Blowouts–it’s happened at least once a year in the past five seasons.
Either the Fresno State offense sputters out of control and shuts down, or the defense completely collapses and is almost nonexistent.
In 2006 at home against Hawaii, Warriors’ quarterback Colt Brennan marched into Bulldog Stadium and put a whipping on the Bulldogs, winning 68-37. It was one of the biggest blowout losses in Bulldog Stadium history. The game also led Coach Pat Hill to bench starter Tom Brandstater in the second quarter in favor of backup Sean Norton.
After a thrilling triple-overtime loss to Texas A&M in 2007, the ‘Dogs went into Eugene, Ore., and got thumped 52-21. It was so bad that a then-redshirt freshman Ryan Colburn saw his first ever live action.
The team was outrushed by the Ducks, giving up 307 yards while only rushing for 60. The defense stepped out of running back Jonathan Stewart’s way and allowed the bruiser to record the longest run (88 yards) in Autzen Stadium history.
Who could forget the debacle in 2008 at Boise State?
The ‘Dogs began that season ranked No. 25 and finished the regular season getting dominated on the Blue Turf in an embarrassing 61-10 defeat at the hands of quarterback Kellen Moore, a redshirt freshman.
And then there’s the Nevada game just last year. The 2009 squad headed into that contest on a five-game winning streak, averaging well over 35 points per game during that stretch, but the team ran into a road block after record-setting running back Ryan Mathews suffered a concussion in the second quarter and lost 52-14 in embarrassing fashion.
Lastly, there’s last Saturday’s Southeastern Conference match at Ole Miss where the ‘Dogs were dominated in all three phases of the game, losing 55-38.
After getting off to a fast start and jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead, the porous defense allowed Rebels’ quarterback Jeremiah Masoli to convert on a 3rd-and-7, after scampering for 56 yards to set up a touchdown.
It was downhill from there for the ‘Dogs and the defense. Thankfully, Colburn was able to keep the score respectable, but the game was still a blowout.
The defense gave up 55 points, the fourth most a Pat Hill team has ever given up.
Blowouts happen. It happens to nearly every team in college football. Even Washington was blown out by Nebraska 56-21 last week. Fresno State has seen its fair share of them. At some point, the tide is going to turn and Fresno State’s going to see itself on the other end of those blowouts.