Fresno State fans to this point have addressed their worries as to how the Bulldogs are going to be able to stop opposing team’s offenses. While our front line on defense should be strong the best answer as to how the Bulldogs will stop the other team’s offense is through the use of our own. I realize this may sound confusing but sometime’s a team’s best defense is their offense when it comes to college football. The longer Brandstater and company are on the football field the better. If the Bulldogs can find a way to put together long drives that eat up time off the clock look for the defense to be energized each time they step onto the football field. Here is a review of those offensive players who will do their best to make the defense’s job that much easier.
At QB Tom Brandstater will take the reigns for his senior season. The offense will only go as far as Brandstater directs them to. While the running game is a huge part of the Fresno State offense the Bulldogs will need Brandstater to come through when the running game is not churning out yard after yard. Chances are that the Bulldogs will have to rely on Brandstater at least once this season. In 2007 when the Dogs had to turn to Brandstater he came through nearly every time. If the Bulldogs can get similar stats from Brandstater look for them to make noise on the BCS front this season.
The RB situation is one that is usually positive for the Bulldogs. 2008 will be no different due to the fact that Fresno State returns Ryan Mathews, Lonyae Miller, and Anthony Harding. All look to be in outstanding physical shape and have a healthy level of competition between one another. With the offensive line opening holes for the Bulldog running backs look for one of these backs to break the 1,000 yard barrier this season. At the same time one cannot forget that A.J. Ellis and Rashad Evans will be used in the Fresno State offense as well. Each of these players brings a different aspect of explosiveness to the field which will allow the Dogs many more options on offense. While the situation at QB and RB seems positive they in no way compare to what the Bulldogs have returning at wide receiver and Tight End.
The Wide Receivers may be the position with the most talent for this 2008 Bulldog football team. With returning receivers such as Marlon Moore, Seyi Ajirotutu (who looks to have enhanced his game since last season), Jason Crawley, Devon Wylie, Matt Lindsay, Darren Newborne, and Chastin West the Bulldogs look to have the height (Ajirotutu, Lindsay), speed (Moore, Wylie) and physical nature (Crawley, Moore) to dominate the outside of the field. Add in the fact that Bear Pascoe is next to impossible to cover and you have a Fresno State offense that is going to score early and often. In 2006 the Bulldogs averaged 23 points per game on offense. In 2007 the Bulldogs improved their offense to the tune of 33 points a game. If Fresno State can improve slightly in 2008 they will average anywhere between 35-40 points per game. If Fresno State can find a way to put that many points on the board every week opposing teams will have a hard time keeping up with this high octane offense. This very well may be one of the best offenses the Bulldogs have ever fielded. Unfortunately we will have to wait 26 more days until we know if this offense is truly as good as they look to be.