Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fresno State Bulldogs 2010 Review

2010 Record: 8-5 (5-3), 4th WAC
2010 Bowl Game: Humanitarian Bowl, Lost to Northern Illinois 40-17
2010 Schedule/Results
Cincinnati, W 28-14
@ Utah State, W 41-24
@ Ole Miss, L 55-38
Cal Poly, W 38-17
Hawaii, L 49-27
New Mexico State, W 33-10
@ San Jose State, W 33-18
@ Louisiana Tech, W 40-34
Nevada, L 35-34
@ Boise State, L 51-0
Idaho, W 23-20
Illinois, W 25-23
Northern Illinois, L 40-17

371.3 yards per game

The Bulldogs were much better offensively than was expected in 2010. Ryan Colburn helped open up the passing game, as he needed a bigger role due to the loss of Ryan Matthews to the NFL. Colburn responded by passing for 216 yards per game with a not horrible 23/9 TD to pick ratio. Colburn was backed up by a strong run game despite the loss of Matthews. Robbie Rouse started as a sophomore and showed flashes of what's to come as the primary back. Rouse rushed for 1129 yards and 8 TDs, a very nice number for a first year starter. Where Rouse needs improvement is in the passing game as a receiver. He finished with only 15 receptions on the year, as you would like to see that total doubled. Improvement and development is sure to come in 2011. Colburn will be moving on to graduation, however the new QB in 2011 will have the entirety of the receving corps back to pass to. That's great news when breaking in a new QB. Jamel Hamler led the team with 54 grabs for 812 yards and 6 scores. Jalen Saunders was a frshman in 2010, and was in for 30 catches for 462 yards. He'll try to up those totals dramatically, as Pat Hill will try to open up the offense next season. Rashad Evans and AJ Johnson were both young players in the system as well, and another year will bring more productivity with the right QB at the helm. The loss of BEar Pascoe at TE will be a tough break, but worse will be the task of replaceing 4 starting linemen. LT Bryce Harris will be the lone returnee as a senior in 2011. All 5 backups from 2010 do return however, so there is hope.

355.9 yards per game

The combo of Chris Carter and Logan Harrell put together an effort of 30 TFLs in 2010, making them one of the best line combos in college football. What will be difficult is the replacing of Carter, who was the leader with 16. Donavaughn Pritchett and Chase McEntee need to upgrade their game intensely in 2011 to help the Bulldog D do their part in preventing 5 losses in 2011.
The Linebackers were not their usual fierce self as well. While Ben Jacobs led the team with 87 total tackles, only one player made 40 solo tackles or more on the season, and it was not a LB. Jacobs moved on after the season, leaving Travis Brown and Kyle Knox as the leading returning tacklers at LB, but they must get more productive. Neither had a bad season in 2010, but neither were great. Shawn Plummer seems to make the most sense to take over for the departure of Jacobs, as he is the only returning LB with real numbers to back the candidacy.
With there being very little up front help in 2010, the secondary suffered at times. Sophomore Phillip Thomas was the only real playmaker, and even then he had only 3 picks on the season. Thomas had 9 passes defended, while fellow DB Isaiah Green had 8. Desia Dunn was the only other member of the secondary to have 5, and he is gone now. Work has to be done to shore up a secondary that gave up over 200 yards passing per game.

FG: Kevin Goessling 21/26
Punting: Andrew Shapiro, 37.42 average
Punt Returns: Rashad Evans, 8.61 average
Kick Returns: Jalen Sanders, 23.06 average; Isaiah Burse, 26.27 average

Goessling was solid in his junior season, and would be a pre-season award candidate in my book in 2011, when he returns as a senior. Goessling was relied on heavily, and was a major contributor, and I would expect him to be so even more next season with yet another new starter at QB.
Shapiro was not so special at Punter. His average fell way below average, and he should be pushed for his job in the spring. He really has to show that he wants it, and his numbers show him to be leaning towards trying to lose the job.
The Bulldogs are in fine shape in the return game as all 3 major kick return me will be back for more duty in 2011. The only question is if one of them could actually break one for a score, which all failed to do in 2010.


There has been some muttering of late that Pat Hill is losing his grip on this program. I find that to be absolute crazy talk, but it has been interesting to see the Bulldogs falling behind Boise State by what would seem to be miles. They have also slipped behind Nevada, and now Hawaii threatens them as well. Everything seems to be cyclical, so I would expect more success from Hill and FSU, but work must be done to keep the gap from widening with a move to the Mountain West coming up in 2012. The defense must return to form, and the rest should follow.

9/3 California @ San Francisco, 9/10 @ Nebraska; 9/17 North Dakota; 10/1 Ole Miss; 10/8 Boise State; 12/3 @ San Diego State

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