Avoiding the QuickSand Effect
Boise State came to town this past weekend and knocked the Bulldogs off for the sixth time in seven tries. While this loss was heartbreaking for Bulldog fans and players what happens after this loss is what will truly define this 2007 Fresno State football season. Yes the loss to Boise hurts in more ways than one. The Bulldogs no longer control their own destiny with respect to winning the WAC. A win over Boise would have given the Dogs a great shot at capturing the WAC title. However, what should be remembered is the season is not over. Fresno State has four games remaining and quite honestly all four are winnable games.
Fresno State will not play a better team that the Boise team they lost to Friday. Boise plays absolutely flawless football when it comes to fundamentals. You would be hard pressed to find another college football team that executes as well as the Broncos do on game day. With that being said the Bulldogs now must turn their attention to Utah State. While Utah State is not nearly the team Boise is they still have enough talent to knock the Bulldogs off. If you don't believe that statement is true just check out the results from 2006 and you will realize a loss to the Aggies is absolutely possible. In the past the Bulldogs have followed heartbreaking losses with long streaks of horrendous football. In 2004 a loss to La. Tech paved the way for a three game losing streak in which Fresno State's offense went South. In 2005 a loss to USC was followed by three more losses to teams the Bulldogs were flat out better than. In 2006 the Dogs lost a close game to Oregon which led to one of the most painful losing streaks in Bulldog history. The Dogs would lose seven games in a row, one of which would be to the Aggies of Utah State. As you can see Fresno State may be the poster boys when it comes to quicksand and how it can affect a team.
In order for 2007 to be a successful year the Bulldogs are going to have to be able to turn the page and come out fired up to play the Aggies on Saturday. I realize this may be easier said than done, but the Aggies are a key team to recover against. If the Bulldogs can regain their ground game and find some passing lanes for Brandstater this could be the type of game that propels the Dogs into a dogfight with Hawaii the following week after. What many fans may not realize is that Hawaii now holds the key to the Bulldogs WAC fate. If Fresno State can knock of the Warriors on the island and the Warriors then turn around and knock off Boise all three teams may finish 7-1 tying for the WAC. The only way this will even be a possibility is for Fresno State to come out and dominate the Aggies from the first play of the game. Fresno State has the type of offense that can control a game against Hawaii. They will have to run the ball effectively and execute long drives that keeps the Warriors offense off of the field. But none of this is even possible if the Dogs do not take care of business against the Aggies first.
Fresno State is a better team than Utah State. Fresno State has superior talent and far better players than the Aggies do. However, Fresno State will not win this game if they ponder what could have been with a victory over the Broncos. The Bulldogs need to forget what happened against Boise and move on to Utah State. If they continue to worry about the past once again the Dogs will be stuck in quicksand and that is something no Bulldog fan, player, or coach desires to see.