LB Dwayne Andrews

2005 Statistics

Coach: Pat Hill
72-43, 9 years
2005 Record: 8-5
at Oregon LOST 34-37
at New Mexico State WON 37-7
at Idaho WON 40-10
at Hawai'i WON 27-13
at Southern California LOST 42-50
at Nevada LOST 35-38
vs. Tulsa LOST 24-31

2005 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2006 Outlook

The focus for a program heading into a pivotal year is ... well, focus. Fresno State enjoyed several highs last fall, including 10 weeks in the Top 25, rare wins at Hawaii and against Boise State, and a near-upset of USC. But that loss to the Trojans began a season-ending four-game losing spiral. In a third-place WAC finish and a Liberty Bowl loss to Tulsa, the Bulldogs lost any momentum for this season from their quality 2005 showings.

Focus isn't just a need for the players. Head coach Pat Hill was rumored to be a candidate for NFL head coaching vacancies all last fall. In the end, no one asked for his services, but speculation of his leaving damaged recruiting. This year's class was ranked No. 83 by and No. 96 by Fresno State doesn't win with top-25 classes, but those numbers are low even by mid-major standards.

So now we have a program – that seemed like a “BCS buster” as late as early last November – really facing a critical campaign. The four-game losing streak is the longest since 1984, and the Bulldogs haven't won a WAC title in six straight seasons. Four-year starter Paul Pinegar is finally done, and his replacement is still up in the air heading into fall. That's a rarity for a team that's had three starting QBs (Billy Volek, David Carr, and Pinegar) in nine seasons under Hill. The new QB will work with a new offensive coordinator in Steve Hagen, plus the RBs and O-line coaches are also new (though both are stacked units).

Defensively, the maturation of a freshman-flavored secondary is the key to the entire season, even more so that who wins the QB derby. The front-seven looks rock solid and should provide the basis for another impressive statistical finish under coordinator Dan Brown's defense. Offensively, the Bulldogs will be tough to stop on the ground with their solid line and the potent RB combo of Dwayne Wright and Clifton Smith. Still, there has to be some balance out of the passing game, which is how they set up their running prowess. Hill is in no rush to name his next starting QB until he makes sure the future there has more certainty, which could mean early season lumps as each candidate (fails to) show(s) his stuff.

So, once those QB and secondary concerns are addressed, the Bulldogs should have all the pieces for another formidable showing. One of those pieces is a tough non-conference schedule with chances for attention/vote-getting performances against Oregon and at both LSU and Washington (huge kudos for such ambition in the classic “FSU” mold). But, as Fresno learned last year, the WAC schedule can't be overlooked. The Sept. 1 opener against a decent Nevada squad provides the chance for payback for last season's upset loss, as well as an opportunity to start the conference slate off with a key win, but that isn’t a sure win by any means. November road dates at Boise State and Louisiana Tech will end up defining this team (and its ultimate destinies) as much as any games this season.

There's potential here for another special season – like in 2001, when the program went 11-3 and arrived on the national map. Realistically, a WAC title, competitive showings in the non-conference games, a bowl win and a stronger 2007 recruiting class are achievable goals for a team that still has plenty of concerns to balance that potential. Hill wants his program to be a perennial national power and has annually proven that he can get the most out of his guys. They’re not going to be top 10 this time, but the Bulldogs can take these small (yet meaningful) steps in the right direction…if they stay focused.

Projected 2006 record: 9-3
QB - 3 DL - 3.5
RB - 3 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Tom Brandstater, 13-6-1, 49 yds., 1 TD

Rushing: Paul Williams, 9 att., 83 yds., 0 TD

Receiving: Joe Fernandez, 46 rec., 561 yds., 8 TD

Scoring: Clint Stitser, 10-12 FG, 29-30 PAT, 59 pts.

Punting: Mike Lingua, 35 punts, 35.1 avg.

Kicking: Clint Stitser, 10-12 FG, 29-30 PAT, 59 pts.

