Today the Bulldogs took on an Idaho team that had an ex Fiesta Bowl champion as their coach and a fuming QB who wanted to play for Fresno State but was not given the opportunity to do so. Fresno State had not put together a complete game to this point and still may not have, but against Idaho the Bulldogs played their best game of the season. Relying on the legs of Dwayne Wright the Dogs ran over the Vandals en route to a 34-0 victory. What may have been the most impressive aspect of this victory was how the secondary played. Mixing Harris and Haynes into the game the Bulldogs secondary seemed to be everywhere they needed to be. Although they only picked off one pass the secondary had their hands on at least three more throws that should have resulted in interceptions. I have to say Jenkins played far better than we have become accustomed to and I feel like he is finally coming around. Next year could be a very good season for this secondary as it begins to gel together with underclassmen at every spot aside Jenkins at corner. Next season we have many returning players with experience and this only became possible because of our down season in 2006. If the Dogs had succeeded how they wanted to many of these Freshman would have never stepped on the field. I feel like 2008 is going to be the target year for the Dogs as they will be ready to step up and get back into the spotlight.
Today Fresno State showed they have what it takes to stop the Vandals. In the second half the Bulldogs defense held the Vandals to under 100 yards of total offense and used the running game to take complete control. Although Tom Brandstater was not impressive the rest of the Bulldog offense was. I don't think harping on the QB situation makes any sense anymore, we should all just accept that Hill likes Brandstater and somehow he is going to have to get better for us to make that jump from a mid-tier to upper echelon team. Tom didn't have to make the throws today and during the Pinegar era that was something the Dogs did more often than not. If the Dogs can build on this win and carry into the next two games there is a strong possibility that it will carry over into 2007. For those who were not able to see the game here is what was so impressive about the Dogs:
Defensive Line/Secondary - The Bulldogs were all over Wichman throughout the game. He had no where to go and was sacked four times and forced to throw the ball far before he wanted to. Jenkins went play for play with the Vandals wide receivers and found help from both Harris and Haynes. Dwayne Andrews also did an outstanding job of sealing the middle and not allowing the offense to run the ball through him.
Running Game - It did not matter who ran the ball, they were effective. Although Kyle Young was out the Dogs amassed over 300 yards on the ground with Dwayne Wright gaining over 130 yards. Lonyae Miller and Anthony Harding both looked equally impressive and give the Dogs hope that their running game is going to be something special for years to come as both of these men are only Freshman.
Kicking/Special Teams - Stitser hit two field goals and Zimmerman did not allow one punt return. Our special teams held Idaho deep into their own territory each time they had the ball. Overall the special teams finally looked like we had become accustomed to over the past five seasons.
Overall this gives most Bulldog fans hope that down the line we have plenty to look forward to. Sometimes we go through bad seasons only to see positives develop as the season moves along. We have great Freshman on this team that will take the Bulldogs into the next four seasons. Fresno State will be back sooner than most think, today was just a glimpse of what can happen when the Dogs put it all together.