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The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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Column: Fresno State football endures a humbling experience

Valentina Saldaña
Fresno State’s Kemari Munier-Bailey drops Eastern Washington’s quarterback Kekoa Visperas at Valley Children’s Stadium on Sept. 9.
Valentina Saldana and Alexis Bruno interview tailgaters.

The Fresno State football team came off of an unnecessary double-overtime win against Eastern Washington when it won on Saturday 34-31. Terrible play and many errors caused an ugly win for the ‘Dogs. 

What was projected to be an easy win for the Bulldogs turned out to be a moment of tension going into the last minutes of the game. 

Prior, the ‘Dogs had a strong win against the Purdue Boilermakers where they played great complementary football, but they seemed like an entirely different team against the Eagles.

For the first half of the game the Bulldogs looked solid converting 3rd downs, moving the ball and forcing turnovers, until the second half downfall approached.  

Quarterback Mikey Keene took a turn for the worse going 23-for-39 in passes while having several overthrows and mistargets. Despite having great chemistry with wide receiver Erik Brooks, Keene was unable to move the offense downfield. 

This shouldn’t have been a hard task for the Bulldogs’ offense to do considering they were facing a poorly ranked defense. The Eagles’ defense allowed an average of 513 yards per game, while the ‘Dogs only accumulated 223 yards against them.

Along with Keene not connecting, the Bulldogs’ running backs couldn’t get the run game started throughout the course of the second half. Running back Elijah Gilliam took the starting role for the game over Malik Sherrod, who didn’t see the field. 

“It was a learning day for Mikey. I don’t know that we were seeing things as well as we had… and he missed some throws. We just missed in a couple of things,” said Head Coach Jeff Tedford. 

Without an efficient run game, the Bulldogs will struggle to stay in future games and maintain their leads. 

The Bulldogs offense wasn’t the only underperforming factor. The defense struggled for the majority of the game as well. The ‘Dogs allowed two 3rd downs and two 4th down conversions while staying on the field for 11 minutes and 33 seconds. 

Not only did the Bulldogs allow extra opportunities for the Eagles to score, penalties were also a big factor. The sloppy performance by the defense dug the ‘Dogs into a bigger hole giving out free yards. 

These self-inflicted wounds essentially caused the ‘Dogs to have their back against the wall for several minutes of the game. 

“They are a very difficult offense to stop. Their quarterback played extremely well; their back play[ed] extremely well,” Tedford said.

Coming off hot from the Purdue game, the Bulldogs came in too confident expecting an easy win, but that wasn’t the story of the night.

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  • T

    Tiffany AllegrettiSep 24, 2023 at 8:41 pm

    Now we have to wonder which team we will see for the rest of the year. The team that easily moved the ball up and down the field, scoring touchdown after touchdown against Kent State? Or the s— show that struggled to beat EWU. Only time will tell. Go dogs. 🐾🐾🐾