Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Fitting End to a Disappointing Season

We should have seen this coming. Each one of us should have known what would happen if the Bulldogs needed to ride the arm of Tom Brandstater to victory. In my game preview I stated if Brandstater had to throw the ball more than 25 times there would be no way the Bulldogs could win the game. Yesterday Brandstater threw the ball 37 times. Final score:

San Jose State - 24
Fresno State -14

The offense put together one scoring drive yesterday of which ended in a Dwayne Wright TD. Fresno State's defense scored the other TD on a fumble recovery by Goodwin. This game provided what is exactly wrong with Fresno State: If they cannot run the ball over and over again they have no chance to come away with a win. In Fresno State's four wins this season Dwayne Wright has averaged 24 carries for 177 yards. Yesterday Dwayne Wright earned his yards the hard way as he carried the ball 23 times for 106 yards, but the offense needed another spark. Tom Brandstater could not provide that spark. Brandstater finished 21 for 37 with four int's and no TD's. However it seems as if the coaches for this team are going to do everything possible to stand behind Brandstater. After the game Hagen stated "I think he is doing a good job back there". I do not understand for the life of me how Hagen could possibly make a statement such as this. Let's recap what this season has given the Fresno State Bulldogs:

1) A 4-8 Record

2) A loss to the San Jose State Spartans for the first time since 1990

3) Utah State's only win in a 1-11 season

4) 0-4 Record out of conference

5) A QB that finishes with 1490 yards passing, 13 td's and 14 int's who does not improve once throughout the entire season.

6) A special teams unit that completely fell apart and allowed punt returns and a kick return for a touchdown while muffing more than one extra point attempt.

Somehow with all of this our coaching still sounds positive about the way the season ended. I have been a Fresno State Bulldog fan for a long time. I have bought season tickets to Bulldogs games for the past five season regardless of how good I thought the team would be. If Pat Hill names Tom Brandstater the starter next season my string of five years in a row will end. I love Fresno State but I have no desire to watch this man play football anymore. He has no pocket presence, no field vision, cannot spot an open receiver regardless of how many seconds he is given to throw the ball, and continually throws the ball into double coverage. You can blame the receivers for the routes they are running, you can blame the offensive line for the lack of the time Brandstater has, you can even blame the playcalling for the lack of creativity it brings about. The one thing you cannot ignore however is Brandstater's lack of development throughout a season in which he was given countless chances to take hold of the starting position. He may have been injured after the Oregon game but how could that possibly effect his game against San Jose State? Is Pat Hill going to say we put him in tough positions again and he did a good job when all is said and done with? Is a tough position when his defense makes a great play to get the offense the ball then Brandstater throws into triple coverage over the middle in San Jose's end zone? Is a tough position sitting behind Dwayne Wright who runs for 295 yards and forces the defense to worry about the run play after play?

Tom Brandstater was never put in a tough position this entire season for many reasons. First and foremost Dwayne Wright did everything to make Brandstater's job easy. The only time Brandstater would have had a tough time Pat Hill protected him by allowing Sean Norton to play against the great teams on our schedule. I have never seen a coach wo is so adamant about starting a man who cannot play the position. Last week Clifton Smith fumbled a punt and was pulled for Joe Fernandez. When the receivers or RB's are not doing the job they are yanked from the game without a second thought. However, when Brandstater makes mistakes he is continually thrown back out onto the field. Pat Hill's football philosophy is not only confusing but also seems to be unfair to the players on the Bulldogs football team. When you pull one player for not doing the job you need to be the same way with the entire team. You cannot tell me there are no players on that team who despise Pat Hill for the way he handled the QB position this season.

In the end this is all old news. Brandstater could not guide this team to a win at San Jose. I now count three games the Bulldogs win with Sean Norton starting: Utah State, Washington, and San Jose State. This team has so much to fix over the off-season and it all starts with the QB position. In the off-season we will have four QB's (If Norton doesn't find somewhere else to play) vying for the QB position. In the spring of 2007 if Pat Hill comes out and says "Tommy is our starting QB" he will lose 10,000 season ticket holders that day. I know many of you may feel like I am turning my back on the program but that is not the case at all. I just cannot stomach the play of this QB anymore. Brandstater is not a Div. 1A QB an never will be. Some QB's have it and some don't. Tom just doesn't have it and if Pat Hill cannot see that then this team will be abysmal in 2007 once again.


Anonymous said...

I was really hoping they could pull it off last night. When the QB is intercepted four times it is impossible to win. Does anyone know if they will be looking to recruit a new QB? Or are they going to try to give T.B. and Norton another chance next year? I know its not all on T.B. but we really need a better QB. I think if he had been able to improve as the year progressed, but he did't. I think he had his shot, not we need another quarter back. Anyways, I hope next year is better.

Does this blog continue through the year, or is this only during football season?

How about USC's lost to UCLA. I hope florida gets a chance at the title. I think Michagin had there chance.
Aaron W

nsc said...

