Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fresno State - San Jose State Preview

First off, expect to see a great deal of Dwayne Wright this Saturday. He will get the ball between 25 and 30 times depending on the flow of the game. There is no way Brandstater will throw the ball more than 25 times throughout the course of the game. If the Dogs have to rely on the passing game they will not beat San Jose. San Jose is not the most talented team. I realize they have won seven games but I question how truly good this team is. San Jose's victories have come against teams with a combined record of 21-59 (and that is including div. 1AA Cal Poly who went 7-4.) I am not saying Fresno State is any better because our four wins have not come against very good teams either (aside 8-4 Nevada although that is debatable as well). However, the nation has the view that Fresno State is in a down season while San Jose State has overachieved. I guess this is true if you feel that San Jose beating six of the bottom thirty teams in the nation is overachieving. However, this is an evenly matched game across the board. Both teams have good running games. Both teams passing attack is suspect although San Jose is much more efficient with their QB than Fresno State is with theirs. Adam Tafralis is having a very good season under the radar because of QB's like Brennan and Holbrook also happen to reside in the WAC. If Fresno State's pass rush (12 sacks in the past three games) can continue to put pressure on San Jose's offensive line the Bulldogs will succeed in shutting down Tafralis. However, Yonus Davis is a very good running back and will be tough to stop.

What most people do not know about San Jose is they have one of the better defenses in the WAC. With respect to scoring defense they rank second only to Boise State who we all know went 12-0 this season. At the same time the Spartans are a very good home team this season. San Jose is currently 5-1 at home with their only loss coming to Boise State on the last play of the game. Fresno State will have it's hands full in this game regardless of how well they play. The Bulldogs will not be able to turn the ball over three times and still come away with a victory. San Jose has not beaten the Bulldogs since 1990 and has their best chance to knock the Bulldogs off this season. During it's current twelve game losing streak to Fresno State San Jose has been favored to knock the Dogs off before. This year's squad is far more talented than any of those teams during the 12 year streak. In other words this year's team has the best chance of breaking this string against the Bulldogs.

Both teams have plenty to play for. San Jose still views this game as a rivalry and will give it their all on the field Saturday. Fresno State will not be going to a bowl game for the first time in eight season and would love nothing more than to knock San Jose off for the thirteenth straight time and finish the season with momentum heading into 2007. As I said earlier this game will be one that is decided in the fourth quarter. SJSULatina has made it very clear to me that San Jose State is going to break the streak this season against the Bulldogs. I can't say that I have major confidence in anything the Bulldogs do this season, but if they do one thing well it is beat San Jose. I understand all streaks have to come to an end, but I believe this will not be the year that the San Jose streak is broken. If the Spartans took us on in the fourth or fifth week as they did last season then they would have beaten us. Unfortunately for the Spartans they get Fresno State on a three game winning streak. The Spartans will face a team who is confident and believes they will win this game. Brandstater will not play great but he will refrain from making major mistakes that will cost the team. Both Dwayne Wright and Yonus Davis will have stellar games. This game will come down to a field goal by Stitser and as we have seen he has been quite good lately.

Fresno State - 30
San Jose State - 27

This will be a well played game by both sides as both teams will deserve to win. Unfortunately in college football there is only one winner. Fresno State will do enough to win another game at it's home away from home. There will be plenty of Bulldogs fans in Spartans stadium to root the Dogs on. Everyone who attends the game will be in for a treat. I just wish I could make it up there to watch the renewal of a rivalry between the Dogs and the Spartans.


Anonymous said...

You bet, NSC! It is always fun at our "home away from home." I have been there when I would swear there are more Red Wavers than Spartans in the stands.

Still, I am glad to see SJSU succeeding some, because it has not been as much fun with them on the skids.

Beyond that, we need all the WAC teams to "Play Up," so that our conference superceeds the weenie Mountain West gang. (I no longer see moving to the MW as anything but a lateral move--why go, then?)

I will be there on SAturday, and I am bringing a few with me. All year long I have listened to the Spartan crowd at my school bragging, and slamming the 'Dogs. Finally, we get to put a stop to it all, and break their hearts like we did in '02 when we took their bowl game from them.

Go 'Dogs, and don't you DARE loose to the Spartans!

Steve Burnes

Anonymous said...

If we beat SJSU, we will be tied for third place in the WAC. Since we beat Nevada, we should sit ahead of them.

I don't think the Mountain West is all that hot either. Out here in Logan, I am right in the middle of if with Utah and BYU. I think last year the dogs could have taken eith or them. Boise destroyed Utah this year. Not to say I am a Boise fan, but I would probaly be willing to say we have better teams in the WAC on average. We lost to Colorada who his in the MWC, but we should have won that game. As for this year, if Fresno had played BYU they would have had to play really good to win. Utah is not good this year.

Utah State here in Logan is in danger of losing the divsion I status, because of low attendance at the games. I think you need an average of 15,000 per game, most of the time they are under.

I think Fresno's momentum will carry them through to a victory over San Jose.
PS, I will proably be moving back to the freso area during the next year. I might end up in the Sacramento area, but I am hoping for Fresno. I work for the United States Veterans Administration.