Sunday, September 30, 2007

Grading the 'Dogs: vs. Louisiana Tech

Quarterbacks: D+
Didn't get much time to throw, but worst performance of the year only 8 for 22 and a few questionable decisions.

Running Backs: C+
Averaged 4 yards per carry as a unit -- hard to figure why 'Dogs didn't run more in first half? Miller must improve on his 2.8-yard average.

Receivers: D+
Crawley's TD was game's only big play, but unit struggled to get open at times and losing Moore to injury would be devastating.

Offensive Line: C-
Hard for Brandstater to pass with constant pressure -- two sacks allowed, but played well in spurts.

Defensive Line: B
Superb in the second half behind Clutts' nine tackles and four sacks. Monga added three sacks and Shirley had one.

Linebackers: B-
Could not stop Tech's Jackson early, but rebounded. Riley was the constant with a game-high 14 tackles.

Defensive Backs: B+
Might remain nation's top-statistical pass defense after giving up just 182 yards. More importantly, the group stopped Tech from getting big-chunk-of-yardage plays.

Special Teams: B
Punting game was fantastic (three inside the 20), Jefferson had 56-yard kick return and Stitser hit 46-yard field goal.

Friday, September 28, 2007

La. La. Land

If you thought we were going to get through a week without the customary trash talk, you thought wrong.

How could we miss an opportunity to smack the fake Bulldogs. The phony Bulldogs. The bullcrap Bulldogs.

Seriously, how many people in this country even know La. Tech's mascot is a bulldog? You couldn't tell that by looking at their actual mascot costume.

It looks like the bastard child of one of the old Timeout's steaming diarrheas and Otis Nixon.

As far as America is concerned, the only thing anyone knows about Ruston is that the women's basketball team is the Lady Techsters.

We actually went through most of our life thinking La. Tech's football team was the Male Techsters.

Then we got a chance to see them when they joined the WAC and realized "Male" was a little too ambitious for them.

So we've got a new name for these wimpy bulldogs that wish they were the Fresno State Bulldogs. La. Tech shall now and forever be referred to by The Bulldog Bounce as "the La. Tech Stans."

That's right, La. Tech. We're chart-topping, hit-making Eminem, and you are the bleach blond wannabe who writes us letters in his basement while wearing a dirty old wife-beater.

No, we will NOT meet you or "be together," and we hope you get some help for your identity neuroses.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Game Preview: vs. Louisiana Tech

It’s still early, and Fresno State is 1-2, but junior Tom Brandstater is showing signs of major progress. His completed 61.1% of his passes (55 of 90) for 678 yards and five touchdowns, with only two interceptions. After throwing for more than 200 yards at Texas A&M and Oregon, this could be Brandstater’s breakout game.

Like Brandstater, Louisiana Tech senior Zac Champion (6-2, 202) had five touchdowns and two interceptions, both coming in his last game at Cal. He has completed just two fewer passes than his counterpart, yet he has far less yards at 407.
Edge: Fresno State

Running Backs
The deep and talented stable of Fresno State backs is suddenly in doubt with the questions surrounding the offensive line. But if they get blocking, expect true freshman Ryan Mathews and sophomore Lonyae Miller to cause La Tech nightmares, while senior Clifton Smith and sophomore Anthony Harding keep the other Bulldogs guessing. The unit also has to shore up its fumbling problem.

La Tech has a pretty good back of its own in junior Patrick Jackson (5-10, 193), who averages 4.6 yards a carry with 286 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson had 98 yards against Hawaii and 120 against Central Arkansas. Sophomore Daniel Porter (5-9, 189) has added 155 yards and two touchdowns on 7.4 yards per carry.
Edge: Louisiana Tech

It would be hard, if not impossible, to find a better tight end in the nation than junior Bear Pascoe (6-5, 260), who has 14 receptions for 228 yards and four touchdowns while averaging more than 16 yards a catch. Sophomore Marlon Moore is the only other Bulldog with more than 100 yards at 179 on 13 catches. The supporting cast has to step up for this team to win the WAC title.

