The Fresno State footballers took the weekend off, which is to say we mostly liked their chances of not losing again Saturday.
But alas, Thursday comes quickly, and brings Nevada to Bulldog Stadium with it, chased down by a wipeout trip to Hawaii, and a wagon-circled ride to Brigham Young, with one last kick to the thorax delivered by Colorado State …
And that, kids, is how a 2-6 record figures to morph into the first 10-loss season in 92 seasons of Bulldogs history going all the way back to Arthur W. Jones (the “W” stands for at least he ‘W’on more than two games in his career).
We’re tired of watching. We’re tired of saying that we’re tired of watching, but until the men’s basketball team across the street gets popping, this is the only show in town. We don’t care about the World Series, and the NBA doesn’t matter until May and we’re on the wrong side of Canada to care about ice hockey.
So, as we sit on the bed watching real college football teams accomplish the most amazing of feats – you mean they aren’t constitutionally bound to punt the ball after every three offensive snaps? – here is what we would like to see Fresno State do in the final month of the worst Fresno State season in the history of ever.
Offense, gain 10 yards. In the same offensive series, preferably.
Tim DeRuyter, adjust more than the forehead position of your visor at halftime. Come out in the second half with an original idea that the other team can’t see coming. And, when they solve that puzzle, change ideas again. Air Force did it. Everyone else does it. When we can call the next receiver screen from the press box – every … single … time – is it any wonder it never works?
Offense, gain 10 yards. In the same offensive series, preferably. Your defense doesn’t bother to unbuckle their chin straps when they get off the field. Your punter has worked his foot to the nub. These three-and-outs have us reaching for the eye plucker-outers. Can you make the chain gang earn their keep? For 2 possession minutes?
Defense, steal the ball when no one’s looking. We won’t tell, promise. Those 12 takeways of yours? We’ve seen blind chipmunks trip over more acorns than that in all the time you’ve spent on the field. Then again, that just means we’ll have to watch the offense fire up another three-and-out. Never mind. As you were.
UNLV, come back. Fresno State can’t win a game without you.
Senior class, take this personal. There is no next year for you.
Kilton Anderson, whatever it is you’re doing to survive, don’t stop. You’re a fourth-string quarterback on a team that never had a first-string quarterback. You ran scout team all summer. This isn’t on you, but you’re doing great given what you’re given. So, keep protecting the football. Take the easy throws when they’re there. Always remember, what doesn’t kill you just makes you bitter.
Marteze Waller, prove once and for all this Bulldogs team, as built, should be a run-first team and not a spread offense. Hit the holes with ferocity, always fall forward, and if the quarterback calls another wide receiver screen pass on first-and-10, pull the senior card on the poor freshman. Don’t worry: You’ve got three senior offensive lineman who will have your back.
Senior class, take this personal. There is no next year for you. Notice the total lack of NFL general managers and high-level scouts sitting in the third row of the press box this year? These next four games is all you’ve got left. There is no bowl game waiting for you. But here is what you can do: make yourself unforgettable in the most forgettable of seasons. Pancake someone with all your might. Hit the quarterback like he owes your mom money. Let all those freshman teammates know there’s more to football than giving up 42 straight points.
After all, no one is asking for you to win out from here. That’s like asking for pink unicorns, only less realistic. Just remember, you’re Bulldog born and Bulldog bred.
May as well put up a good fight ’till the day you’re Bulldog dead.
- 1. The Raiders will beat the Jets on Sunday. The Raiders will have a winning record through seven games for the second time since 2003. The Raiders are the best team in the Bay Area by a green ocean mile. The Raiders have a fighting chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 Super Bowl run. To think, I just typed all that, and I don’t even use recreational drugs.
- 2. 49ers boy king Jed York declined to speak to reporters the other day, saying it wasn’t his place to discuss his failed science project of a team at this time lest he become a distraction. Great. Because, we’d hate for York to absorb his fair share of why this team heads into Sunday at 2-5 on this side of Jim Harbaugh’s great escape. Way to take one for the team, Mr. President.
- 3. Buying five tickets to the Fresno State men’s basketball Nov. 13 season opener and taking the kids for the first time, which is a big deal since it usually takes a third-party newspaper to pay me to attend before I show up. We are that intrigued by Rodney Terry’s Bulldogs, who are in great danger of becoming a winning team.