Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Taboo talk

If you haven't heard the latest news on the Bulldog domestic violence front, Chris Lewis has been suspended for the fall semester for "violating the athlete code of conduct" — which Simpletext read once before and retained zero of the words written therein.

Probably because it was written with lots of words like "therein" therein.

If you read the Fresno Bee, which us media types stylishly call the FresBee (as opposed to the ModBee and, our personal favorite for obvious reasons, the SacBee), you know Lewis is one of two players embroiled in legal troubles surrounding nasty breakups with girlfriends.

Fresno State fans should be begging for some kind of opinion leader to come in here and tell us what to think. And since Matt James is on his whirlwind tour of the midwest, Simpletext will do it for you.

Why do we feel like everybody but the Bee is shoving this under the rug? Heck, even The Bulldog Bounce's position-by-position preview neglected to mention that Lewis is in hot water — and this after allegedly vandalizing his girlfriend's car and taking and/or selling growth hormones, according to a published report.

We were disappointed to scour the internet and find little commentary on two nearly identical criminal acts alleged to be commited by members of the Bulldogs football teams within the same month.

Our friends over at The Fresno State Football Blog tried to play off the Quaadir Brown offense as if it were none of our business what goes on between he and his girlfriend as long as he never hit her.

We all remember what it was like to be in college, the blogger "nsc" says, as if to wipe away the act under the glorious nature of boys will be boys.

One problem: nsc's let's-give-him-a-second-chance, he-made-one-out-of-character-mistake, damn-that's-a-lot-of-hyphens argument sounds a lot like the one a critically acclaimed sports columnist for The Collegian (Fresno State) once wrote about Terry Pettis.

Pettis began his troubles as a harmless intramural flag football kingpin who vandalized his girlfriend's car. People were quick to give him free passes, too, since he could penetrate and score on the basketball court. But within months, Pettis was pushing Jeff Passan and popping drug dealers in the Village Apartments.

So don't be so quick to dismiss these charges. In these cases of people getting their personal lives straightened out, don't criticize the punishments. Just hope they're the right ones.

Because there's someone rotting in a jail cell for murder right now wishing he didn't get the wrong one.

Bill Walsh

Having grown up in 49ers territory in the 1980s, we have much respect and admiration for what Bill Walsh did to help cement his sport as the new national pastime.

On a day where every newspaper in the country ran a huge obituary/tribute to the legendary football coach, it was interesting to read what the San Jose Mercury News called the highlight of his "otherwise forgettable playing career."

Playing for the eeeevil San Jose State Spartans sometime back in the 1950s, Walsh scored on a 66-yard touchdown pass against Fresno State.

To make this even more humiliating to the Bulldogs, Walsh was considered a really sorry player. Plus, this was back in the days before wide receivers were invented and the forward pass was just a fad.

Where was the defense, you Fresno State old farts?

Anyway, thanks, Bill.


Monday, July 30, 2007


Returning: 12
Lost: 2
Incoming: 2

It’s the tale of two positions, with serious depth at defensive end and a serious lack of depth at defensive tackle, making it seem even more strange why Andrew Jackson was moved to the offensive side of the line.

At tackle, senior Jason Shirley (6-5, 330) leads the way and is likely NFL-bound. He’s the WAC’s top run-stuffer, and if he keeps his motor on the way he did against LSU last season he can go down as one of the best in school history – he’s definitely got the size.

The other tackle spot will likely be filled by junior Jon Monga (6-2, 280), though senior Charles Tolbert (5-11, 265) is right in the mix. Monga has stepped up as a solid option, but hasn’t yet shown that he can consistently be an impact player, which is what this team needs from all four starters up front. Tolbert drew early comparisons to former star Jason Stewart, mostly because of his size, but hasn’t come close to that yet.

Senior Tyler Clutts (6-2, 245) is the heart and soul of this unit. He’s the good old-fashioned, hard-working, undersized kid who refused not to be great. He enters the year on the preseason watchlist for college football’s best lineman and will be critical in helping a defense that had a problem pressuring quarterbacks last season.

Opposite Clutts will be junior Jason Roberts (6-5, 250), though redshirt freshman Chris Lewis (6-3, 245) has progressed. Roberts, a Central High product who originally went to Washington State, is easily the most gifted athlete on the unit but hasn’t put it all together yet at the college level. If he does, he can be better than anyone in the conference. The scary thing is, the same might be true for Lewis, the Clovis West star who originally signed with Miami before deciding to return home. The former top-ranked heavyweight wrestler in the state took a year to get to know the Fresno State system and should be right on track to battle for a starting job now.

