Bulldogs Look to Improve Run Game

QB Ryan Colburn had the longest rush vs. UC...

The Fresno State Bulldogs will spend the bye week building on Saturday's win over Cincinnati. The most glaring weakness of the team's performance was the running game. Check inside to see how senior center Joe Bernardi and the offense look to improve…

The Fresno State Bulldogs were effective on offense and defense in their 28-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats. The defense shut out Cincinnati for the final 41 minutes, while the offense scored 28 unanswered points. There was one area of Fresno State's game; however, that will need to improve. The Bulldogs had trouble moving the ball on the ground against the Bearcat defense.

The team had 30 total rushes for 49 net yards, and an average of 1.6 yards per carry. It was the first time Fresno State was held under a 100 yards rushing since November 28, 2008 (83 yards vs. Boise State), and it was the Bulldogs lowest rushing output in nearly six years (17 yards vs. Boise State, 2004).

The team's longest run was a seven-yard scamper by Ryan Colburn on a broken pass play. Senior center Joe Bernardi explained what went wrong, and how the offense will improve by their trip to Logan, Utah.

Bernardi and O-line not happy with performance
versus Cincinnati last Saturday.
Photo by Mario Gomez
"We didn't get enough push," said Bernardi, "As far as this offensive line is concerned, that was not a good enough performance. We take great pride in running the football here."

The Cincinnati defense changed from a 3-4 scheme to a 4-3 defense over the offseason. Bernardi talked about the different looks they saw from the Bearcats this season.

"It was a different defense that we had to prepare against. But we knew what they were going to play." said Bernardi. "We had a good idea of what they were going to do. We knew the personnel that was going to be in there. Just got to go out there and execute."

The ‘Dogs have a bye before playing at Utah State. Bernardi talked about how they will use the extra time to improve the run game.

"We got to work on us right now. This is a great week, the bye week, because we can really focus on us," said the senior.

"We got to work on our fundamentals. We got to work on our techniques…we have to prepare for Utah State because they're a good team… we got to hone in and do the little things better, that's the key…you don't have to do anything extraordinary, you just got to be really good at the little things, and that's what we got to keep working on."

Although the offense had trouble running the ball, the offense put up good numbers passing the ball.

Quarterback Ryan Colburn tied a career high with four touchdown passes. When asked about the success through the air, the center gave all the credit and praise to Colburn and the receiving unit. "Guys made plays… We've got really good receivers, and we've got a really good quarterback," said Bernardi. "It's a nice thing to have. Some of those balls Ryan put right on the money… he put it only in the spot the receiver could catch it. He's our leader and he's the horse that we're going to ride this season."

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