2008 Fresno State Bulldogs Football Preview
Fresno State 2007 Record: (9-4, 6-2 WAC)
2007 Bowl: Humanitarian Bowl vs. Georgia Tech (W 40-28)
Fresno State Head Coach: Pat Hill (85-55 at Fresno State, 85-55 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Doug Nussmeier
Defensive Coordinator: Dan Brown
Returning Leaders for Fresno State:
Other Key Returnees: OT Kenny Avon, WR Jason Crawley, FB Anthony Harding, S Marvin Haynes, G Andrew Jackson, OT Bobby Lepori, RB Lonyae Miller, TE Bear Pascoe, G Cole Popovich, DE Wilson Ramos
Key Losses: DE Tyler Clutts, CB Damon Jenkins, LB Marcus Riley, LB Trevor Shamblee, DT Jason Shirley, DT Charles Tolbert, C Ryan Wendell
With ten starters returning on offense and six on defense to a team that beat Kansas State and Georgia Tech at the end of last season, this could be a really good Fresno State team. Coach Pat Hill has spent his career increasing the expectations of the Bulldogs program, but this year the program has the potential to be special.
Fresno State's Strengths:
And it all starts with the offense. The passing game was not great last year, but quarterback Tom Brandstater has plenty of experience and will keep the turnovers down. New offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier has the tools necessary to make this a very potent offense. And having wide receiver Marlon Moore and tight end Bear Pascoe is a good place to start. But it gets better, especially with the return of Chastin West who led the team in receiving in 2006 before missing 2007 with a knee injury. Running backs Ryan Matthews and Lonyae Miller combined for 1,475 yards and 21 touchdowns last season and will be a dominating one-two punch out of the backfield. With four starters back on the line, the offense will hit the ground running.
Fresno State's Weaknesses:
The defense was solid, but not great last season. The unit failed to create turnovers and had difficulty stopping the run. Finding a couple new linemen to replace Charles Tolbert and Tyler Clutts and new linebackers to fill in for Marcus Riley and Trevor Shamblee will be difficult. Linebacker Ben Jacobs and tackle Jon Monga can fill in the leadership roles, but the Bulldogs need to find some new faces who can remain consistent if the run defense is going to improve. And after creating just 13 turnovers last season, hopefully a playmaker can emerge on the defensive side of the ball. The Bulldogs also have to replace starting kicker Clint Stitser and punter Kyle Zimmerman.
The Bottom Line for the Bulldogs:
The secondary returns three starters and should be the strength of the defense. Safety Moses Harris is developing into a star and Marvin Haynes and Damion Owens are solid, but there is always room to improve. If the new look front seven can get some pressure on the quarterback, the pass defense will be fine and maybe even create some turnovers. However, the pass rush last year was very good and it did not help much in the turnover department.
2007 Fresno State Bulldogs Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 210.92 (14th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 208.62 (71, 6)
Total Offense: 419.54 (38, 5)
Scoring Offense: 32.85 (32, 4)
Rushing Defense: 181.08 (85, 8)
Pass Defense: 226.38 (56, 3)
Total Defense: 407.46 (73, 3)
Scoring Defense: 27.00 (60, 3)
Turnover Margin: -.69 (103, 7)
Sacks: 2.77 (25, 2)Sacks Allowed: 1.38 (22, 1)
By Joel Welser
Check out all of the 2008 college football previews online through College Sports Fans.
2008 WAC Football Preview
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