Yes, the offensive play calling was bland and the defense started to bend too much. But this is no where near an indication of where the team is going.
First lets bring up that some of you are thinking “it’s Fresno State” and are no different than Auburn fans saying “it’s UCF” or Alabama fans saying years ago “it’s Utah.” While Fresno State might not be UCF or the Utah those fans were talking about, they had a better year than us and stacked up perfectly against us.
Fresno State did have 4 losses just like us. The difference is, only one of those losses were against an unranked team and UNLV is still at worst a little better this year than Tulsa or Tulane. Also like us, Fresno State had a top 25 win against Boise State. Boise State and USF were equally impressive wins for both Fresno State and UH respectively. So it’s safe to say, we were going up against a team that was as good as us if not maybe a little better.
Then comes the matchups. Can anyone deny or biggest strength is our defensive line anchored by Ed Oliver? What some seem to not understand is that Fresno State’s biggest strength is their pass blocking. They had allowed only 9 sacks all year. 2 @ Alabama, 2 @ Boise State and 4 in the other 9 games combined. It was an offensive line that had the same 5 starters for 13 games, something we wish we have had the last couple of years.
When your defense doesn’t bend for 4 straight series against a line like that but your offense gets 2 first downs in it’s first 5 series, including a zero yard drive when given the ball on the opponent 28, your defense is going to start bending. Especially when you are getting very little pressure on the QB. That offensive line was amazing and when you can’t get pressure, you can’t expect your defensive backs to play tight man to man because, with 6 seconds to throw, even an average QB will find a receiver open against a good secondary. The defense wasn’t great by any means but they weren’t horrible and the sky isn’t falling.
My only defense I have about the offense is, it fortunately shouldn’t be the same offense we practice in the spring. We will have a new coordinator and play caller and we will have two very athletic QB’s to focus on. Hopefully CMA is given a budget where he doesn’t have to pick up an OC off the unemployment line but that is for another thread.