Wednesday, November 22, 2006
La. Tech-Fresno State Preview
It's hard to believe that La. Tech and Fresno State are both having such down seasons simultaneously. You have to say it is much more surprising that Fresno State is having a down year with 16 returning starters. La. Tech for all technical purposes lost their entire defense to graduation this past season. With a depleted defense and an inexperienced offense the Bulldogs of La. Tech were going to have a down season regardless of who their opponents would be. Unfortunately for La. Tech they would open the season @Nebraska, at home against Texas A&M, @ Clemson, and @ Boise State. Only Fresno State's three game stretch of Hawaii, @LSU, and @ Boise State could be comparable to such a tough stretch of football. So what should we look for in Friday night's game between these two teams of whom are both named the 'Bulldogs"?
Fresno State is going to do the usual. They Will run Dwayne Wright early and often. With no Sean Norton available even if Brandstater struggles he is our only option at QB. I cannot say I have much faith in our QB being able to throw the ball but I do feel like Wright, Miller, and Harding will get us enough yards on the ground to come out on top in this game. La. Tech is very similar to Utah State who coincidentally is La. Tech's only win in the WAC this season. La. Tech does not have much going for them on offense and honestly they have not played defense once this entire season. They yielded 35 points to a Utah State team that could only muster 13 against us. If Fresno State cannot find a way to put up at least 30 points it still may not matter. With the way the Bulldogs have been playing defense of late there is a chance 13-17 will win this game. The only problem is this game is nationally televised and this is not exactly the type of offense I would want the entire nation to see.
Keep in mind that La. Tech does have some talent and will challenge the Dogs to start the game. If Fresno plays similar to how they did against Utah State they will come away with there eighth loss of the season. However, I feel like this Dogs team has turned the corner with respect to defense. We will see plenty of Haynes and Harris on the field along with Shamblee in the middle. As long as Jenkins continues to play well and Andrews shores up the middle of the field La. Tech will have very few options on the field. This game will not be like 2004 as the Dogs should come out on top of this one rather easily.
Fresno State 35
La Tech 17
Note - For anyone who has not been to yahoo.com check out an article that was written about Dwayne Wright. It is nice to see Wright getting some pub from a draft expert. Although the Dogs have had a down season Wright has played amazingly all season. Teams have stacked the line and forced the Dogs to pass, yet the Dogs continue to run with Wright. It is quite impressive when you realize Wright has rushed for nearly five yards a carry with everyone in the nation knowing he is going to get the ball. Congrats to Wright, I hope you find a good home in the NFL.
Secondly - It was a nice gesture by the Bulldogs to say thank you for the fan support. I feel bad that the stadium was so empty when the Dogs attempted to say thank you to us for the support we have given them over the years. This senior class may have underachieved this season, but they realize how important they are to this community. It felt good to see the Dogs talking about what they will miss the most. Many of them mentioned walking down the ramp to the ovation the fans give them. We will miss you seniors, best of luck down the road whether it be in the NFL or elsewhere.