team go from here? Pat Hill has become one of the single most stubborn coaches alive and unlike previous years he has affected the performance of the football team in doing so. Earlier in the season I noticed a problem with Brandstater (against Washington) with respect to his pocket presence. I took a lot of negativity for suggesting that he may not be the right quarterback for the Dogs because he has very little poise when in the game. I realize that most of the time my negativity poses a problem but this may be the only time I have been correct about a player at Fresno State. I had problems with Pinegar but he could throw the ball well. Brandstater did not complete 50% of his passes last night against one of the single worst defenses in the nation and it is all going to fall back onto Pat Hill. Pat Hill wanted to dumb down the playbook for the so called new receivers, but we all know it is being done because Tom cannot make the plays. So why do we continue to use a QB that cannot make the plays? Has Pat Hill ruined the remainder of the season? I still believe the answer is no, but only if the coaching wises up now and begins to make some changes.

First and foremost Pat Hill has to give Sean Norton a chance. If Norton doesn't work out so be it, but he has to let him see if he can do something positive for the Dogs. Pat needs to swallow his pride for the first time in his career at state and realize that he made a mistake. If he inserts Norton as starter this upcoming weekend there will be many more fans at the game than we might anticipate solely to see how good the Parade All American can play. If he let's Tom start again the attendance might be at an all time low as fans do not want to watch this offense go into it's pathetic mode that it tends to when Brandstater starts. On offense I don't feel like any more changes are needed aside opening up the playbook and maybe running the option with Norton at QB. If that happens we add another dimension to the game that Hawaii will have trouble keeping up with.

Dan Brown and the defense will have to figure out how to get pressure on the QB. Colt Brennan is amazing as most of you saw last night, but when he is pressured he will fumble or force throws. That is going to be the only way we win next weekend, with a opportunistic defense that hasn't done anything for us all season. We need interceptions and fumble recoveries next weekend and we need them bad. Brown needs to find a way to attack the Hawaii offense or this game is going to get out of hand fast. I would attack Steve Hagen but I feel like the play calling is not completely on him as Pat Hill has final say over all plays. So once again Pat Hill needs to change something on offense. I suggested a spread formation with Norton in from time to time but Hill is so stuck on the pro style that my spread idea will never materialize.

In the end changes are needed badly. Hill has to know this after the pathetic showing we had at Utah State. Congrats to Utah State and all but Pat Hill handed them a win. If they want to thank anyone for that win they have no where else to look but squarely at Pat Hill. Utah State knew we would run early and often and did everything they could to stop it daring us to throw. Pat Hill did not get the team ready and for that he should shoulder most of this loss.


the Maestro said...

There is nowhere else to go except to Pat Hill when assigning blame. He is the Head Coach--as in "head," making final decisions, and "Coach," teaching and preparing his team to do their best.

Does anyone think this team is playing up to their capabilities? I don't either.

Hence, the Head Coach must take the blame, along with his One million, three hundred thousand dollars per year salary.

Steve Burnes

Anonymous said...

Once again, I will chime in regarding Norton vs. Brandstater. Brandstater has not shown the development you would expect after 5 games under his helmet. His 3rd and 4th down conversion rates against fair to mediocre defenses has been dismal. Norton could be the added spark the Dog's needed 3.5 weeks ago. There is only one way to find out and that's to give Norton several starts and monitor his production/development compared to Brandstater's. I believe the better quarterback has been on the bench the last 5 weeks. If Norton finally gets his opportunity, observe his fiery and competitive disposition. I foresee a Doug Flutie/Drew Brees type playmaker in the making.

el perro chato said...

WTF! Utah St.?

el perro chato said...

When does Bulldog basketball start?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Hill will put Norton in at all this week against Hawaii either. If it has been this long without even a hint that Norton will get some play, i.e. taking snaps in 2nd half of this game or in practice with 1st team, it is unlikely he will be thrown into the mix.

But hopefully I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

One other thing...

If Hill is so hung up on TB because he is the "prototypical pro quarterback" at 6'5", yadda yadda, we need only to look at the QB that beat us from USU. He was a smaller QB but was quick on his feet and not scared in the pocket.