Everyone has to step up for La Tech, which has no one with 100 yards receiving. True freshman speedster Joe Anderson (6-1, 195) leads the squad with 12 catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Edge: Fresno State

Offensive Line
This is where the game could very well be decided. The ‘Dogs need better play from the line than they had at Oregon. With All-WAC guard Cole Popovich sidelined, Pierce Masse didn’t quite fill the void. This week, All-WAC anchor Ryan Wendell slides from center to left guard (where he’s played most of his career) and redshirt freshman Joe Bernardi (6-3, 280) gets his first start at center. Redshirt freshman Andrew Jackson (6-5, 290) remains at right guard in place of Adam McDowell, who’s out for the year.

Tackle Tyler Miller (6-7, 314) and guard Ryan Considine (6-6, 297) are the bookends of an otherwise inexperienced line. Both have already graduated, and lead sophomore Ben Harris (6-4, 280), who has one year experience, and two freshmen.
Edge: Fresno State

Defensive Line
Fresno State took another big injury hit at Oregon, losing highly-touted end Jason Roberts for the season with a broken leg. With Chris Lewis’ yearlong suspension, what was a deep position now has two true freshmen as the primary backups in Chris Carter (6-2, 220) and Kenny Borg (6-3, 245). Junior Ikenna Ike (6-3, 255) is arguably the team’s best pass rusher, and now slides into a starting role to replace Roberts opposite All-WAC standout Tyler Clutts. Big NFL prospect Jason Shirley (6-5, 335) should have no problem dominating the middle.

Sophomore tackle D’Anthony Smith (6-2, 292) hit the scene for La Tech last year, and is off to another strong start with 17 tackles, four for losses and a sack this season. His matchup with Wendell will be a key to the game. Reserve end Chris Pugh (6-3, 235) has 3.5 sacks already.
Edge: Fresno State

Fresno State might have the best three starters in the WAC in senior Marcus Riley, sophomore Quaadir Brown and true freshman Ben Jacobs – a scary thought with the group’s youth. The three have a combined 81 tackles, with Riley’s 33 leading the way. Their speed could cause problems for La Tech’s offense.

While La Tech doesn’t have as much depth at the position, it does have one of the WAC’s top linebakers in junior Quin Harris (6-2, 221) from Redwood High in Visalia. Harris is second on the team with 22 tackles and has 3.5 for losses, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He’ll be aiming for a career night in front of many family and friends who will be in attendance.
Edge: Fresno State

Defensive Backs
Maybe the most surprising stat of the early season, Fresno State leads the nation in pass defense – yet the ‘Dogs have no interceptions. Part of it is attributable to playing Texas A&M, an option team, but this week will be a better glimpse into this unit’s talent. Senior corner Damon Jenkins was shaken up late in the Oregon game but is expected to start.

On the other hand, La Tech has had no problem creating turnovers. Corner Tony Moss (5-11, 185) has three interceptions and junior corner Weldon Brown (5-10, 184) has two – team totals 10. Sophomore free safety Antonio Baker (5-11, 200) leads the WAC with 40 tackles.
Edge: Even

Special Teams
Senior Clint Stitser’s inexplicable botch of an extra point – and it was a bad botch – has to be cause for concern, especially while he’s just 2 of 5 on field goals. But punter Kyle Zimmerman had a career game few knew he was capable of, averaging 45.4 yards per punt, although his long of 61 inflated that average a bit by taking a nice Fresno State bounce. True freshman Devon Wylie looks to be on the verge of taking a kick to the house. Fresno State’s kick-blocking ability is a big advantage.

Speaking of punting, La Tech junior Chris Keagle (6-0, 233) is one of the country’s best, averaging 44.9 yards and pinning 10 of 19 inside the 20-yard line. Kicker Danny Horwedel is just 1 of 3 on field goals. Patrick Jackson averages 25 yards per return, less than Fresno State’s Wylie.
Edge: Even

To keep this short and sweet, Fresno State has 11th year leader Pat Hill and La Tech has first-year coach Derek Dooley.
Edge: Fresno State

Fresno State is coming off a mojo-killing beating at Oregon, but has a chance to get off to a great start in WAC play starting Saturday. It’s never easy for a road team at Bulldog Stadium, although La Tech took advantage of a demoralized Fresno State team in the final game of 2005 in Fresno.
Edge: Fresno State

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Attention Red Wave

I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of the bye week (although that could change if it helps heal Cole Popovich).

But in anticipation of next Saturday's home game against La Tech, I've been thinking...

I want to see this city, this Valley light up with Bulldog Spirit. So I'm asking for all of your help. EVERYONE, get out your Fresno State car flags (or go buy some if you haven't yet) and fly them on your vehicle starting the Friday before the game (before every game) and leave them up all day Saturday and show up to Bulldog Stadium! Add stickers to your doors and windows and pom poms to your bumpers if you'd like. Get creative, just be supportive.

