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.


Anonymous said...

Well, good to know all is ok in Bulldog Land. IF only we could play Idaho, NM STate, and La Tech (119th out of 119 D1 schools in defense, according to ESPN) we could possibly win all the time. Just don't bring on Utah State; they are too tough for us.

That Pat Hill IS a genius, after all.

Steve Burnes

nsc said...

Steve, look its fine to down the Dogs but this is a part of their schedule. Would you rather they just lose all four of these games and finish 1-11? Would that make you feel better about the Dogs and their season? I dont care who they play I want them to win. If it is against the worst teams in the nation then so be it. Look you can play the worst teams in the nation and make a BCS game, check out Boise State. The Dogs just need to get back to winning and I think they will. I don't think Pat Hill is a genius I just think the Dogs are too talented to continue losing.

Anonymous said...

I give; you are correct. I was just hoping for some changes, and I know that the "4 game winning streak" will somehow make everything all right to many people. Pat Hill will not be forced to make changes, Norton will not be treated fairly, and Fresno State will continue to lose games we should win.

One last time for this season: if Fresno State can't win the WAC, it can't go to a BCS game.

Thanks for the great job on this blog. I am just tired of bringing so much hope into a season, and...oh, never mind.

Steve Burnes

nsc said...

Steve I don't disagree with you on the hope and everything crashing to the ground season after season. I have done my fair share of complaining I guess I just feel like it isn't getting me anywhere. I mean I went about a month straight writing blogs on what was wrong with the team and such.

From here on I will still be an outsider looking in on the Bulldogs but my objectiveness is going to change a bit. Instead of downing the Dogs and the gameplan week after week I think I should find what went right and maybe harp on what went wrong a little less. I won't be ignoring it by any means, but the focus here is the young players and the future. I can't ignore the young players talent, it's just all there.

You are right, the problems with Norton and such will not get fixed any time soon. However, I don't think Hill is going to do anything to address them, so I am not sure we should even worry about it anymore, that's all.

Anonymous said...

Haha...yeah everyone is kinda forgetting the Norton issue now.

I mean come on, Brandstater has his "coming of age" game against LA TECH?? I mean seriously, Norton only played against LSU and Boise St which the former has an excellent defense, the latter an average defense.

If Norton had played these last 3 games he probably would have put up better numbers than TB.

It appears that PH had his wish come true, TB does fair to good in games against weak teams and has apparently "earned" his position back.

What a joke. PH is so full of shit; and really after all the shit talking you did earlier NSC I find it rather pathetic that you are now shutting your trap to supposedly "keep up the morale of the younger players."

I found the blog more informative when you were calling things how you saw them, rather than biting your lip and patting the team on the back.

Did the Dogs winning these last 3 games really satisfy you that much?

nsc said...

Not at all. I am not even close to satisfied with this team. However, I guess you can say I just got tired of preaching to the choir about what is wrong. If you watch the games you know what is wrong. I don't need to sit and bitch about what the hell Hill is doing wrong anymore, you true fans know what he is doing wrong. I feel like I wasted all of my thoughts on Hill because he doesn't seem to care what we as a city think of him. It tends to be all about him and where he can take the team, not where the team can take him.

Hill continually has more talent than all other WAC schools (including Boise) but these other schools have better schemes and therefor hand us our ass year in and year out. It's just tiring complaining because as fans it is getting us absolutely nowhere. That is why I have stopped bitching, not because we have won 3 games against three of the bottom ten teams in the nation.

Anonymous said...

NSC and Anonymous, let's all work together to continue to remind anyone who will listen that Pat Hill 1)annually loses to WAC teams who are unable to match the talent of the Bulldogs, 2) he is the highest paid coach in a league he cannot win, and that 3) the smokescreen he continues to use for his own benefit is "BCS-or-bust," which clouds the fact he is unable to lead the 'Dogs to victory over the course of a complete season.

Again, I have supported PH for many years. I thank him for the many great things he has done for our program; however he has been well paid for his efforts.

Time now for the next rung to be reached, irrespective of whether it is by a change in Hill's thinking, or a change in personnel. To not remind others of the facts or call for change is to say we are OK with mediocrity. Just my opinion.

Steve Burnes