Saturday, November 25, 2006
The Wright Way
Who needs passing? When you have a guy who rushes for 295 yards and carries the team on his back, passing is the last thing you want to do as a team. Last night in Ruston Dwayne Wright carried Fresno State to a 34-27 victory over La. Tech. Had it not been for untimely turnovers this game would have been far worse for La. Tech as they capitalized on three by Fresno State to keep the game close. Brandstater had a coming of age game as he finished 14-23 for 140 yards and three touchdowns. True he only passed for 140 yards but he made good throws and for the first time since the Oregon game he looked comfortable playing QB for the Bulldogs. It may be hard to believe, but this was a big win in many ways for Fresno State. Next week they will take on San Jose State who is playing for their first bowl game in God knows how many years. Fresno State has not lost to San Jose in more than a decade and does not want to start now.
Although La Tech scored 27 points much of it came off of Bulldogs turnovers. Fresno State gave away 14 points with two turnovers in the opponents end zone. At the same time the Bullldogs turned it over on a punt that lead to a La. Tech score to tie the game at 21-21. However, this Bulldog team late in the season responded with the legs of Dwayne Wright. The offensive line opened up massive holes for Wright to run through which lead to big gain after big gain. Wright set the Fresno State single game record for most yards in a game at Fresno State and has an outside shot at breaking the season rushing record. There should be no question as to who is the single most important running back in Fresno State history. Without Dwayne Wright this team would not have one win this season. He has taken this team and carried him in his last season as a Bulldog. All the accolades last night do not solely lay with Wright however. Damon Jenkins picked off two passes and is beginning to play expectionally well at corner. His timing seems to have become much better as he stepped in front of the La. Tech receiver to pick off a pass in their end zone during the first quarter. Jenkins also picked off a pass to seal the win. For a team with only two int's on the season these were huge plays to help the defense out.
Unfortunately it seems no Bulldogs win can go without a loss. Trevor Shamblee looked to suffer a serious leg injury in the fourth quarter. Up to this point there has been no information released but it looked as if it may be a MCL tear. If so he will miss the remainder of this season and chances are most of next as well. This would be a blow to a team that was counting on the JC transfer to continue his spectactular play at LB. At the same time it may be obvious but what has happened to Marcus McCauley? Play after play last night he was out of position allowing the receiver on his side to make the catch. He would be the defender that was burned at the end of the game allowing La. Tech to tie the score at 27-27. Whatever McCauley has allowed to get in his head this season he needs to let go. He has gone from a sure fire first round pick to maybe second or third rounder now at the best.
Overall last night was a solid performance by a Bulldog team that is showing promise for the 2007 season. This team is young and fun to watch. If one of the freshman running backs can pick up the slack and Brandstater can continue to improve this Bulldog team may be one to keep an eye on in 2007. Great win last night but we still have a long way to go.