Let's fill the streets with university pride and community pride. Make everyone who isn't supporting the 'Dogs feel left out. Make them feel like they're missing something -- because they are.

And just think what it will do for the fans, what an inspiration it will be. Our how 'bout the players and coaches? Pat Hill has always wanted to paint the Valley red, so let's take a step in that direction.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Grading the 'Dogs: at Oregon

Quarterbacks: C
Brandstater played well again, but his one interception was extremely costly, and he made some questionable decisions on key third downs.

Running Backs: D-
Team average of 1.7 yards per carry is unacceptable. Mathews fumble came at worst time and continued the team's ball security woes.

Receivers: B-
Moore and Ajirotutu both went over the top for spectacular catches, and Pascoe wowed fans again, but it didn't really matter in big loss.

Offensive Line: F
Without Popovich and McDowell, the unit struggled to run block, pass block and had far too many penalties to kill drives (including Avon's two false starts).

Defensive Line: D+
Roberts' broken leg kills the depth, but Shirley returned with a mean streak and Banks had his best game. Still, unit couldn't slow the run.

Linebackers: D+
Although Riley, Brown and Jacobs led team in tackles again, they spent most of the game making plays after big Oregon gains.

Defensive Backs: C
'Dogs pass defense is ranked as nation's best, but Ducks found tons of room passing over the middle on crucial third downs, and secondary was beaten on Stewart's school-record 88-yard touchdown run.

Special Teams: C
Any time a PAT is missed, grade can't be any better, though Zimmerman's 45.4 yards per punt were amazing and Wylie seemed to break out on returns.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Game Preview: at No. 19 Oregon

Junior Tom Brandstater had the best game of his career for Fresno State, nearly propelling the team to victory in the humid, deafening environment of Texas A&M’s Kyle Field. Now the team knows what he’s capable of heading into another raucous stadium at Oregon. Brandstater threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns on 21 of 31 passing with one interception. But his clutch plays that put the game into overtime were most impressive.

Oregon’s Dennis Dixon is coming off a week where he was voted the AT&T national player of the week, after dropping 292 passing and 76 rushing yards in a 39-7 win at Michigan. Dixon has 23 passing yards less than Brandstater on the year, but leads the Ducks with 217 yards on the ground. And – as the nation’s fastest quarterback – is just the type of player capable of giving the ‘Dogs fits.

Edge: Ducks

Running Backs
What looked like an endless amount of depth last week is now a question mark. Sophomore starter Lonyae Miller left the Texas A&M game in the first quarter with an injury, and true freshman sensation Ryan Mathews left late in the game. With Clifton Smith’s fumble woes, sophomore Anthony Harding was left to shoulder the load, averaging just 2.1 yards per carry but scoring twice. The ‘Dogs expect Miller and Mathews to be ready to go, and if they can run on Oregon’s defense they can win.

Everyone knows junior Jonathan Stewart (5-11, 230) is the star of this offense. He rushed for 112 yards on 15 carries at Michigan, but because of injury had just one run for 3 yards against the ‘Dogs in 2006. Reserve Jeremiah Johnson (5-10, 205) filled in with 14 carries for 74 yards.

Edge: Ducks

Despite fumbling the ball into the end zone in the first overtime last week, negating a play that likely would have won the game, sophomore Marlon Moore (6-1, 185) has emerged as the go-to receiver. Meanwhile, junior Bear Pascoe (6-5, 260) has emerged as possibly the best tight end in the nation, with 10 catches for 161 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore Jason Crawley (6-1, 185) gives Brandstater a weapon who’s not afraid to go over the middle.

The biggest problem Oregon’s receivers pose is their height. That, along with blazing speed, makes them near impossible to shut down in their spread option attack. Brian Paysinger (6-2, 208) and junior Jaison Williams (6-5, 240) are no strangers to the ‘Dogs over the past few years. Each has more than 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns this season.

Edge: Even

Offensive Line
Even getting banged up a bit in a physical battle with Texas A&M, and coming off a disappointing two sacks allowed to Sac State, the line held the Aggies without a sack. Junior Adam McDowell (6-4, 285) went down with injury and was replaced by redshirt freshman Andrew Jackson (6-5, 290), a converted defensive tackle who looks to be a future standout. Junior stud Cole Popovich (6-2, 290) – who also left with injury – will likely be replaced by junior Pierce Masse (6-4, 285).

