Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Game for the Ages

by nsc

We watch college football every Saturday for countless years. It is not often that you are treated to a game like the one Fresno State and Texas A&M gave us yesterday. The Bulldogs fell behind 19-0 at halftime only to breathe life back into the program by putting up 45 second half/overtime points. Who would have thought this offense was capable of putting up 45 points in a half, or for that matter an entire game? Yesterday Fresno State showed that in 2007 they will come to play. The Dogs may not come out victorious every single game but we should not expect that from this team. The 2007 Bulldogs are a young team led by seniors such as Riley and Clutts. Quick, tell me how many starters on offense are seniors? We do not have one senior receiver nor do we have one senior running back. We have no senior tight ends. Our QB is not a senior and some of our offensive line are not seniors either. We have a very deep offensive line anyhow so the Dogs are going to be an exciting offensive unit for at least the next two years. Our new offensive coordinator should take some of the credit as he allowed TB to throw the ball in the second half. Although Brandstater under threw Ajirotutu on the deep ball the fact is that TB actually was given the opportunity to go deep. A&M did not throw the ball deep on our secondary one time and that is because the coverage was stellar. When a game like the one we watched yesterday is played there is a lot we can take from it. Some of what we can take is good while some of it is going to be bad. Here is what I feel like we should take from the game yesterday.

Positives - For the first time in a long time I think there are far more positives from this game than negatives. First let me say the heart this team showed coming back in the second half is exactly what we want in our football team. To be down the way we were at half and come back is something that we have not seen in these Bulldogs since the USC game. However, I truly feel like this team has found what they were sorely missing with respect to confidence and this game is going to lead to many exciting wins for the Dogs in the future. If you need proof in this look no further than TB's quote in which he stated "I am sick and tired of losing the close games". I think this is the type of game that tells the Dogs they can play with the big teams once again and eventually the luck is going to go our way.

I was very impressed with the play of our QB in the second half. Brandstater made so many good throws that I thought I was watching a veteran QB with two years of experience in the Bulldogs program. Oh wait a minute, I was watching that. I think Tom came a long ways yesterday and the one play the symbolized his amazing efforts would have been the play where he was knocked down and dazed. Only a series of plays letter did Tom get in there to throw an amazing TD to Pascoe to set up a chance to tie on a two point conversion. Yes, Tom needs to slide when he runs but he has heart and he is one tough kid. Did anyone notice how good our receivers hands were yesterday? I believe Moore dropped one pass in the corner and fumbled the ball into the end zone but aside those two plays I cannot recall anyone dropping anything. Moore, Ajirotutu, Crawley, Wylie, Smith, and Pascoe caught everything thrown their way (although Smith often fumbled the ball away after the catch). Ryan Matthews (although he left the game with an injury) is the kind of RB that excites all of us to see on the field. Devon Wylie is going to be a very exciting player for the Dogs and our entire secondary played off their rockers yesterday. They allowed 79 yards passing the entire game. If Shilrey is on the field yesterday the stats don't look so absurd on the ground. Overall this team played well yesterday and it looks like our defense is going to be fast, physical, and is going to make plays for us this season. Having Riley and Jacobs in there is just refreshing as they both are around the ball every play. They will make it hard on Oregon next weekend, that much is for sure.

Negatives - Every game is going to have negatives regardless of how good one team plays. The Dogs cannot come out on offense like they did yesterday against Oregon. They need the sense that the game is on the line right from the start. If the Dogs can come out and keep the game close against Oregon we might be in for another wild ride with the Ducks. Our field goal unit has not been up to par lately. Stitser missed two field goals, one of which I really feel he should have made. He is pulling everything left and we need him to start kicking the ball through the uprights. Clifotn Smith has to realize ball security is the most important aspect of college football. If he is going to contribute he cannot fumble the ball away continuously. Brandstater cannot make a mental mistake like he did when he gave up a safety. He needs to roll out or throw the ball closer to one of our receivers. Mental mistakes will kill the dogs if they don't correct them. Overall I was pleased with this team and although Moore fumbled on the one he was trying to win the game and I cannot fault someone for extra effort.

I know many of you are disappointed that we lost this game I believe this is going to lead to many great games for the Dogs. I believe this makes us a player when it comes to the WAC. Fresno State very easily could be in the mix when we travel to NMSU for the last game of the season. Let's just hope the desire and fire stays with the Dogs this season. I personally think we are about to embark on a special ride that will culminate with one hell of a 2008 season.


Anonymous said...

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I Say Let'Em Crash said...

good comments, i havent checked out The Bee yet but i was very impressed by "2nd Half + OT Tom Brandstater's" ability to not make mistakes (his 1st Half airheaded safety turned out to be huge) ... i'm glad to hear that the team is also sick of moral victories, we'll have as many as 4 tough opponents in WAC play but i feel really good about this team now, before i thought they'd be lucky to get to 6-6, i don't know how the year will play out but this was a great effort by all the young Bulldogs and i'm very very optimistic for the 2008 & 2009 campaigns

James said...

Introducing . . . our passing game! Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

once a replay is anounced it should not be changed

Dogfan4life said...

Watching the A&M game brought back fond memories of the USC game. The dogs looked like a top 25 team during the second half of the A&M game and thousands, perhaps millions of viewers got a sneakpeek
of the quality of Bulldog football as they almost pulled off a nice upset of a ranked team. I agree with coach Hill that a W means everything but you know what?, RESPECT feels just as good as a W in my book. Go check out any football blog and you will read nothing but praise for the our Dogs. It's just a matter of time before we take on a top 25 school and whip them soundly. You know that Oregon won't sleep well the night before we show up to play. Win or lose....GOOO DOGS!!

SF State Gators said...

That was the best Fresno State game since the USC game- even against Oregon last year it seemed like we were just watching the inevitable collapse, and watching Fresno State play since 19 November 2005 has been tough until saturday. It's obviously to early to say we're back, but it has the feeling of being back. We really did play like a top-25 team, and looked to be in top form. Absolutely not the same 4-8 team of last year, but you really have to hope that we have "enough left in the tank" for Oregon... We have all seen way to many losses at a BCS stadium by 3 or fewer points to be too enthusiastic. But, it was good to see that old smashmouth football back.