Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fresno State 24, Rutgers 7

How bout them Bulldogs?

Not bad for a first game opener that was a 3000-mile road trip into the home of a BCS school that has been a consecutive three-time bowl participant. A 24-7 workman-like win at Rutgers is a great way for a supposed BCS-buster to begin the 2008 campaign.

I didn't think the receivers, outside of Seyi Ajirotutu played exceptionally well. Too many dropped passes. And Brandstater didn't like the Brandstater of the last half of last year. Honestly, the offense seemed to miss a bit of the spark Jim McElwain's offense showed last year.
But who needs spark and sizzle when you've got Ryan Matthews? Allegedly, Matthews and Lonyae Miller both run 4.4/40's but I'd have to see it to believe it. Matthews's burst is so much quicker, so much more downhill than Miller it's not even comparable.

The only overwhelming surprise of the game, for me, was the play of the defense. Rutgers controlled field position the entire first half and yet came away with no points. The defense bent but never broke, and when the offense put the defense behind the eight ball, the defense stood tall.

The Dogs now have nearly two weeks to get ready for Mike Sykora's Wisconsin Cheeseheads. I have no doubt the Dogs will match up at the skill positions with the Cheeseheads. Can they matchup in the trenches? That's where that game will be won.

And should the Dogs win that one, look out. This fall could be as magical in Fresno as this past summer!