Where junior Michael Stuart (6-4, 245) fits in is anyone’s guess. The former USC signee was far from outperforming his competitors in practice last season and saw little playing time. But he has as much speed, if not more, than any other lineman, and is one to watch. Junior Ikenna Ike (6-1, 255) is a proven commodity since walking on two years ago, and might be the team's top pass rusher. Redshirt freshman Taylor Smith of Buchanan (6-3, 230) is another quick and athletic end, but isn’t yet ready to impact the battle for a starting spot.

At tackle, with Shirley and Tolbert in their final season and Monga gone after 2008, the Bulldogs need to find the personnel to fill those voids, and now is the time to groom them. Redshirt freshman Mark Roberts (6-2, 305) is quickly making his way up the depth chart after originally showing up to fall camp out of shape after high school. Along with redshirt freshman Cornell Banks (6-3, 265) of Edison and versatile sophomore Wilson Ramos (6-4, 270), Roberts will compete for a second-string job.

But the one to watch might be new signee Porter Hill (6-4, 275) out of Compton, cousin of Leslie Cooper. Whether he’ll see time right away or redshirt is still up in the air. End Kenneth Borg (6-3, 235) out of Los Alamitos is likely to redshirt this season.

Rating: 7 of 10

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Whatever happened to...?

From the lost files: Here's another update on a former Bulldog.

Defensive tackle Alan Harper is still playing football.

After being drafted by the Jets in 2002, Harper, one of the top defensive line prospects the school had ever had, pretty much withered in obscurity for four seasons. We didn't know if he even played a single down.

Word on the streets is he's pretty good at Arena Football, though. He's got his team in the 11th annual Arena Bowl.

Say what you want about Arena Football.

That it's...

Or it's...

Well, actually, I never hear anyone say anything about Arena Football. Do people go to the games? Are they free to get in? It must be popular somewhere because they've had 11 of these bowl games.

Anyway, kudos to Harper. Because who wouldn't want to play behind this kind of support?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Spoiled Children

There's a university full of 'em, or, at least that's the feeling I get every time I see someone with a USC hat or T-shirt or a bumper sticker that some jerk decides he should place on my mother's front bumper after he steals her pro-Fresno State license plate.

And being in southern California this weekend (even in San Diego) I'm seeing way too much USC gear. And after witnessing first-hand twice in my life how pompous the overwhelming majority of their fan base is, it's hard not to view all of their fans that way.

That's why I'm making it a point to wear Fresno State gear everywhere I go -- that's what we all should do!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Pay raise for Pat?

Hold onto your fu-manchus, Pat Hill is no longer the highest paid coach in the WAC. Not now that Hawaii's June Jones got a phatty raise from the very-straight-and-not-gay Warriors.

Apparently, there was a big whoop over whether Hawaii was going to front the cash. Will there now be a similar one over Hill's pay scale?

Hill does have like a 10-year contract or something outrageous sounding, but if he goes off and has one of his patented headline grabbing seasons, we could see the salary become an issue, especially if he flirts with the NFL or another big college again.

Either way, Simpletext believes that Hill won't be the second-highest paid coach in the WAC for long. Not after Clovis hears what's happened.

Bulldogs by the bay

Lane Kiffin isn't the only former Bulldogs football assistant coach in the bay area this fall. Ever wonder what happened to former offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti? (I guess he's a junior.)

Last we'd recalled, after ditching the middle screen to call a bunch of double reverses and a flea flicker in his last season at Fresno State, Cignetti took a job coordinating at North Carolina. But now he's coaching quarterbacks for the 49ers in San Francisco, where former Bulldogs great Trent Dilfer plays backup.

Simpletext wonders who'd win in a fight: Cignetti or Kiffin? Feel free to weigh in.

Norton saga comes to an end

Sean Norton, the man who would be Fresno State quarterback, apparently has decided to quit football.

Norton got the unfairest shake in recorded history last fall when battling Tom Brandstater for the starting job.

Irrefutable evidence: Brandstater got every benefit of the doubt -- even after struggling to score against Utah State, leading the Bulldogs to arguably their most humiliating defeat in program history. Meanwhile, Norton performed well against LSU, Boise State and Hawaii -- hands down the three best defensive teams on the schedule -- and got benched.

For some reason, it just seemed Norton got no respect from coaches at Fresno State. The coaches may have something to say about that, but until they say something publicly, all the public has to go by is how things appear. And it appears Norton got the big red shaft.