Tackles: Dwayne Andrews, 71 tot., 34 solo

Sacks: Tyler Clutts, 7 sacks

Interceptions: Alan Goodwin, 1 for 26 yds.; Marcus McCauley, 1 for 0 yds.

Kickoff returns: Bear Pascoe, 5 ret., 5.4 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Clifton Smith, 3 ret., 63.0 avg., 2 TD


WR Paul Williams (PHOTO CREDIT - Justin Kase Conder)
OFFENSE: Paul Pinegar-QB, Matt Rivera-FB, Mathis Wendell-TB, Bryson Sumlin-TB, Jermaine Jamison-WR, Adam Jennings-WR, Devyn McDonald-TE, Dartangon Shack-OT
DEFENSE: Garrett McIntyre-DE, Kyle Goodman-LB, Raymond Washington-CB, Awan Diles-SS, Tyrone Culver-FS, Richard Marshall-CB (NFL)

For the first time since 1998, the program heads into fall practice without an undisputed starter. Pat Hill has said he won't name the winner of the three-way derby to replace Paul Pinegar until the near the end of preseason practices in August, but the favorite appears to be last year's backup, Tom Brandstater. The redshirt soph has three years in the system, good size and tools, and is the only one of the three with real-game experience. He has good mobility for his 6-5 frame and was recruited out of a running offense, which seems to make him an ideal fit for an offense that should still favor the run under new OC Steve Hagen. But Brandstater, a Turlock-native, didn't do enough in the spring to capture the gig. Another redshirt soph, Sean Norton, has a strong arm and amazing high school credentials – way better than Brandstater’s, but as a drop-back type of hurler, he will have to prove that he can play at 5-11, 175-pounds. His accuracy and leadership skills could easily vault him to the top of this three-deep. Freshman Ryan Colburn has all the tools, size, and even looks a little like Carr, but the Visalia-native lacks Brandstater's experience and didn’t excel in spring scrimmages like the other two. Each of these three brings similar styles to the table, so it's hard to see the offense's look changing upon which is under center. The one who can best use his feet may see reps, regardless.

Running Back
Dwayne Wright leads the way here, taking back the mantle he once owned. Back in 2003, the JUCO-transfer posted a 1,000-yard season as he supplanted that year’s starter, school record-setter Rodney Davis. He tore a left patellar tendon two games into the following season and has now missed two years. Can a guy of his well-proportioned size (6’1”, 220lbs.) return in full force? Well, Wright was one of the offense's few highlights during spring ball, when he flashed some of that vintage speed and between-the-tackles power against Fresno’s tough defensive starters. Durability is obviously a concern, so it's not encouraging that backup Clifton Smith missed the spring due to offseason knee surgery. The 5-8 Smith is smaller, but an impact player who brings a change of pace from the bigger Wright. He's returned three punts back for TDs, including two last year, and is also an explosive receiving threat out of the backfield who can be lined up in the slot. Shannon Dorsey is the lone reserve with real-game experience, but Andrew Jones and well-sized RS frosh Lee Owens also will rotate in. At fullback, senior returning starter Roshon Vercher is primarily a blocker, but guarantees someone will have huge holes (his two years have each resulted in FSU having a 1000-yard rusher) and can carry his weight if given the rock (some occasional goal-line touches - four carries and two TDs in seven games). With their gelled OL, a healthy rotation will occur until role-players are found, but bank on Wright being the initial weapon used most.

Whichever new QB has a steady, proven group of starting targets returning. This unit improved the past two years under a seasoned QB (Pinegar). Production here could take a step back (early on) until chemistry is developed with the new starter. Joe Fernandez, the leading receiver the past two seasons, is a small possession target who has proven his reliability via sharp route-running to go with his decent speed. Paul Williams, a 6-2 senior also with 4.5 speed and some mad hops, is an athletic deep threat (17.0 yards per grab). Redshirt freshman Chastin West is another playmaker who will help expose opposing secondaries. The Moorpark-native shined during the spring, when he showed tackle-breaking ability - he got the call on end-around plays and threw for a TD in the spring game. Jaron Fairman, a senior, brings a mix of size, reliability and big-play speed to stretch the field as needed. The potential is in place for a big year, but a new QB (and a new offensive coordinator) may have its impact.