Aaron, in the offseason this blog goes on but it isn't updated daily. Instead the off-season pretty much will heat up with recruiting in February, then spring ball in March-April. I am going to be covering the Bulldogs basketball team for the remainder of the basketball season. However, I will not be abandoning the football team because football truly is my favorite of the Bulldog sports. MDG and I will do what we can to get you guys the info about the Bulldogs as the off-season moves on.

With respect to QB's we already have ours for next season. We will have Matt Faulkner from Texas (new QB), Colburn, Brandstater, and Norton. I don't know who is going to start but as I said before if they decide it to be Brandstater Hill will lose many followers. You said it best when you stated that Brandstater never improved. That is my problem as well. I don't mind that he was the starter, he just never improved enough to show me he should be our QB for seasons to come.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you. Up until this game I didn't see a lot that could be blamed directly on TB. Bad play calling, bad recieving, etc...

But he didn't help himself in this game. At least 2 of those picks were thrown to no one but SJ... sheesh...

Anonymous said...

The players are confused. The coaching staff is clueless and confused. Poor coaching from top to bottom. Major changes are necessary because after talking with many season ticket holders, they want no part of this pathetic product.

nsc said...

The truth about college football is that you are in a sense selling a product. Fresno State is selling their football team to this city and if they want us to watch them they need to make the changes necessary for their team to succeed on the field. The problem is it seems that our coach has stopped coaching this team for the team and maybe begun coaching this team for him and no one else. In a sense it almost seems as if Pat Hill thinks he is more than our universtiy and I have to say I think Fresno State means much more to all of us than Pat Hill does.

If Pat doesn't figure out that his decisions are effecting the product on the field we are in for many more losing seasons with Pat Hill at the helm. The sad thing is the talent is definitely here to become a good team, he just isn't using all of it.

Anonymous said...

I was at the game yesterday. "Heartbreaking,"
"hapless," "lack of pride" are the describers that filled my mind all the way home.

Sadly, this time it was describing the Fresno
State Bulldogs, instead of the San Jose State Spartans.

And Hagen says, "(Brandstater) is coming along pretty good." And once again, we finish 3rd or lower in the weak WAC. Fresno State and her fans deserve better. When will we demand it?

Steve Burnes

Anonymous said...

Well guys, this was in fact a disappointing season. But those of you that want to run the team rather than support it will always be frustrated. PH has shown he can build a program, and I think we will be back. The coaching staff will always use the players that they think give them the best chance of winning. They see them every day in practice.

Buy season tickets or don't but I doubt they will have to close the school. Many of the views here indicate a lot of thought went into your analysis, however I will continue to defer to Coach Hill's judgement.

nsc said...

I am sorry, I have given Hill the benefit of the doubt for the entire season. I have given him the benefit of the doubt for 10 years now and this past weekend was all I could handle. Brandstater doesn't have it, yet he is thrown out there every week to play mediocre. If you think he is the best chance for this team to win then you have a very low opinion of who Fresno State is.

Anonymous said...

Brandstater sucks. He isn't the only reason we lost this season, but he is a crappy QB and should not get another chance to start for FSU.

Anonymous said...

Hill uses the players that give him the best chance of winning? No wonder the Bulldogs are with 4 wins and 12 losses over the past 16 games.

Anonymous said...

I think back to last year when everyone wanted Brandstater to replace Pineagar,any questions?

Anonymous said...

Please make a good argument for staying the course with Brandstater as the starting quarterback next year.

As for calling for someone else besides Pinegar, well we were probably a bit spoiled on the better QBs like Carr or Volek. We know Pinegar was not on their level.

However, now we know that Brandstater isn't on the same level as Pinegar either.

Once again, please make a good argument for staying the course.

Anonymous said...

Not trying to make an argument to stick with Brandstster(are you CRAZY?).But is their anyone out there now that wonders why he didn't play last year?I don't think Brandstater has any business playing D1 QB,we MUST! find someone better.I'm interseted to see what Colburn has,because neither QB used this year showed me much of anything,although Norton didn't get much time to play,I still wasn't all that impressed.I agree We are just used to a much higher caliber QB than what we have seen.

nsc said...

There is no possible way to make an argument for staying the course because it cannot be done if we as fans expect the Bulldog football team to succeed down the line. We finished 4-8 staying the course this season and our QB threw more int's than td's. How is staying the course possibly the right thing to do? There is no way this team wins 7 games next season with Brandstater at QB. Staying the course is wrong with respect to where this team is and if Hill feel's that is what is needed we are in for a long haul of mediocrity with respect to the college game.

Anonymous said...

Here is the problem: Many support Hill because they believe in the dream he has sold them, rather than see the product he has put on the field. Mark it down: Brandstater is our QB next year. To say otherwise, in PH's view, is to say, "I was wrong," and Hill never admits his mistakes.

Acountability is another thing Hill preaches, but doesn't practice. Hence, we can get "up" for some big games, but cannot "finish..." as Hill used for his Marketing Slogan of 2006.

Hill, like the Music Man, sold us on a bill of goods he is unable to deliver. We have the best players, facilities, and highest paid coaches in the WAC, but we can't come close to winning our weak conference because we are too busy chasing a mirage.

Steve Burnes