Just look at the way Fresno State presented his mug shot there. Sure, Norton is short. Probably 5-foot-9ish. But why not do the guy a favor and crop his photo? You did recruit him, didn't you?

Norton's not big, but he's a winner. He put up crazy numbers at perennial power Hart High (The alma mater of Kyle Boller and Matt Moore). He was a Parade All-American and led the state in passing en route to being named CalHiSports.com's Mr. Football. He won a section title in what has become the toughest division in the state and probably the nation.

Brandstater ran, what, the wishbone at Turlock? His top high school accolade was throwing for 1,000 yards his senior year. Norton had 4,067 passing yards and 44 touchdowns his senior season.

I don't know why you'd automatically hand the keys to an offense to someone who's barely passed for 1,000 yards when you've got someone else with bigtime pedigree, if not a bigtime body frame.

But even though we would have liked to have seen Norton get a better opportunity, it's become moot. He's done with football. Burnt out, he said.

No one's saying it, but Fresno State did most of the burning.

Class of the Titans

The signing of the Tennessee Titans' draft class is almost complete. Former Bulldog Paul Williams agreed to terms, leaving the Titans' top two picks as the only left unsigned.

Williams is another player who had a disappointing season in 2006. With a rookie quarterback who had plenty of his own struggles, all the blame for the swoon can't be put on the receiver, who was expected to have a great season but started slowly, had an injury and never got going.

But when current players like Tyler Clutts go on record saying there were players talking the talk and not walking the walk and it had negative effects, we get the feeling Williams could have been one of those players talking without walking.

Still, the potential is there to have a solid pro career. Williams has the speed and the height to make an impact. But like Marcus McCauley, he has some make up work to do after a lost season.

Williams' signing means all four Fresno State draftees have come to terms. Tackle Chris Denman (Buccaneers) was first. Then Dwayne Wright (RB, Bills), McCauley (CB, Vikings) and Williams followed.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Home Alone: Found in Mankato

Marcus McCauley, the second former Bulldog to sign in as many days, is officially a Viking.

Mankato is the town where they do training camp, and for those who didn't get the title of the blog:

Marcus McCauley. McCauley Culkin. Home Alone. Lost in New York. Found in...

Whatever, so don't laugh. Maybe it's not that funny.

In a senior season where he was the posterboy for Fresno State's sudden sucktitude, McCauley didn't laugh much either.

He got burnt, beat, fooled, baboozled, stupefied and smoked in coverage. He lost his starting spot as well as his confidence and went from a can't-miss first-rounder to a running joke on all the postseason awards watch lists.

And whenever B.J. Anteola from the Fresno Bee wanted to do a story on how the Bulldogs weren't living up to expectations, he requested time with McCauley -- who was present and accountable every time.

Say what you want about the way he played last season, but McCauley still impressed us. He showed as much grace under fire as Simpletext has ever seen from a Fresno State athlete. He didn't quit the team. He didn't flunk out. He didn't fight the frats.

Much like Dwayne Wright, McCauley has the prototype athleticism to succeed in the NFL. And now that he suffered through the season from hell and came out clean on the other side, he'll likely cherish his NFL opportunity for what it is -- an underhyped sequel to his first box office flop.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Returning: 13
Lost: 3 (Kyle Young, Chris Denman, Robin Kezirian)
Incoming: 5

The list of Fresno State linemen who have moved on in the last three years is nearly irreplaceable – Logan Mankins (Patriots), Dartangon Shack, Kyle Young and Chris Denman (Buccaneers) – but the Bulldogs still have two of the WAC’s best in the trenches in former first-team freshman All-Americans Cole Popovich and Ryan Wendell.

Wendell (6-2, 275), a senior, moves to center full-time this year to replace Young, and relies on quickness and athletic ability to match up with opponents who are often bigger. But even as a sophomore, Wendell held his own against a USC team full of NFL talent. Popovich (6-2, 285), a junior, can play either guard position. Since he entered the program, Hill has touted Popovich as the next big-time lineman after Mankins, and if he’s healthy he will leave no doubt.
But after those two, the team will need breakout performances in three other positions. Granted, with five starters returning from a line that allowed the fewest sacks in the WAC last year with 12, they’ve got plenty of experience, but no one other than Popovich and Wendell who has made a name as a dominant lineman.

