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With Weber State University’s second football game coming up this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to look back at the opening game of the season against California State University, Fresno.
Going into the game last Saturday, I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t know much about Fresno, aside from the fact that it recently joined the Mountain West Conference and doesn’t normally make bowl games.
Anyone who watched the game knows the first half was bad. The Wildcats only managed three points, and Fresno found the end zone on each of its first three possessions. But after halftime, WSU calmed down and was able to move the football offensively and get much-needed defensive stops against the Bulldogs’ offense.
One thing that really impressed me throughout the game was WSU quarterback Mike Hoke. Hoke had a great performance and completed his first 10 pass attempts. He was key in the second half, when WSU finally started moving the ball down the field and showed a lot of promise for the upcoming year.
Watching Hoke play against Fresno made me really excited for the Big Sky Conference season to start. If he can continue to turn in strong performances like that, he could be the second-best quarterback in the Big Sky. (For the record, I’d say Southern Utah University’s Brad Sorenson would be the top quarterback in the conference.)
In the second half, Shaydon Kehano also turned in a pretty solid performance; he made a number of big catches for WSU and scored the only touchdown of the game for the Wildcats. Another receiver who played well was Jordan Clemente. He pulled down nine catches for 51 yards in the loss. Senior Brian Jankowski also had a good game offensively. The tight end had four catches for 55 yards.
The Wildcat offense was clicking in the second half and looked as if it might get a second touchdown to really put the pressure on Fresno, but a late interception sealed the win for the Bulldogs. Despite it only scoring one touchdown, I was pretty impressed with the offense in the second half. It looked good and didn’t seem to have too much trouble moving the ball down the field.
One thing that was missing from Saturday’s game was the running game. WSU only rushed for 93 yards as a team, and Hoke was the leading rusher with 54 yards. C.J. Tuckett rushed for 21 yards and Kris Parham ran for 16 yards. I hope that as the season goes on, the running attack will improve. That was one of WSU’s strongest ways of attacking last season.
Going into the game on Saturday against Brigham Young University, I am hoping to see the team stay competitive. As much as I love WSU football (and as much as I dislike BYU), I can’t see the Wildcats coming out of Provo with a win against one of the better teams in the nation.
After the game against Fresno, I’m excited for the season. I think the team looks good, and if it can get the running game going, I believe it will be hard to stop the ground attack and Hoke’s efficient passing he displayed last week.