Friday, October 23, 2009

Be the Hammer: san jose was full of nails, and we hear new mexico state has a bunch too

There are several players eligible for sledgehammer duties this week after a physically dominant performance in all three facets of the game against san jose state, including special teams. That's where this blog comes in.

Despite not being able to get up a Be the Hammer blog last week, the Bulldog Bounce board of execs did expect offensive lineman Andrew Jackson (who took the honors) to run out of the Dog House with the hammer, for his big-time momentum changer after blocking a hawaii field goal attempt.

It was just mere weeks ago when we at the Bounce were clamoring for more physical play, and there have been some very worthy candidates who have responded. Of course we can't ignore the fact that the recipient of this week's award has done his damage against the spartans, but it's still fun to watch our guys lay the wood, chest bump and celebrate off the field while their guys walk in an un-choreographed, zig-zag, drunk-type walk back to the sideline.

Unfortunately, video for this game appears to be nonexistent, so the entertainment -- if you'll allow for such a stretch -- of the Fresno State special teams squads playing puppeteer to the spartans will have to be solely expressed through words.

I've put up four Bulldogs as candidates for the hammer this week, which was as far as I could narrow it down, a problem I (and I'm sure Bulldogs coaches) love having.

For those in the know, it should come as no surprise that Anthony Harding will walk away as the hammer winner this week. Sorry for spoiling the surprise for the rest of you, but unless something has changed in the very recent past, Harding is your guy.

But alas, we also have a winner to announce. Here's the rundown on the 4 guys we've selected:

  • Anthony Harding, RB - blocked punt: Just prior to the play, Bullogs coaches literally designed a plan of attack on the sidelines that they had not practiced nor discussed yet this season. This included bringing return man Marlon Moore up from his returner position to overload one side of the line, and assisted in getting Harding more space to get his hands on the kick. Blocked kicks are always big-time, and I personally love the fact that the best athletes relish the opportunity to make plays on special teams, Ryan Mathews included.
  • Michael Harris, RB - Hit and tackle on kickoff coverage: Harris ran down the field, maintained his lane and came around the edge to tee off on the san jose state return man. I have a special place in my heart for a de-cleating tackle executed with perfect form.
  • Vince Pascoe, TE - shield block in punt formation: I've been told Pascoe uses every ounce of his frame (which is undersized for a tight end), but the best proof of that came this past Saturday when Pascoe Uncle Phil-ed some poor spartan player. Standing next to Matt Hunt on one side of what turns into a 3-man wall, or shield to protect punter Robert Malone, Pascoe grabbed the foolish spartan (who had first run into Hunt), and proceeded to pick him up and toss him a yard off to the side, where the spartan player laid back on ground and feet in air.
  • Austin Raphael, TE - KO hit on player with embarrassed teammates: I made reference to the stumbling drunk earlier in the blog, and that was only borderline exaggeration to central nervous system control this poor spartan player was left with after Raphael's hit. Had he been thirsting for a beer afterward and there was a fridge full of beer on the sidelines, part 2 of the youtube classic would have been born. Raphael ran down field and leveled this poor guy, who was left stumbling all alone to the sidelines with the rest of the field already cleared while teammates were nowhere to be found to help him find his way.

As you can see, fans at the game got their money's worth with these four plays alone, as the combination of athletic ability and Fresno State dominance was entertaining beyond explanation. For those same reasons, I've selected the winner of this week's Be the Hammer award to be:

Austin Raphael, TE, No. 41

** Be the Hammer is part of a line of Fresno State football related features that gives us the opportunity to further discuss the 'Dogs in more facets. This time, it's in regards to special teams.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of worthy special teams plays this past Saturday in the annual beatdown of san jose state. All four of the aforementioned were great ones, and it's tough to leave out Damion Owens' laying of the wood on a blocker in kickoff coverage.

    Getting excited about special teams again, now we just need a big return...


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