Enter the Warzone, back from the desert carrying wisdom.
▪ The word was out on Zack Greenlee. Fresno State’s sophomore quarterback doesn’t stand in against pressure. He doesn’t like to take hits. He can be roughed up and rattled.
Hawaii employed that very tactic Saturday night, and surprise, surprise. Greenlee matched each of the Rainbow Warriors’ six roughing-the-passer penalties with touchdown tosses.
“I would not have predicted that,” coach Tim DeRuyter said during his Monday news conference.
Same goes for everyone.
▪ Credit DeRuyter for not putting too much “stock” into what thumping Hawaii 42-14 means “in the big picture.”
But it sure as heck beats flying 2,500 miles to lose by four touchdowns.
▪ The Bulldogs play BYU this week, and DeRuyter called the Cougars a “physical, mature” team and made reference to 22-year-old quarterback Taylor Magnum not being “an ordinary freshman.”
Other than that, no flippant comments about BYU’s age advantage thanks to most of their players taking two-year Mormon missions.
Nothing like ex-UTEP coach Mike Price, who once quipped “Their offensive line is 6-foot-6, 315 (pounds) across the board, average age 32, four kids.”
▪ Fresno State might not be playing FBS football if not for the loyalty and support of Bob Duncan, who died Nov. 11 at age 94.
The Robert E. Duncan Athletic Building and Bulldog Stadium are but the most visible reminders.
▪ Duncan was the driving force, often with his own pocketbook, behind the group of boosters who transformed Fresno State from a small-potatoes sports program into one that competes at the highest levels.
Without him, Fresno State would probably be Cal State Long Beach.
▪ The Bulldogs’ 69-66 season-opening win over Pepperdine in men’s basketball certainly made an impression on colleague David White, who experienced stomach “butterflies.”
In past seasons that feeling would be nausea.
▪ Thanks to a home-heavy nonconference schedule and an early parade of cupcakes, Fresno State should be 5-0 by the time it visits No. 25 Oregon on Nov. 30.
Should be, as in better be.
▪ The same media that built up Ronda Rousey as an invincible force is now hard at work tearing her down.
It’s the American way.
▪ No professional athlete is more fun to watch than Stephen Curry, and no team is more fun to watch than the Warriors.
Basketball is a game of giants and athletic freaks. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Curry is neither. Which only adds to the enjoyment.
▪ The NFL admitted an officiating error cost the Ravens a victory against the Jaguars.
That’s a good start. Now if only the league can make clear what constitutes a catch.
▪ Since they released Greg Hardy, the Panthers have not lost a game.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, haven’t won since Hardy started playing for them.
When karma and coincidence collide …
▪ The Raiders have lost two straight since the NFL cognoscenti declared them the latest “it” team.
Which is what always seems to happen.
▪ Watching Peyton Manning hop around on one foot throwing wounded ducks into the wind has to be one of the saddest sights ever.
Father Time catches up with everyone. Except, it seems, Tom Brady.
▪ For no particular reason: Brett Keisel
▪ Personal ranking of California’s national parks: 1, Sequoia & Kings Canyon; 2, Death Valley; 3, Yosemite; 4, Lassen Volcanic; 5, Joshua Tree.
Quite a place we live in when Yosemite comes in third.
▪ Green Bay is 0-3 since ex-Bears coach Mike Ditka donned a Packers sweater vest in a TV commercial.
Quick, someone get the man a Patriots hoodie.