For the second straight week, the ‘Dogs face a heavy line – all five starters are at least 6-4 and 300 pounds. The group is led by Max Unger (6-5, 300), who moved to center this season after starting at tackle the past two. Tackles Geoff Schwartz (6-7, 337) and Fenuki Tupou (6-6, 322) will have to keep up with Fresno State’s speed and athleticism off the edges.

Edge: Even

Defensive Line
A week after chasing Stephen McGee all over the field, the ‘Dogs get to face an even faster runner in Dennis Dixon – and he can pass too. Ends Tyler Clutts and Jason Roberts will have to contain Dixon and also apply the pass rush along with reserve end Ikenna Ike. The good news is the team gets tackle Jason Shirley (6-5, 330) back from a two-game suspension to stuff the run up the middle. Charles Tolbert may have played his way into a starting role over Jon Monga in Shirley’s absence.

Relatively unknown junior end Nick Reed (6-2, 255) was vicious against Michigan, recording three tackles in the backfield. This unit lacks the big names it has had in the past two years, but has plenty of youth. The Bulldogs will look to run first, meaning they’ll have their work cut out.

Edge: Bulldogs

What can you say but praise for the trio of senior Marcus Riley, redshirt freshman Ben Jacobs and sophomore Quaadir Brown? They combined for 45 tackles against Texas A&M with the young Jacobs leading the way with 16. This unit has about as much speed as you can ask for in a linebacker corps, and they all lay the hits. Brown was phenomenal, forcing a fumble in his first game back from a suspension.

A.J. Tuitele (5-11, 226) is the senior leader of an unheralded group that sacked Michigan four times. Despite the big loss, Michigan was racking up rushing yards in the first half last week, which is what the Bulldogs will try to do – with four ball-carriers keeping fresh legs. After two games, Tuitele, Jerome Boyd (6-2, 220) and John Bacon (6-4, 230) all rank fourth, fifth and sixth on the team in tackles.

Edge: Bulldogs

Defensive Backs
This group is ranked second in the nation in pass defense, but we’ll find out how accurate that stat is this weekend. Texas A&M ran, ran and ran again, but Oregon will look to throw much more. With no one taller than 6-1, this unit will be greatly out-sized by Oregon’s receivers, but has plenty of bone-crunching hitters, led by safeties sophomore Moses Harris (6-1, 200) and redshirt freshman Lorne Bell (5-10, 195). First-year corner Sharrod Davis (6-0, 185) played his freshman year for Oregon, and is now a second-stringer for the ‘Dogs.

Junior rover Patrick Chung (6-0, 210) is Oregon’s hard-hitting leader. In previous games with the ‘Dogs, he’s proven to be a physical commodity, and is third on the team with 14 tackles and has an interception. This year Chung has the help of free safety Matthew Harper (6-0, 181), who leads the team with 24 tackles and also has a sack and an interception. Sophomore corner Jarius Byrd (6-0, 208) already has two picks this season.

Edge: Ducks

Special Teams
It’s hard to be too confident in the kicking game after senior Clint Stitser missed two chances against Texas A&M, but punter Kyle Zimmerman had possibly his best career game, and the ‘Dogs blocked yet another field goal – their 72nd in Pat Hill’s 10-plus seasons and second in two games this year.

Ducks kicker Matt Evensen is 3 of 4 this season – 2 of 3 from beyond 40 yards, with a long of 45. But the more impressive stat is Josh Syria’s 44.1-yard punting average. Jonathan Stewart is the kick returner to watch out for.

Edge: Bulldogs

Pat Hill vs. Mike Bellotti. Hill has been with his team longer than any other WAC coach and Bellotti has been with his longer than any Pac-10 coach. With the last five meetings between these two teams settled by no more than one score, it should be a barn-burner.

Edge: Even

Fresno State always seems to travel well to Eugene – expect those Red Wavers to help ease an otherwise hostile environment. Playing at Oregon is nothing new to this team, but the Ducks have had some helpful officiating the past two meetings in Eugene – will that be the case again? On the other side, the ‘Dogs are due for a win after five straight narrow losses in the series.

