Wednesday, September 13, 2006
FSU-Washington O-Line/D-Line Preview
Offensive Line - Fresno State possesses one of the top offensive lines in the nation. To see this you have to look no further than to Dwayne Wright's run production. Wright has rushed for over 150 yards in each of the first two games of the season and there is no reason he cannot keep that torrid pace up with Roshon Vercher leading the way. Kyle Young is arguably the best center in all of college football. With Young anchoring the offensive line Fresno's run game and quarterback protection tend to be better than most other teams could hope for. Fresno State will have an advantage comapred to most other teams with respect to the offensive line. Oregon had a good offensive line but Fresno's played so well against Oregon that they were able to post a plus ten minute differential in the time of possession department. If Fresno can operate with the same gameplan they did against Oregon they should control the ball and win this game.
Washington's offensive line has done a very good job early in the year. They have continually opened up holes for their running backs to gain yard after yard. Kenny James and Louis Rankin have combined for over 380 yards rushing in their first two games. If you throw quarterback Isaiah Stanbacks rushing yards in Washington has rushed for over 500 yards in their first two games this season. The offensive line will continue to open holes as Fresno State not only has had a hard time putting pressure on the qb, but this time they will have to do it without Tyler Clutts (pictured above). Overall these two offensive lines will allow both running games to flourish on Saturday. This game will come down to which quarterback has better protection and time to throw. Because of that I feel that Fresno State has the advantage on the offensive line.
Offensive Line Advantage - Fresno State
Defensive Line - If there is a weakness for Fresno State this has been it. Not only do the Bulldogs give up large sums of yards both on the ground and through the air, they also get very little pressure on the quarterback. The picture above of Clutts sacking the quarterback in the only sack this season that the defense has registered. For a short period against Oregon (the second quarter) Fresno mixed up their defensive formations well and put pressure on Dixon, one of the main reasons the Ducks only put up three points in the quarter. If the Dogs can find a way to confuse Washington's offense they may be able to force them into making mistakes. However, if Fresno State's defensive line continues to allow the opponents offensive line to control them we may be in for another wild game.
Washington also has the same weakness as Fresno, as they give up large amounts of yards throught the air and ground. Washington allowed San Jose to throw for over 330 yards against them showing that the way to beat Washington is to run and open up the passing game through play action. Whether the Bulldogs will do that or not is yet to be seen mainly because our offensive threats have not shown theirselves aside Dwayne Wright. Washington will also need to find a way to put pressure on our quarterback. Oregon hit Brandstater countless times but only sacked him once. Brandstater showed he is tough and can take hits and keep on playing. I don't believe Washington is a better team than Oregon therefore I don't see their defensive line doing much to stop the Bulldogs. Since the Bulldogs defensive line is so suspect and although I think they might be a bit better than Washington I am going to say these two units up front are close to even. It will be the secondaries that decide how the offenses will succeed in this one.
Defensive Line Advantage - Fresno State, but very close