The Collegian

9/8/04 • Vol. 129, No. 7

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This will be great once glitches are worked out

College Football weekly Top 25

Time for 'Dogs to make another point

'Dogs eat Huskies out of house and home

Grading the 'Dogs

Time for ‘Dogs to make another point

Collegian sports editorial staff analysis

Just as quick as Fresno State jumped out and picked off a big win at Washington last week, it's time to forget all about it.

A road game against No. 13 Kansas State is just three days away and there's no more time to reflect on Sunday's 35-16 win in Seattle.

“We had our ‘attaboys,' talked about our problems,” Fresno State tight end Stephen Spach said. “We're full-go on Kansas State.”

The Bulldogs proved a point against Washington. Now, they'll have a chance to prove an even bigger point on Saturday at 9 a.m.

One win against a BCS-conference team is good. Following it with another, this time over the 13th-best team in the country, could propel Fresno State into the top 25.

It could turn the spotlight of the national media back on Fresno State. The same way it was in 2001 when the Bulldogs took out three straight BCS-conference opponents on their way to a No. 8 national ranking and then-quarterback David Carr was splashed across the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Junior quarterback Paul Pinegar extends a stiff-arm to Washington free safety Jimmy Newell.

 

It could lead to an undefeated campaign for Fresno State and the team's first Western Athletic Conference championship since 1999.

It could do a lot of things. But not so fast.

The Bulldogs still have to go out and beat Kansas State for most of the aforementioned scenarios to actually happen.

And that might take a little more than 262 yards of total offense and 125 yards passing—the numbers the Bulldogs had against Washington.

“We struggled offensively,” Spach said. “We never really got going.”

In that game, the Bulldogs defense stepped up and scored plenty of points on its own with two interception returns and one fumble return for touchdowns.

But that's not likely to happen on a regular basis.

“You can't put that kind of demand or expectation on any defense every week,” Spach said.

Especially when that defense has to worry about Kansas State's Heisman Trophy candidate Darren Sproles. The running back had 1,986 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns in 2003.

Fresno State running back Dwayne Wright opened the season with a 109-yard showing against Washington. But he's not worried aboutå being compared to Sproles.

“I'm just thinking about the team and how I can help the team,” Wright said.

Wright can surely do a lot to help. So can the offensive line. So can quarterback Paul Pinegar.

Going to Kansas State and winning would be tough for any team. And the Bulldogs will need to be clicking in every aspect of the game to come home 2-0.

But if they do return to Fresno unscathed, a whole lot of things could happen.

Who knows? Maybe Fresno State can even bust into a BCS bowl game .

“We won't be getting ahead of ourselves yet,” Spach said.

But a win Saturday would sure be a good start to all of that.

-This columnist can be reached at ehughes@cvip.net.