Edge: Even

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Grading the 'Dogs: at Texas A&M

Quarterbacks: B
Brandstater's second-half performance was nothing less than an A, but throwing the early interception, the intentional grounding safety and getting shut out in the first half put the team in hole. Still, his 260 yards passing on 21 of 31 with 3 TDs should give fans high hopes for his potential.

Running Backs: C
Three fumbles by Smith were very costly, as was early injury to Miller. Mathews continued to shine with 66 yards on 11 carries, but also was injured. Harding got done what he needed to but averaged just 2.1 yards per carry.

Receivers: A-
Pascoe shows the nation just how good he is with 3 TDs and 70 yards on 7 catches. Moore turned in another big game with 4 catches for 52 yards, but fumbled the ball again trying to stretch from the 1-yard line to the end zone. Crawley's courage over the middle will be a big asset.

Offensive Line: B
Pass blocking was amazing with no sacks allowed, and Jackson playing the second half in place of McDowell, but run blocking was suspect.

Defensive Line: B-
With Shirley out, Ramos and Banks stepped up, and Ike and Clutts each had 9 tackles. But Lane ran it down the Bulldogs' throats in crunch time.

Linebackers: B
Jacobs, Riley and Brown combined for 45 tackles, but the Aggies finished with 318 yards rushing. The corps was very disciplined at times, and showed it might turn into the WAC's best.

Defensive Backs: A
Harris, Haynes, Bell, Jefferson and Owens were contributing the the run-stopping and along with Jenkins held the Aggies to 79 yards passing. Can't ask for a better performance than that.

Special Teams: C
Stitser has to correct his inconsistency, with two missed field goals, but 'Dogs also blocked an Aggies attempt. Kickoff coverage was solid allowing 20 yards per return. Zimmerman averaged 40 yards per punt and pinned one inside the 20-yard line.

Do we have to?

OK, that song down there that FSdogs1 posted, seriously, it sucks.

Yeah, uh-huh, hardy-har-har. She's singing about Fresno State and some of the players are mentioned by name and there are football references. The word Texas is said at some point.

But it's set to the music of Billie Jean, which was relevant like, what, 20 years ago? That's like four Michael Jackson plastic surgeries ago. At least three pedophile accusations ago.

This is at least close to the truth: Someone actually said, "Hey, lets write a song about Fresno State football." And someone else, maybe the same person, responded with, "Yeah, and let's set it to Billie Jean! That will be cool."

"So what that it's a Michael Jackson song about him denying bastard children? It's educational in that sense."

Anway, we didn't really respond to the song just because we wanted to bash the hard work of people who put in a lot of time and effort to be the next Weird Al and remake Michael Jackson songs -- except without being funny.

I guess that would make the writer of this Fresno State song "Normal Al." Or is it just plain "Al"? Or "Just Plain Al"?

Whatever. What we really want to do is start a debate. Or pose a question to our fellow bloggers and readers.

Just because something says Fresno State on it does that make it automatically good in your eyes?

I mean, this song was made to promote Fresno State. We like Fresno State. Does that mean we have to like the song, too?

Does that mean we have to like Fresno State Bulldog Buns? We certainly liked the jingle. But all those seeds on top kind of got stuck in between our teeth.

And what exactly do you do with a Fresno State hard hat? Wear it to work? Go walk by a construction site and show off? Tell everyone you're the Fresno State boilermaker?

Bottom line, do we have to like everything Fresno State, no matter how lame it is? We know some who'd say, yes. These are probably the ones defending brown Timeout. But give us some feedback. What do you think?

It's just like music, do-do-do do do

Nice little song being produced for the looming win over Texas A&M...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

GAME PREVIEW: FS at No. 23 Texas AM

This is it – Tom Brandstater’s golden opportunity. After a tough-to-swallow sophomore season, Brandstater has a chance to erase all that and give Fresno State fans reason to be stoked for the rest of the 2007 season. All he has to do is win at Texas AM. He got off to a decent start with 199 yards and no interceptions last week, but needs to show that wasn’t just because of the sub-par competition.

Junior Stephen McGee is the kind of quarterback the ‘Dogs have historically struggled with – a really fast one, who can run the option. He led the team with 126 yards rushing and two touchdowns against Montana State and threw for 112 yards.
Edge: Aggies

Running Backs
Things just got even better than they already were for the ‘Dogs backfield. True freshman Ryan Mathews led the team with 77 yards on 11 carries. He adds another option to the quadruple threat with Lonyae Miller, Clifton Smith and Anthony Harding. It’s hard to say who’s thunder and who’s lightning, but these guys are capable of causing a serious storm.

