The Fresno State Bulldogs were fired up.
There was a great big, loud crowd of Red Wavers. The opponent, the Nevada Wolf Pack, was very tough, very talented, and well prepared. I just wish I could have seen the game through the eyes of a neutral college football fan (fat chance!), because that was one hellacious game!
1. Bulldog D and the Eating of Crow
Yes, waiter, I would like a nice order of crow, please, the entire bird, plucked and roasted to a turn. No, I don't need any side orders. Just the crow. Thank you.
The opinion I would like to retract...
Well, multiple posts (on the Barkboard, in the Premium Site, etc.) where I said things like "the Dogs’ run D is suspect", and that FS can't "hang" with Nevada, and that the Wolf Pack would "smoke" the Dogs....
Let's see... those opinions were wrong, wrong and... oh yes, wrong.
The truth, as displayed last night, was that the Bulldog defense gave Nevada, the No. 2 rushing team in the nation, unmitigated hell, all night long.
Hits were bigger, tackles were surer, defensive blood was up. The D came close to containing QB Colin Kaepernick and, for most of the first half, at least, shut down the Wolf Pack's running back, Vai Taua.
There was a decent pass rush. Bulldog DE Chris Lewis got a nice sack and the run D mostly choked off the dreaded dive.
Frankly, I am not sure any team can totally contain that Nevada QB, though. The guy is scary good. Glad he's a senior.
2. Robbie Rouse
Hey waiter, what's keeping that crow!
Let's see, he had 217 yards last night, and, in the last two games, Robbie Rouse has carried the ball over sixty (60) times for over 500 yards!
In two games!
For the year, he already has 944 yards, net, and the ‘Dogs still have three games to go...
Looks like Robbie has ALL his speed back, all his moves, jukes, head fakes, shimmies and stutter steps. And once he gets to a hole - whooosh! He's off to the races.
This guy is big enough, fast enough, tough enough, durable enough, and...he's fearless. I don't know about you, but all my "reservations" have proved to be wrong.
Here's the waiter. Hey, can I get some KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce for this bird. It's pretty tough...
3. The O-line
They were banged around by injuries and relying on backups and they still did a lot better than I expected.
Reasonably good protection for Ryan Colburn
Some huge holes for Rouse
Saw RG Andrew Jackson was on the sideline, dressed for the game, but I don't think he got in.
4. OLB Kyle Knox
I don't know what got into Mr. Knox, last night, but we need to isolate it, distill it, and inject it into all the Bulldogs.
Mr. Knox was awesome.
He led the team in solo tackles (6) and total tackles (8) and he went a long way down the road to recapturing the Bulldogs reputation for hitting. Mr. Knox brought the wood and he swung the bat, himself. That hit he delivered on the fourth down stop, man that raised the hair on the back of my neck.
5. Lorne Bell
Speaking of the return of hard hitting, the Zen master of Bulldog Pops is back in force. Not only did Lorne snag a quick interception in the end zone, he also "de-cleated" a few guys, very emphatically, indeed.
6. Ryan Colburn
No, it was not "all his fault" that Fresno State lost the game. If you blame a loss on one fumble, what would you say if the ‘Dogs WON?
That he gets all the credit for winning?
I mean he did save the Bulldogs, multiple times, by keeping drives alive with his courageous runs and some brilliant throws.
Yeah, he fumbled it in a weird, unexplainable way. But he more than made up for it in other plays.
Do I think the ‘Dogs can beat 'em?
Did the Nevada game give me huge hope that the Dogs can, at least, "hang" with the Donks?
See you then.
Redroadster is highly regarded attorney in the Central Valley, a loyal Bulldog fan, and a regular poster/contributor on BarkBoard.com. Check in time to time for his take on games and other Bulldog athletic events in his View from the Roadster.
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