Junior Bobby Lepori (6-5, 285) has shown a mean streak at left tackle and has the tools to become All-WAC. A couple of converted defensive linemen – tackle Kenny Avon (6-3, 260) and guard Adam McDowell (6-4, 285) – are slated to fill the other two starting spots. Both were eased in last season and should show big progress in 2007.

Bobby Lepori

Don’t count out juniors Richard Pacheco (6-2, 285) and Pierce Masse (6-4, 285) to push for starting jobs. Both have proved capable and have seen spot starts already. Another super talent is redshirt freshman Andrew Jackson (6-5, 260), but one has to question why coaches chose to move him from his original defensive tackle position, where he made huge strides in fall camp in 2006 and looked to be a future star. It’s tough to say how much action he’ll see this season, but will be a serious candidate to start next year.

Vying for the leftover playing time will be redshirt freshman center Joe Bernardi (6-2, 280), senior Chris Piligian (6-6, 265), redshirt freshmen James Meeks (6-5, 310) and Kenny Wiggins (6-7, 260), greyshirt freshman Charley Robbins (6-2, 270) and redshirt freshman walk-on Nick Wright (6-3, 265). Bernardi, a Flaggstaff, Ariz. product and the son of a former UCLA offensive line coach, is expected to take on a much larger role in the coming years with Wendell graduating. Meeks has struggled to move up on the depth chart in recent years, and is likely to stay in a reserve role. Wiggins showed flashes of promise in practice, but despite his natural frame is still a bit raw and needs to work on foot speed.

Oh, and if that’s not enough depth to confuse even the most avid fan, the 2007 signees are amongst the best in school history. Grant Union-Sacramento product Devan Cunningham (6-6, 315) has the talent to start as a true freshman. The problem is finding a spot to play him. He’ll likely be asked to drop a few pounds, but there’s no doubt he’ll be an impact player in the WAC. The same could be true for El Dorado-Yorba Linda’s Eric Sproal (6-4, 280), a late signee who was named first-team all-state is a physical and smart youngster. He’s likely to redshirt this year, along with Tulare’s Bryce Harris (6-6, 240), a phenomenal athlete who also starred on the basketball team, Moorpark’s Kyle Rainer (6-5, 265) and Dominguez-Compton’s Leslie Cooper (6-4, 260). Cooper will likely be the fastest offensive lineman as soon as he steps on the field, making him an interesting prospect to move to the defensive side of the ball.

Rating: 8 of 10

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Dwaaaaaaaayne Wright!

Start spreading the news. Wright has signed with the Bills.


Buffalo still hasn't signed Marshawn Lynch. We say, so what? Wright will outperform him any(damn)way.

The Bills should just overpay to get Posluszny in and lowball Lynch now that they've got Wright. They don't need the shrimp from Berkeley.

The second Wright stepped on the practice field at Fresno State, bigger in a jersey and shorts than some were in half pads, Simpletext projected him as possibly the best running back in school history. Minus the knee injury as a result of a horsecollar tackle (illegal in the NFL), Wright lived up to expectations.

He's got the size and speed of a prototype NFL back. He's got school records galore. And he peeled off college tacklers like they were old Calvin-pissing-on-Ford decals.

We at The Bulldog Bounce conspired to tackle him on campus between classes back in 2003 just to prove it was in the realm of possibility. Let's just say, if anybody sees him on the streets of Buffalo and aims to do the same, try so at your own risk.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

10 Best WAC teams? Really!?

OK, the idea of coming up with the 10 best WAC teams of all-time was a great one. I was intrigued. So I popped up the Idaho Statesman story and what do I find?

TWO Boise State teams in the top 10, yet only one Fresno State team (2001).

Now, don't get me wrong, last year's Boise State team belongs. Even if the Broncos didn't have a very tough schedule and used lots of gimmick plays, they won the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma (by far their biggest non-conference win ever). But they won, and you can't argue that.

My problem is the 2003 Boise State team was ranked 7th all-time, ahead of the No. 10 2001 Fresno State team that was led by David Carr.

Now, let's see, what was so special about this 2003 Boise State team? It lost to Oregon State in its only game against a BCS-conference opponent. The other two non-league games were Idaho State and Wyoming. The marquee win was 31-17 over Fresno State. And a bowl win against TCU.

Now let's compare the 2005 team, which is arguably Fresno State's best ever. It's at least AS GOOD as the '01 team that shocked the nation and put the WAC back on the map. But in '05, Fresno State froze every college football fan in the country to his/her seat as it went toe-to-toe and nearly beat No. 1 USC in the LA Coliseum (you know, the USC team that was heralded as the most talented college team ever). Oh, and Fresno State had 30,000 fans travel to the game and outyell USC's 60,000.