It’s much more clear cut for Texas AM – junior Jorvorskie Lane (6-0, 268) is the thunder and sophomore Mike Goodson (6-0, 206) is the lightning. Lane holds an Aggies school-record with 19 touchdowns last season and Goodson rushed for 847 yards while leading the conference in yards per carry.
Edge: Aggies

The tight ends might decide who wins this matchup. Fresno State junior Bear Pascoe (6-5, 260) led the team with 91 receiving yards on three catches in the opener, including a 44-yard score. With Chastin West out for the year, sophomore Marlon Moore nearly doubled his catch total of last season with seven in the opener for 70 yards. Watch for Seyi Ajirotutu and Jason Crawley to get more involved this week.

Speaking of tight ends, the Aggies boast the returning first-team All-Big 12 pick in Martellus Bennett (6-7, 255), who had 497 yards in 2006. Junior Pierre Brown is the most proven wideout with 208 yards last season.
Edge: Bulldogs

Offensive Line
Keep an eye on the matchup at center. Fresno State sends out Rimington Trophy candidate Ryan Wendell (6-2, 285), who moved over from left guard for the final four games last season. After allowing just 12 sacks as a unit last season, the line gave up two in the opener against Sac State.

Another Rimington Trophy candidate lines up for Texas AM in Cody Wallace (6-4, 296). The preseason All-American heads one of the nation’s most highly regarded lines with Kirk Elder (6-5, 308), a three-time All-Big 12 pick.
Edge: Aggies

Defensive Line
If ever the ‘Dogs needed Jason Shirley, it’s this game. But the 6-5, 330-pound tackle was suspended for the first two games. His replacement is senior Charles Tolbert (5-11, 265), who played great against Sac State. But the ‘Dogs will rely most heavily on ends Tyler Clutts and Jason Roberts to contain the option and stop the Aggies’ star running backs and speedy quarterback from breaking anything big.

Aggies end Chris Harrington (6-5, 268) led the team in tackles, sacks and tackles for losses last season – and got off to a good start this year with a sack in the opener. Red Bryant (6-5, 322) is a beast at tackle and will be much tougher to run through than anyone Sac State had to offer last week. Bryant is coming off a season-ending knee injury toward the end of last season.
Edge: Aggies

Is this the new strength of the defense? All early signs point to yes with senior Marcus Riley (6-2, 220) back at full strength for the first time since the 2005 USC game. He led the team with 11 tackles in the opener and was all over the field with redshirt freshman Ben Jacobs (6-3, 225). On top of that, sophomore speedster Quaadir Brown (6-2, 215) returns to the field after missing most of last season with an injury and missing the opener because of suspension.

Mark Dodge is a tackling machine. He made 14 stops against Montana State and averages 11 in his last four games. The 6-2, 220-pounder has already served four years in the Army. Misi Tupe (5-10, 254) might be short and a bit on the heavy side, but that didn’t stop him from earning Big 12 defensive newcomer of the year honors. He had 54 tackles last season.
Edge: Even

Defensive Backs
The ‘Dogs lack the experience Texas AM has, but might have more raw talent. The question is how quickly will that talent mature? Redshirt freshman safety Lorne Bell might be the most talented of the unit, and he’s not even starting – yet. Reserve safety Jake Jorde dropped an easy interception in the opener, something the team cannot afford this week. The ‘Dogs must capitalize on mistakes and force turnovers.

Safety Devin Gregg emerged in his first full season as a starter last year, and is the third-leading returning tackler. Hard-hitting safety Alton Dixon had 10 tackles in the opener, and corner Marquis Carpenter had an interception (he leads the team with five in his career).
Edge: Even

Special Teams
True freshman Devon Wylie looks to be the primary kick returner, averaging 31.5 yards on two returns. One of the nation’s best takes punt return duties in Clifton Smith, who can break a big one at any moment. Kicker Clint Stitser nailed a 47-yard field goal in the opener and missed from beyond 50 yards – but had plenty of distance. The ‘Dogs also blocked a field goal in the opener and have blocked 71 punts and kicks since 1997, when Pat Hill became coach.

