Monday, September 25, 2006

FSU-Colorado State QB/RB Preview

Quarterbacks - At first glance this game looks to be one of the bigger mismatches of the season for Fresno State as Colorado State may be 2-1 but that is no indication of how this team has played up to this point. With their first two wins being over Weber State (A division I-AA school Fresno State knows well) and the underachieving Colorado Buffaloes the jury is still out on Colorado State as a whole. If their loss at Nevada was any indication of how good this team is, Fresno State in turn should have very few problems Saturday. However, most Fresno State fans know better than to take any opponent for granted with our storied history of dropping games to lesser opponents (such as Washington only a week ago). The quarterback situation for the Bulldogs has been well documented up to this point as it has been non-existant to say the very least. Last week Jeff Rowe of Nevada completed 19 out of 22 passes for over 200 yards against this weak Colorado State defense. Brandstater will have time to throw and will even have the lanes to throw if the offense so desires it, but that has not made a difference up to this point as Washington gave us every opportunity to throw down field and we did not take advantage of it. I want to give the quarterback edge to Fresno State but I cannot go off of talent anymore as far as advantages go. Promise and talent only take you so far in college football. Execution is the most important aspect in college football and our passing game has not executed. I have no reason to believe that we will open up the passing game against Colorado State. Although their starting quarterback (Caleb Hanie 49 for 70, 1 td, 3 int's) has average numbers at best, they are no worse than Brandstater's numbers up to this point (48 for 73, 3td's, 3 int's). I am going to call the quarterback competition equal, but not because I feel it truly is. Instead I am calling it a draw only because I know Pat Hill will not allow Brandstater to throw the ball as he should be able to. Our play calling is the only reason this aspect of the game is equal.

Quarterback Advantage - Even, due to lack of creativity in playcalling for FSU.

Running Backs - Fresno State will enjoy an enormous advantage with respect to the running game. Colorado State's leading rusher (Gatrell Johnson III) has gained 64 yards on 34 carries up to this point. Yes those numbers are correct, he is averaging less than two yards per carry. Dwayn Wright (one of the nation's best up to this point) has gained 448 yards on 83 carries for an average of 5.5 yards per carry. Fresno State should be able to completely control the line in this game. If Dwayne Wright does not rush for at least 150 yards and two scores I will be surprised. he is far too powerful and Fresno State's O-line is much too effective for Colorado State to disrupt the Bulldogs running game. However, here in lies the dilemna against Colorado State. Does Fresno State finally try to work in a passing game that will be necessary to beat Boise, Hawaii, and LSU or do they continue to run the ball continuously because Colorado State cannot defend it? We shall see what the Dogs do, but if I were to guess I would say they continue to pound the ball time and time again.

Running Back Advantage - Fresno State

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