The highlight of the night came at halftime on Veteran's Appreciation Night at Bulldog Stadium when a World War II Veteran, 88-year old Don Dick, stood on the field and played "Taps". Though the Bulldogs were only down 21-10, perhaps the sound of the WWI bugle echoing throughout the stadium was somewhat of an ominous sign of what has become of the Bulldogs' season. Fresno State is still mathematically eligible for the postseason and even the conference title, given they get some help from other teams, though the display on the field in Saturday night's game against an depleted 3-5 Wyoming team didn't give any indication of hope for the Red Wave. The offense continued to sputter despite the change at quarterback, starting redshirt freshman Zack Greenlee, and the defense continued to be a sieve as it has all season, giving up 10-of-15 third down conversions and nine explosive plays of 20 yards or more.
This game was supposed to be a coming out party for Greenlee. Instead, Wyoming's freshman running back Brian Hill made his first start at running back for the Cowboys and broke out himself. Wyoming was supposed to be banged up, which is why Hill got the nod, and he proceeded to break a Mountain West Conference record with 387 all-purpose yards. The freshman caught three passes for 106 yards, an average of 35.3 yards a catch, to complement 281 yards rushing on a mere 23 carries. He also scored 2 touchdowns.
The one bright spot on offense for the Bulldogs, as usual these days, was Marteze Waller. He finished with 116 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown but, in spite of the success, the Bulldogs continue to look one-dimensional. Instead of running play-action with Waller, using him as a decoy and a constant threat to run, they line him up as a wide receiver on 2nd-and-10 with an empty backfield, where he's not a threat at all. On these sort of obvious pass plays, Greenlee simply didn't have time to read through his five options. This begs the question of why Fresno State insists upon running five-wide sets on manageable downs when they might be better served keeping someone in the backfield as a threat to run, to keep the defense off balance?
There's no question that Fresno State has talented players on the roster, but they seem as unsure of what to do on the field as the Red Wave was watching in the stands. We all know that the Bulldogs lost a lot of talent from last year's team, but is it a lack of talent or a refusal to adjust the offense to something that better fits the players? Whatever it is that the coaches are attempting to do this season, it feels like a square peg into a round hole, to the point that the brilliant rendition of "Taps" is uncomfortably fitting since Fresno State's 2014 continued to fade into the night.