Monday, September 11, 2006

FSU-Washington QB/RB Preview

Quarterbacks - For the first time this season the QB edge may go to Tom Brandstater. Although Brandstater's completion percentage may be low up to this point in the season he has only started two games, one of those against PAC-10 powerhouse Oregon. Brandstater may have only gone 16-33 last weekend but his scrambling ability and mental tougness kept Fresno State close. It is hard to say that a quarterback has come a long way in such a short time, but Brandstater has shown that he can lead the Bulldogs and has the intangibles to make the smart plays at QB. he does not throw the ball into coverage often nor does he force passes he shouldn't. Look for Brandstater to have more freedom to throw in this game as Washington does not have a strong pass defense and will have a hard time shutting down the passing offense of the Bulldogs. Isaiah Stanback started last week against Oklahoma and had the Huskies in the game deep into the third quarter. Whether he starts this week or not is unknown as he was replaced midway through the third quarter by Carl Bonnell. However, it doesn't matter who steps in for the Huskies, their passing game is not their strength. They are better suited to run the ball giving the quarterback edge to Fresno State.

Quarterback Advantage - Fresno State

Running Backs - Fresno State will have the advantage in the running game due to their massive front line. Oregon has one of the better defensive lines that Fresno State will face, yet Dwayne Wright was still able to rush for over 150 yards. The Bulldogs overall rushed for over 200 yards for the second straight game and there is no reason to think that is going to stop. Oregon knew Fresno State loves to run the ball and stack nine men the box time and time again only to see Dwayne Wright run right through them. Washington will not be able to stop the run game, they will have to focus on limiting the Bulldogs to 4 yards a carry in order to have a chance in this game. Although Washington is a much improved team from two years ago when the Bulldogs last played them I still don't seem them stopping Fresno's running game. As long as Fresno has Roshon Vercher blocking for Dwayne Wright there is very little any other team will be able to do to stop the Bulldogs running game as Vercher is one of the better fullbacks in the nation. Rarely does Vercher miss blocks and for the most part he will take out the leading defensive player on every run play.

Washington counters with Louis Rankin and a valley product - Kenny James at running back. The running game is Washington's strong point as they were also able to gain over 200 yards rushing this past week against #15 Oklahoma. Fresno State's defensive line did a decent job of holding Oregon's running game down but is still susceptable to giving up the big run play from time to time. If Fresno cannot fill the running lanes they are going to spend a long day allowing long run after long run to the speedy Washington running backs (this will depend on the availability of Marcus Riley who could return this week). Fresno has to be careful of having a letdown after last weekend's contest with Oregon. However, because they are playing another PAC-10 school I don't foresee a letdown in the cards. Fresno's defense will improve from last week and do a decent job against the Washington running game.

Running Back Advantage - Fresno State

Schedule for the week:

9/12 Wide Receiver/Tight End Preview

9/13 O-Line/D-Line Preview

9/14 Secondary/Linebacker Preview

9/15 Special Teams Preview/Prediction

9/16 Gameday


hairofthedawg said...

Stanback was replaced in the middle of the 4th and from all indications is still the starter, at least until he decides to move to WR to increase his chances to make it to the next level. Were it not for our porous pass defense, as you mentioned, I'd give IS the edge just because he's so dangerous. He's just not consistent and there's no way to predict how he'll play. I've no idea about your QB but I'd rate it close to even.

The Huskies didn't completely stop Peterson from OU, but he did have some very difficult stretches and as good as Wright may be, I don't place him in the same league. Maybe your OL makes him better, but I don't see it. The Husky OL has been a surprise this year and both Rankin and James are healthy for a change. They complement one another well and the change in style and pace will cause a bit of confusion. I'll give you a slight advantage here but not enough to decide the game.

nsc said...

I don't mind that you have a differing opinion of the Dogs but have you watched us play yet? I watched your guy's game against Oklahoma (who I feel is completely overrated) and while you played well in spurts you still have a long ways to go before I feel like you win more games than you lose. You struggled in the first week against San Jose allowing their qb over 330 yards passing.

I am sorry but I do not agree with you on Wright. Peterson and Wright are completely different running backs. We have one of the better fullbacks in the nation and during the course of a game it is only a matter of time before the O-line of Fresno wears down the D-ine of opposing teams. Oregon is a very good team. They will not lose more than two games this year and one of those will be to USC.

Overall I expect the Washington game to be a good game. I do think youre right, we do not have an extreme advantage in the running area, but we do have one. As for your quarterback theory, well your qb has had problems being erratic in every game I have ever seen him in. I don't expect him to be amazing this week because well he never is. He may be fast and athletic but so is Dixon and the dogs did pretty good with respect to his running game.

hairofthedawg said...

No, I haven't seen you play but I thought, mistakenly, that I qualified my comment in that respect. I'm just guessing and going on what I've seen from the Huskies.

You're right about our pass defense and unless that or our pass rush improves greatly it could be a long season. We've got some good DE's, but I haven't seen much pressure from the middle. The middle is pretty stout against the run though, although I can't tell if that's the line or the LB's. We do have decent depth on the DL so hopefully we'll be able to stay with you.

I differ with your opinion on the Ducks, but that's mainly because I don't want to have to look at their uniforms.

It should be a good game. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of team we are with respect to the rest of the Pac. I understand what your saying about Stanback and that's one of the things that's so frustrating about being a fan. He'll look great for a stretch and then cause you to slam beer as fast you can for another. That said, I'm always hopeful he'll finally put it all together.

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

brandstater should start building his heisman resume saturday in seattle. the dawgs have done a great job this season of making mediocre qbs who had just been named the starter look like the elite in the country. the secondary must improve if UW wins this one.

i run U-Dub Dish, the Washington site part of the sports blogs nation (SBN) network.

I would love to do a Q&A with you this week to get the scoop on the bulldogs from a valid source.

if you're down, drop me an email and tell me that you're down. i'll then fire some questions your way and then when i get the responses, i'll post them on my site and of course link back to you.

hit me up if you're interested.

Anonymous said...

I would not put Brandstater ahead of Stanback. Going into Oklahoma is no easy task for any quarterback and the week before, against a WAC team he not only threw well, but ran for over 100 yards. There is no way Brandstater will ever do that. I am not saying that Stanback is a great, or even a good quarterback, but his athleticism alone should at least make it even, if not put UW ahead. I expect Fresno to win, as travelling to Seattle is not what it was 5 years ago. There could be 30,000 empty seats there this week.