WAC football full of lessons early in the season
OPINIONS after a weekend of sitting in front of the TV watching college football:
» Colt Brennan and Ian Johnson are pretty good but forget all that Heisman stuff. The best offensive player in the Western Athletic Conference is a guy named Bear Pascoe. He plays tight end for Fresno State.
The guy is big time, and biggest in the biggest moments. If he doesn't get hurt -- he plays the way his name sounds -- he's a huge factor in the Nov. 10 game at Hawaii. UH has sometimes seemed to have trouble with tight ends in the June Jones era. This guy might be the best tight end Hawaii has seen "since we've been here."
» By the way, Fresno State matters again. No, no such thing as a moral victory. But the Bulldogs had to have left Texas A&M thinking "We are GOOD."
» Same with Louisiana Tech in that same losing-in-overtime scenario against UH.
Great move to go for two by the Bulldogs. The problem was Tech coach Derek Dooley had already used his 2-point play on the OT touchdown the play before.
Good defensive game plan by Tech. The Bulldogs gave up some big plays -- and you will against UH, when Hawaii throws 60 times a game. But the tackling, the coverage, the pressure, even the anticipation to bat down passes at the line ... if teams with better talent can duplicate that effort, UH is in for a few more tough outings.
» Speaking of which, Hawaii did not look like the more talented team by much at Tech. This looked the way Hawaii has looked on the mainland -- like a different team than at home.
UH did not wilt when the other team kept counter punching. UH was resilient. UH won the game. All that was huge. A win is a win, and that one was huge. The great escape.
But it did not look like a new era of road team.
» UH kicker Dan Kelly deserves every award they give him. Yes, the 49-yarder to force OT. But the play of the game was when he came out of nowhere to make the tackle on the blocked kick. If he doesn't make that play the game is over right then.
» Good news. Mike Lafaele (misidentified as Aaron Kia by both newspapers) was NOT "sticking finger" in a celebration photo published Sunday. Close examination by Star-Bulletin photo editor George Lee confirms that it was the Hawaii defensive lineman's "No. 1" finger and it was the extensive tape job that gave us the optical illusion of an obscene gesture. There has been some concern, but he's innocent.
» Washington's win is good news for Herman Frazier -- that one of his slots on the 2007 schedule might end up being a lot more "marquee" than we thought. That would be terrific.
But it's too early to tell if Boise State's loss is good news for UH. This is what Boise State has traditionally done -- except for last season -- lose to a BCS conference team, then turn around and run the table in the games that matter.
» In case anyone was still following them after Hawaii's 63-6 blowout of Northern Colorado, the Bears turned around and lost 31-0; to Division II Chadron State, the team that beat the Division I-AA team that beat Colorado last season. So those guys are dangerous.