Monday, October 09, 2006
What Can Be Fixed?
Problems, problems, and more problems. That is what the Fresno State football team is facing right now. The only thing that went right at Utah State was our defense. They played more than good enough to give us a win in this game, but our offense faltered. What is caused by our offense faltering again and again? Well aside Pat Hill I think everyone else in the city of Fresno knows how much the offense playing this badly affects the team. The fact that Pat Hill is considering changing QB's is a ridiculous at best. He should be changing QB's without a second thought now. Utah State played much worse on offense the first four weeks and they switched their QB. Utah State's coach realized that maybe a fresh start at QB could breath life into a football program that desperately needed it. We all know he was right and wish our coach would do the same thing. So where are the player problems that exist on the field for this team? There are many so brace yourselves while I try to cover each and every one one of them.
1) QB Play - This is the most obvious and glaring problem that Pat Hill must fix and fix soon. Maybe it is just me but I am beginning to feel like Pat is afraid to change QB's because he is afraid that Norton may actually fix what is wrong. If he does then the fans of Fresno will begin asking why the hell this move wasn't made sooner. We all know our coach is stubborn and as hard headed as they come. But seriously this move needs to be made. We have been calling for it for three weeks now and Brandstater has continually become worse as the season has moved along. Most QB's live for games against Utah State. They get to throw for 500 yards and five TD's when they play a team like this. Brandstater barely broke 100 yards and he owes that to Chastin West.
2) Player Frustration - Dwayne Wright is downright frustrated with the offense and that has become obvious. He is doing all he can to make this team a winner and he knows just as well as the rest of us do that he can only do so much on his own. Against Utah State you could see Wright was out of breath in the second half. He just ran for 30 yards on a carry and because of our inept offense he was asked to run the very next play. What is a man like Wright supposed to do when the game is continually put on his shoulders? I don't know that there are many college kids that can handle a problem like this. Unless the play-calling changes the frustration is going to build to where these players just do not care anymore.
3) Predictability - How many third and long's did we have this past weekend? I saw a stat that said we were only 4 for 16 on third downs? Is that correct because if so that is absolutely horrendous. The Dogs offense has become so predictable that Utah State put eight men in the box on first and second down knowing a run would be coming. At the same time they could gamble because if it weren't a run our qb was only completing half of his passes anyhow.
4) Special Teams - Our special teams has killed us all year. If we perform these correctly we are sitting here talking about a 4-1 Bulldog team with a loss to Colorado State. Unfortunately Stitser has not been himself this year and I can see why. He has only attempted seven field goals in five games because our offense has been so bad. He has not had the chance to come into a game often and if that continues he will miss kicks due to frustrating circumstances.
5) Defensive Secondary - We have done little to nothing to stop the deep pass this season. Colorado State, Oregon, and now Utah State have all beat us on at least one deep route per game. I don't know what is wrong here but I think it has a lot to do with the QB having so much time to throw the ball. If the LB's and D-Line could get pressure on the QB then out defense would not be suffering nearly as bad as they have this season.
I realize we have so many problems one man will not fix every one of these areas. But if we fix one area then that is one less problem we have. We can move to another area after that one is fixed. It looks as if our punting may be fixed as Zimmerman kicks the ball high and gives the opposing team little time to return a punt. That is a good fix to one problem we have. Now let's move on and fix the QB position and see if that in turn can fix the offensive woes, which will help to fix the defensive woes which can lead to a win. How does Hill not see this? It all starts with the QB and it always will start right there when it comes to football.
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