Wide Receivers - Fresno State returns three receivers from their core group in 2005. Most importantly the Bulldogs return two of the best receivers in the WAC in Joe Fernandez and Paul Williams. Fernandez has great hands and has become one of the better posession receivers in the nation. He rarely drops the ball and runs great routes allowing the quarteback to get him the ball in the desperate situations. Williams led the team in receiving yardage in 2005 and became the go to man with many acrobatic catches throughout the season. If Nevada lines up with either receiver man to man there is no way they will be able to cover both of them. Williams height and ability to get to the ball make it impossible to shut him down. While both of these receivers are great Jaron Fairman is the third receiver that tends to go under the radar. Fairman has great hands and will run over the middle putting himself on the line almost every play to make the big catch. As most of you dogs fans know we have four Freshman receivers who have come in. The only one at this time that may make an impact is Chastin West. he not only has great hands but is being looked at as a kick returner. With all of these options Tom Brandstater has to like what he has been given offensively.
Nevada returns two receivers in Caleb Spencer and Kyle Sammons that combined for 94 catches and 1259 yards on the season. Spencer is Rowe's go to man and will draw McCauley as a defensive assignment. Rowe will have to find other options at receiver due to the fact that McCauley is a lock down corner and will shut down Spencer for most of the game. How Nevada replaces Nichirin Flowrs will be important to how effective they are offensively against Fresno State. Flowers did not have the greatest of years but always played big against Fresno State. Nevada will have to find someone else to go to just as they used Flowers against us in 2005. If they do not they will have a long frustrating night against the dogs defense.
Wide Receiver Advantage - Fresno State
Tight Ends - Fresno State has not been known to use the tight end as successfully as they might have hoped to over the last couple of years. However, this season may be far different than those that preceeded it. With a new offensive coordinator in Hagan the playbook might involve the tight end far more than in years past. Our old offensive coordinator Cignetti used a pro style offense that did very little to exploit matchup problems on the outside. Bear Pascoe will create problems for defenses purely due to his size (6-5, 260). He is a large receiver with speed and good hands. if he can become a viable option for Brandstater Fresno State will have four options to throw to. Jesus Tapia will also become an option at tight end this season. Although Tapia played sparingly in 2005 he is not new to Fresno State's system and will be able to contribute when put in the right situations. Overall Fresno State will have a strong set of TE's to throw to if the option is needed during the game against Nevada.
Nevada returns it's leading tight end in Anthony Pudewell. Pudewell led Nevada in receiving with respect to to tight ends in 2005 with 27 catches and 308 yards receiving. As you can see Nevada does not use their tight end much either. Nevada runs a modified version of the Hawaii spread offense that tries to get Rowe on the outside of the defense where he can exploit mismatches. Nevada will have the option to throw to their tight ends due to the fact that Riley and Brown are out for this game. Our LB core once strong has been depleted by injuries. Although we will have Goodwin and Andrews starting the third LB spot is going to be tough to fill. If Nevada exploits this tight end problem Fresno State could be in for a long night.
Tight End Advantage - Even