While his passing until the last drive appeared poor, he still made plays happen which is something that can't be said for TB.

If Norton has similar characteristics it would most likely be a positive move to replace TB.

Lastly, Pat Hill should not demand that the Valley support him and get pumped up and attend games if he himself is not inspired nor inspiring his team and making the best personnel decisions to win games.

Anonymous said...

Yeah i was wrong and you guys were right- Brandstater has to go. But hill? thats going too far. Hill kept brandstater in too long and will certanly give norton a shot, if not against hawai'i than against Boise State or LSU. There is an opportunity here, however- now the 'dogs are dogs, underdogs, and maybe the first time in a while they are truely not thought of as having any kind of chance against opponents like Boise State and LSU. The Bulldogs have always relished the chance to be serious underdogs and giant killers, and thats what they would be by beating any one of their next three opponents. I am going on record as being the guy who calls for a big upset in one of these next three games, and probably even one of the second two against LSU or Boise St., not to reenter conference competion or even any discussion but to regain their dignity and keep teams wary of them, and keep themselves remembered as a team that can beat anybody. Maybe i'm wrong, but Look out for FSU's first win on the Blue Turf or its first W against the Bayou Bangles. this is a team that eats up adversity. Yea i'm probably being too optimistic, but i think that there are only a few alterations that need to be made, and the point has been made many times on this site that the dogs have the best RB and several of the best WR in the WAC, and they are just a few pieces away from what they want. One big upset win gets them back. I say it happens in the next two or three weeks.

bulldog1 said...

Winning masks a lot of problems while losing amplifies them.

The record is abysmal at 1-4 and the recent loss at lowly Utah State is inexcusable. What's more, the team is not playing to their potential. And for that, the coaches need to take the heat. This is their job and what they are paid the lofty salaries for.

So what needs to happen?

Fire the coach(s)
Change the QB
Install a new offensive scheme
Rearrange the defensive backfield
Recruit better players
Not support the team until we win

Is that really where we are as a team? Does the team that took USC and Oregon to the wire really require such draconian changes?

formerdog said...

Fire Pat Hill NOW!!!!

What, are we going to 'rebuild' the next three years under Pat Hill? - No way. Pat will CONTINUE with his tough guy mentality and CONTINUE to schedule as many BCS teams that he can get his hands on - and for what? Only to continue to LOOSE!

FSU DOESN'T have the talent or depth to play these teams two, three or four weeks out of the season. Hell, we don't have the tallent now to even play the crappiest team in the WAC.

Cut our losses NOW! Our 2007 recruiting class will really suck! What kids wants to come to FSU now? If that kid has any talent, he will take the scholarship to any PAC-10 school over FSU.... I would.

The ONLY way FSU is to get better and get the program continually in the top 25 (where it could be) is to..

1) Fire Pat Hill. He will never let go of his unrealistic dream of playing in the National Championship game.

2) Dial down our schedule and play ONLY one good BCS team per year. (We cannot handle anymore with our current depth and talent.)

3) Win the WAC and have only 1-2 losses EVERY year for the next THREE years. (This will boost our recruiting again - along with morale).

Pat Hill will never do these things. WHY?

Hey Pat, The only thing you have prooved in the past TEN years is that you can LOOSE 4+ games EVERY year.

You will NEVER build a top 25 program with 4-5 losses EVERY year. GET A CLUE or LEAVE!!!

Your ship has sailed and now your unrealistic team goals are ruining FSU.

Hey FSU fans, stop making excuses for the 'leader' of this team. When will you open your eyes and finally see that Pat's goals are unrealistic for FSU?

He needs to take his goals to STANFORD. Pat could get better recruits to come to Stanford and definately turn that program around. he will NEVER get the quality of recruits to come here with the schedule that he continues to play.

I hope that BOISE ST. runs the table this year and FINALLY shows PAt that his goals are too much for FSU.

Go BRONCOS!! FIRE PAT HILL or change your goals Pat!

pleasewintheWAC! said...

If PH doesn't start or at least play SN this week, he should be fired because clearly a change needs to be made and if he's not going to make it, then it will be the university that will have to make the decision. He needs to snap out of it and fix the problem, that means change.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.