That same '05 'Dogs team also pummeled Boise State 27-7 the week before, spanked Hawaii 70-14, and lost by three to No. 10 Oregon on the road after blowing a 17-point lead. The only knock on the '05 team was the late-season collapse. But that shouldn't keep it out of the top 10.


Monday, July 23, 2007


Returning: 4
Incoming: 1
Lost: 0

If there’s one spot the Bulldogs need not be concerned with, it’s here. Junior Bear Pascoe (6-5, 260) emerged as a star in 2006, catching 22 pas
ses for 307 yards, displaying the softest hands on the team and developing into a shutdown blocker. He’ll be NFL bound in time, as he’s already the conference’s best and among the nation's best.

ESPN Player Profile

With Isaac Kinter seeing time mostly at H-back, junior Drew Lubinsky (6-6, 250) and Jesus Tapia (6-6, 250) are the second and third options. Lubinsky was a highly-touted recruit, but so far hasn’t come close to living up to those expectations. The physical tools are there, but he has to prove he can translate that to gameday. Tapia is experienced and a solid role player, used mainly for his above average blocking ability, but isn’t likely to do anything to take a game into his hands.

Walk-on Norman Davis (6-6, 210) rounds out the lineup. Putting on a few extra pounds of muscle would be his best bet to earn playing time. True freshman Ryan Skidmore (6-5, 225), a highly-regarded pass-catching prospect waits in the wings. Skidmore has the type of talent that could allow him to make an immediate impact, but isn't necessarily going to be needed until next season.

Rating: 9 of 10

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Sunday, July 22, 2007


Players Returning: 7
Incoming: 3
Lost: 4 (Paul Williams, Joe Fernandez, Jaron Fairman, Kevin Ciccone)

The unit remains deep despite the losses of last years injury-plagued stars who didn’t come anywhere near having the type of season that was expected of them – Paul Williams (Titans) and Joe Fernandez (Seahawks). Sophomore Chastin West (6-1, 215) returns as the go-to guy after catching 33 passes for 365 yards to lead the team last season.

Marlon Moore

ESPN Player Prolife

Although sophomore Marlon Moore (6-0, 180) is the next-most experienced, watch for a breakout year from sophomore Seyi Ajirotutu (6-3, 200). Ajirotutu and West have true star potential, but injuries limited Ajirotutu to just nine games with sparse playing time last season. He was arguably the most impressive player in the Spring Game with his aggressive ball-catching ability in traffic, speed and knack for getting open.

Moore is drawing comparisons to Bernard Berrian (Bears) for his speed, but needs to work on his hands. Adding plenty of depth are sophomore Jason Crawley (6-2, 170), who looks much-improved after a decent 2006 showing and redshirt freshman Jamel Hamler (6-1, 190), a highly-touted recruit who chose the Bulldogs over Oregon at the last minute. Former running back Shannon Dorsey (6-1, 205) also lines up at receiver this year, with walk-on Darren Newborne (5-11, 185) unlikely to see time.

A trio of true freshmen are likely to redshirt in Devon Wylie (5-9, 170), Matt Lindsey (6-0, 185) and Tim Lang (6-0, 190). Wylie has the speed and leaping ability to be a big-time college player, and could end up playing a special teams role as a true freshman. Considering his size, he’ll draw comparison to Adam Jennings (Falcons), who he worked out with in the summer as they’re both alums of the same high school. Lang is an athlete who still could end up at defensive back – he played quarterback in high school, and has that natural elusive ability (not as ankle-twisting as Clifton Smith) but is faster than Smith. Lindsey is a playmaker -- deceptively fast and with a knack for fighting the ball away from defenders. His days as a high school basketball standout help explain his leaping ability.

Devon Wylie #7 - 2006 Highlights

Rating: 7 of 10

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Players returning: 4
Incoming: 0
Lost: 1 (Roshon Vercher)

Sometimes an overlooked position, Fresno State will notice the loss of Roshon Vercher (Arizona Cardinals), who was so good at his assignments it was easy to overlook him. Former walk-on Nathan Adams (5-11, 240) is expected to be recovered from an injury that caused him to sit out all of 2006, and has starting experience, but he’s not as dominant as Vercher was.

Sophomore Isaac Kinter (6-1, 240) is listed at tight end, but is likely to see time at H-back, lining up in the backfield similar to former Bulldogs standout Stephen Spach. He’s extremely fast for his size, with above average hands.

