Tuesday, September 12, 2006
FSU-Washington WR/TE Preview
Wide Receivers - Unfortunately Fresno State has not used it's three returning wide receivers to it's advantage this year. At the starting of the season the Bulldogs returned Paul Williams, Jaron Fairman, and Joe Fernandez. However, these three returning receivers have not spelled an answer to a passing game that seems to have disappeared since the days of David Carr. Fresno State has predominantly become a running team and these receivers have all suffered due to this. All three receivers have amazing talent, with Williams having the highest ceiling of the three. Fernandez and Fairman run outstanding routes and are where they should be each time the ball is thrown. Fresno State has the edge with respect to receiving only because these three have absolutely great hands and have dropped very few passes this year. I am not 100% sure but I can only remember one dropped pass between the three and that was Fairman in the fourth quarter last week. Fresno should take advantage of a Washinton defense that has been torched by the passing game. San Jose threw for over 300 yards against Washington two weeks ago as their pass defense seems to be soft this season. Pat Hill should give Brandstater more freedom to throw in this game, but if he doesn't then the passing game will not be as advantageous as Bulldog fans might hope it to be.
Washington's passing game is almost non-existant at this time. Their leading receiver has only eight receptions and this is largely due to the fact that Stanabck is not consistant at quarterback. He has outstanding athleticism yes, but his accuracy and decision making skills are terrible at times. One pass he looks like an all american quarterback, the next pass you wonder how he made it into the college ranks in the first place. If Stanback plays with his normal inconsistancy look for Wasington to insert Carl Bonnell into the game just as they did a week ago against Oklahoma. Washington has the talent to pass the ball and Fresno's pass defense has not been anything to write home about. However, I do not see Stanback taking advantage of the Freshman corner opposite McCauley often enough to make a difference in this game. Fresno should enjoy a big advantage in the passing game overall.
Wide Receiver Advantage - Fresno State
Tight Ends - Fresno State still has not used the Tight End to their advantage. Bear Pascoe is one of the bigger Tight Ends in college football and has great hands. last week Oregon ran countless plays to their Tight End over the middle of the field continually burning the Bulldogs as no Linebacker picked up the Tight End. Fresno should try and run similar plays with Pascoe as it is becoming frustrating to watch such a talented receiver go unnoticed throughout the course of an entire game. Throwing the ball to the Tight End once a game is not the answer to improving the passing offense. Washington will either see a Fresno State team that relies heavily on the run and does not allow it's quarterback to make plays or they will see a Bulldog team that realizes they need to get the passing game going if they want to win consistantly this season. Eventually the running game is going to be shut down and when that happens the Bulldogs are going to need to fall back on the passing game which they cannot do at this time.
Washington's leading receiver at Tight End has a total of three catches through two games. The Huskies have also had problems getting the ball to their receivers and Tight Ends. I would venture to say this is a game that may pass by quite fast due to the fact both teams will try to control the clock with the running game. Fresno may be more inclined to try and throw the ball than Washington will, but both teams have very good running games and passing games that suffer from lack of experience and lack of imagination on the Offensive Coordinator's part. With respect to the Tight End situation neither team truly has an advantage because neither team adequately uses their Tight Ends as they should. If this game turns into a run fest for both teams look for it to be very close in the end. If the Bulldogs can find a way to get their Tight Ends and Receivers involved the Bulldogs will have a chance to pull away in the second half. Whether they do or not will be up to gameplan and execution. Brandstater needed to make plays last week to keep us in the game against Oregon and this week he will need to make plays to keep us ahead of Washington. If Brandstater cannot make the plays against Washington look for a game that wll be much closer than any Bulldog wants to see.
Tight End Advantage - Even Due to Lack of Use of Tight Ends
Note - Due to the off week between Washington and Colorado State I am going to be taking suggestions for blogs next week. If anyone has anything they would like me to write about let me know via the Blogboard email. I won't be doing the Colorado State preview until the week of the game so all suggestions are definitely welcome. I am here to provide you Bulldog fans with a preview of everything that we will see in each game. If there are other ideas you might want to discuss let me know because it is about each and every one of us Bulldog fans coming together to root for the same team every Saturday.