Fresno State - Texas A&M: Quarterbacks
I am going to have be honest right from the start with all who read the Bulldog blog. There will be very few times this season that I give Fresno State the advantage with respect to the QB situation. I realize that many of you believe in Brandstater but until he proves that he can carry this team on the field I am not going to give the Dogs the advantage in the QB area of play. With that being said Stephen McGee comes into this game as the more accomplished QB if for nothing less than his win-loss record in games he has started at Texas A&M. Without further adieu here is the comparison of the two QB's which includes what they did last season as well:
Tom Brandstater - We all know the story with this kid. Tom has the arm. Tom has the size. Tom has the quickness. But will Tom have the confidence and state of mind to succeed in College Station? When all is said and done that is exactly what it comes down to for Brandstater and the Bulldogs. Fresno State needs a team leader and Brandstater needs to be that man on offense. Brandstater will not be the guy who throws a TD and explodes with emotion like a David Carr or Trent Dilfer did in the past. Instead he is more comparable to Billy Volek who got the job done but went about it very quietly. The city of Fresno is willing to let Brandstater be the quiet leader but only if he comes through the way the Bulldogs need him to. Looking at his performance last week Brandstater played much better than he did in 2006. Brandstater completed 16 passes in 27 attempts throwing for 199 yards and one td. He would have had two td's if Marlon Moore did not fumble the ball on the one yard line. Brandstater did fumble the ball one time but he escaped pressure countless times and racked up close to fifty yards on the ground. What Brandstater will have to work on is looking off receivers. He tends to lock on far too long and if he does that against a good defensive secondary he will not be able to succeed. A&M has a young secondary so Brandstater may be able to get away with this to begin the game but he will have to change his ways fast in order to bring the Bulldogs success. If Brandstater can limit his mistakes and remember to slide when he is on the run he will have a decent game, one that gives the Bulldogs a chance in the end.
Stephen McGee - A&M has a QB who can both throw and run the ball. In 2006 McGee threw for over 2000 yards while completing over 60% of his passes. He threw twelve td's to only two int's in 2006 and also ran for over 600 yards on the season. McGee does not have the most accurate arm as he displayed last week against Montana State only completing 10 out of 20 passes for 112 yards. However, McGee ran for 121 yards on nine carries and this is where this man could kill Fresno State. Last season Fresno State faced two mobile QB's who gave the Dogs fits on defense. Steinbeck from Washington and Dixon from Oregon caused numerous problems for the Dogs as they were able to elude the rush and create opportunities that a drop back passer would not have been able to do. McGee will be able to do the same exact thing if he does not see anything he likes when he surveys the field. McGee is used to playing in big time games. Every year A&M faces schools such as Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska. Playing Fresno State is not going to be intimidating in any shape or form for this young man. If the Bulldogs want to limit his success they are going to have to find a way to contain him in the backfield. The only way to do so is to blitz early and often and to make sure that McGee does not see the field the way he likes to. Very few teams have been able to limit the success of this young man but if Fresno State wants to study the tape of a team who did a great job against McGee the Dogs might want to look at the tape of the Cal game last season. McGee is going to make plays against the Dogs, it is in his nature to do so. If Fresno State can hold McGee to fifty yards rushing and under two hundred yards passing they will be in good shape in this game. It always sounds easier on a blog than it does when it comes to game time. Regardless it will be a tough task for the Dogs.
QB Advantage - Texas A&M