If the Bulldogs are looking for size, they might turn to redshirt freshman Frank Padilla (6-0, 240) who is a ball of muscle and has enough speed to play tailback. His biggest challenge is mastering the playbook and schemes, and overcoming an injury that cost him the spring.

Sophomore Raynard Camp (5-11, 250) figures to have just as good a shot as anyone after taking all of the first-team reps in spring camp. He’s not as quick or athletic as Kinter and Padilla, but does have the instincts and size to play the position.

Rating: 6 of 10

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It's time to get excited!

Check out this video: Football Motivational

i am sorry if this is "homerish" but I had to ... it's motivational


Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Players returning: 5
Incoming: 2
Lost: 2 (Dwayne Wright, Rich Owens)

No need to panic over the loss of Dwayne Wright (Bills) – while he may be the greatest back to ever wear a Fresno State uniform, a stable of young talent steps in. Hill made sure two youngsters were prepared with plenty of carries as true freshmen last season in Lonyae Miller (5-11, 205) and Anthony Harding (6-0, 215).

Miller (54 carries, 287 yards) has the upper hand on the starting job, especially with Harding (30 carries, 141 yards) sitting out spring practice with an injury. Watch for a big year from Miller, who averaged 5.3 yards per carry last year, and has the ability to burst to the hole quicker than any Bulldog in recent memory. He may be All-WAC as soon as 2007 and has NFL-type potential.

Harding gives the team the ability to mix it up and keep defenses off balance, similar to the way the Bulldogs used Wendell Mathis and Bryson Sumlin in 2005.

But the real X-factor with this unit will be Clifton Smith (5-8, 190). He’s as shifty and elusive as anyone in the country, if not more so, but was limited in 2006 with lingering effects of tearing up his knee in 2005 against Oregon. This spring, he took the field without a knee brace for the first time since and was one of the stars of the Spring Game. While he had just one carry last season and no receptions, he will figure in to offense in some way – count on it. He may line up in the slot or take a handoff, in addition to being one of the premier punt return men in the nation.

And don’t count out sophomore JC transfer Jamal Rashad (5-11, 196) as a contributer. He burst onto the scene with a solid performance at the Spring Game, after sitting last year with an injury. He’ll be ahead of undersized walk-on Kyle Duffy (5-8, 175) on the depth chart, with true freshmen Ryan Mathews (5-11, 205) and Bryson Hodges (5-10, 200) likely to redshirt.

Rating: 7 of 10

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Sunday, July 15, 2007


Players Returning: 2
Incoming: 2
Lost: 2 (Sean Norton, Jordan Christensen)

The subpar play of junior Tom Brandstater (6-5, 220) plagued Fresno State last season and is hands down the offense’s biggest question mark again this year. With junior Sean Norton deciding to transfer to Northern Arizona, Brandstater is set as the starter but must improve on his 13-14 touchdown to interception ratio and his accuracy (completing just 54.5 percent of his passes).

ESPN Player Profile

He started 2006 with a lot of promise against Nevada, Oregon and Washington, but two close losses seemed to suck the life out of him and his teammates. He needs to quickly rebound mentally and progress into the quarterback Pat Hill still believes he can be. He looked much sharper throwing downfield in the spring, but it’s hard to get a good read before the real games start.

The only real option behind Brandstater is redshirt freshman Ryan Colburn (6-3, 220), a lefty who has shown tremendous physical tools on the practice field, but is still too raw to rely on full-time. He has already spent two years in the system, greyshiriting and redshirting, but won’t throw his first pass in a game until this season.

Filling third-string duties is true freshman Matt Faulkner (6-2, 185), Hill’s first-ever recruit out of Texas. Faulkner is likely to redshirt and only be used in the case of an emergency. Freshman walk-on Matt Christian (6-3, 195), from Carlsbad HS, is unlikely to take a snap under any circumstances.

Rating: 4 of 10

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2007 Slogan?

You know it's just a matter of time before Bulldogs coach Pat Hill comes up with the next catchy slogan. And while this one is a little too lengthy to be catchy, it just might re-capture that spirit that the 2006 team (4-8) seemed to have lost:

We are Fresno State.
Disrespect us.
Doubt us.
Look down on us.
Call us a "State school."
Tell us why we won't win the WAC.
Say we'll never go to a BCS bowl.
Underestimate us.
You put this chip on our shoulders.
And we're about to hang a loss on yours.