Fresno State-Hawaii: Bulldogs Prove They're Still Middle-of-the-Road Team

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IOctober 10, 2010

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Pat Hill and the Frenso State Bulldogs prepare to take on the UCLA Bruins on September 27, 2008 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Bulldogs had a great chance to show that they were much different from the team they have been over the last several years.

They were back home at Bulldog Stadium and they were facing a high powered offense in the Hawaii Warriors and the nation's leading passer, Bryant Moniz who oddly enough transferred from Fresno City College.

Talk about missing out on local talent, right?

The Bulldog defense looked solid in the early going but it soon became clear that their offense wasn't going to help them out much.

The knock against Fresno State has always been that they can't win the big games. They can't beat teams that give them the best competition. Tonight was a great opportunity to show that this team had improved by leaps and bounds.

They came up well short of proving anything other than they were exactly the same team as they dropped a 49-27 decision to Hawaii in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the score seemed to indicate.

Fresno State quarterback Ryan Colburn was intercepted three times including a late interception that was returned for a touchdown that all but put the game way out of reach.

The Bulldogs also seemed to get away from their run game, giving the ball to sophomore Robbie Rouse just seven times for 39 yards.

For a team that's always been built on their run game, Pat Hill seems to be getting away from what's been their bread and butter over the years. It's not clear whether they don't trust their young core of running backs or they're trusting Ryan Colburn far too much.

Hawaii running back Alex Green ran for 97 yards and three scores while the aforementioned Moniz threw for 376 yards and two scores.

Hawaii fans that made the trip to Fresno seemed to enjoy themselves, much to the chagrin of the hometown Fresno State fans.

If they can't beat Hawaii, if they have this hard of a time handling the nation's leading passer, how are they going to handle guys like Nevada's Colin Kaepernick or Boise State's Kellen Moore?

This is no different from years gone by and one has to wonder just how much more Fresno State fans are going to put up with before they start calling for Pat Hill's job.

The rumors have flown before, but if the Bulldogs get blown out by Nevada and Boise State, the faint sounds of "fire Pat Hill" will start becoming louder and louder through the central valley.

It's a tough thing to watch if you're a fan of the team and especially one that's grown up as a fan. You want to see this team succeed and watching Boise State makes that hurt much more evident.

If the Broncos can do it, why hasn't Fresno State been able to do it?

That's a question that's going to be asked for a long time to come. Probably long into their days with the Mountain West, especially if they become a middle of the road team in that conference as well.

A tough night in Fresno, and a tough loss for a team that was supposed to be a lot better than they showed tonight.

Back to the old drawing board.