Aggies punter Justin Brantly has a heckuva leg. The junior has a career average of 43.9 yards per attempt. Sophomore kicker Matt Szymanski connected on his only attempt so far this year, a 34-yarder. Kerry Franks averaged 27.7 yards per kick return – a number that could go up this year with the new kickoff rule.
Edge: Bulldogs

Pat Hill always – always – has his team amped up to play the "big-name" schools. And this should be no different. This team is young and has a lot to prove. A win proves Hill is one of the best coaches in the game.

Dennis Franchione is in his fifth season at Texas AM and is the fifth winningest active coach at 181-96-2. Franchione and Hill have met before, when he headed TCU from 1998-2000.
Edge: Even

Normally, playing in front of 82,600 fans at a hostile road environment wouldn’t be a huge deal to the ‘Dogs (they’re usually used to it). But this team is young. Only six players played significant roles two years ago in the near-win at USC. The ‘Dogs better adjust quickly. But don’t count them out – Fresno State doesn’t have a big-game reputation for nothing.
Edge: Aggies

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Giving TAMU fans a taste of their own medicine

There was a post from that was titled Fresno State - Celebrity Look-alikes and it poked fun and some of our Bulldog football players. They said they encourage Bulldog fans to do the same with their team. So, I thought I should take the time to return the favor, and find look-a-likes for the TAMU Aggies football team.

Be sure to let us know which look-a-like is your favorite.

Jordan Peterson - DB

or is it America's favorite songwriter, Tom Petty


Paul Freeney - DL

or the "Fantastic Voyager", Coolio


Drew Williamson - WR

or musician / former actor, Jared Leto


Terrence McCoy - WR

or Atlanta's most famous rapper, Ludacris


Von Miller - DE

or everyone's favorite celebrity coke addict, Bobby Brown


Blaine Brawley - WR

or 80s pop star, Boy George


Cody Beyer - WR

or *NSYNC "singer"/"astronaut"/"I'm gay!", Lance Bass


Michael Ebbitt - DL

or worldwide superstar soccer athlete, Ronaldo
(wow TAMU, isn't that a recruiting violation?)


Howard Morrow - WR

or Whoopi


Stephen McGee - QB

or Dawson / "I don't want yo' life", James Van Der Beek ...
wasn't "Varsity Blues" about a high school QB from Texas? ......


Chris Yoder - OL

or a younger looking, former U.S. President Gerald Ford


Vincent Williams - OL

or Taz


Chris Alexander - RB

or Ricky "I forgot to play football, because I got high" Williams


Marquis Carpenter - DB

or from the movie "Predator," the Predator


Robbie Frost - OL

or from the "Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy, Samwise Gamgee, AKA Sam


Chevar Bryson - DB

or also from "Lord of the Rings," Gollum


and last but definitely not least, Lee Grimes - OL

or is it, Sloth, from the movie "the Goonies"


That wraps up the look-a-likes for now. Let us know if you find any more.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Grading the 'Dogs: vs. Sac State

Quarterbacks: C+
Brandstater competed hard with no picks, but is still throwing off-balance, must bring completion percentage up.

Running Backs: B+
266 yards rushing is huge, and while Miller wasn't up to par Mathews wowed and Smith showed he has more speed than ever, fumble by Harding also hurt.

Receivers: C+
Need to spread the ball around more, but receivers weren't getting open early. Moore's 7 catches surpassed his 2006 total, but the lunging fumble was unecessary. Pascoe showed why he's on his way to becoming the best TE in school history.

Offensive Line: C+
Two sacks by Sac State is too much for a unit that allowed just 12 last season, but the group battled hard. Lepori looked banged up and was peeling himself off the ground in the second half.

Defensive Line: A-
Tolbert and Monga were the best they've ever been in Shirley's absence as the unit spent most of the game in the opposing backfield, but Jason Roberts didn't come close to his potential. Ike is still the team's best pass rusher.

Linebackers: B+
Riley is back ladies and gents, and he's as good as ever, but McKinley disappeared after getting the start and Bates took most of the reps. Jacobs had a strong debut and looked like a leader already.

Defensive Backs: A-
It didn't take a whole lot to look good against this offense, but allowed just 60 yards passing and got a lot of players involved in the action.

Special Teams: A
Stitser's 47-yarder a career long, Jefferson blocks a field goal, Harris and Bell come up with monster hits and Wylie's speed will get him past the 20-yard line every return.

Coaching: B+
Gotta wonder about a couple passing calls, but the defensive playcalling was near perfect.