Tight End
This is an area where someone needs to step up and be a factor. Bear Pascoe, a converted QB, returns and becomes the starter. He's a good blocker and will improve as a receiver (just five grabs last fall, though he was only a freshman backup). Pascoe will be pushed for time by 6-6 backups Jesus Tapia and Drew Lubinsky. Tapia, penciled in as the starter heading into last season, didn't make his first catch until the Liberty Bowl and was a huge disappointment. His speed and size make him a tough potential matchup, whereas Lubinsky is more of a physical blocker in the Pascoe mold. Getting more than the 24 grabs this position accounted for last season would add a crucial element that is needed to help open up the box for the running game and the deep middle for the WRs.

Offensive Line
This could be the strength of the offense as four starters return from the WAC's best line. As a silver lining to a gray cloud, LG Cole Popovich and RT Chris Denman missed spring practice with injuries, but this gave the unit a chance to develop its depth. The line led the WAC and was eighth nationally in fewest sacks allowed while spearheading a rushing offense that ranked 41st. Still, losing their all-conference LT could hurt. It wasn't decided at the end of spring ball, but look for 6-3, 310-pounder James Paulk to step into the role. There shouldn't be much dropoff with Paulk, the state's top-rated Juco offensive lineman. Center Kyle Young, at 330lbs, literally might be the nation’s best (first team all-American in our book) – he can call for needed blocking schemes and will prove invaluable with the new QB(s). Ryan Wendell, who has started since his freshman campaign, along with Cole Popovich, who needs to avoid another arm injury, are a bit undersized for inside play, but make up for it with mobility and toughness. RT Chris Denman is the line’s other senior and has proven he can keep rush ends at bay with pancakes versus any-quality of foe. Expect these guys to open plenty of big holes for Wright and the running game while giving the new QB plenty of time to find an open target.

While Hill doesn't involve himself in the play calling, the offense hasn't changed dramatically though the coordinator has. So don't expect anything revolutionary out of Hagen, who struggled in OC gigs at Cal and San Jose State, though he did call more rollouts and bootlegs in the spring. The offense will throw to open up the run, which should be an exciting thunder-lightning attack with Wright and Smith charging behind a dominant line. There's athleticism and experience at receiver, and the new QB should get adequate protection, so Pinegar's successor has no excuse not to achieve. That new starter just has to be good enough to keep defenses honest with the pass, while not putting his team in a hole with bad decisions – game management is the ideal until confidence is established. If this offense can get that kind of steady play at QB, along with some variability in the passing game out of the RBs and TEs, there won't be dramatic slippage from last year's No.29 total and No.6 scoring offense. Just don’t expect the Bulldogs to again boast the nation’s No.3 third-down efficiency (50.3%).


C Kyle Young (PHOTO CREDIT - Don Davis)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Tom Brandstater-So (6-5, 220) Sean Norton-So (5-11, 175)
Ryan Colburn-Fr (6-3, 220)
RB Dwayne Wright-Sr (6-1, 220) Shannon Dorsey-Jr (6-1, 205)
FB Roshon Vercher-Sr (5-11, 245) Nate Adams-Jr (5-11, 240)
WR Paul Williams-Sr (6-2, 210) Kevin Ciccione-So (5-11, 175)
WR Joe Fernandez-Sr (5-10, 175) Jaron Fairman-Sr (6-1, 195)
TE Bear Pascoe-So (6-5, 260) Drew Lubinsky-So (6-6, 250)
OT Bobby Lepori-So (6-5, 285) John Guevara-So (6-2, 270)
OG Cole Popovich-So (6-2, 285) Richard Pacheco-So (6-2, 285)
C Kyle Young-Sr (6-5, 330) Robin Kezirian-Sr (6-3, 300)
OG Ryan Wendell-Jr (6-2, 275) James Paulk-Jr (6-3, 310)
OT Chris Denman-Sr (6-6, 305) James Meeks-Fr (6-5, 310)
K Clint Stitser-Jr (6-1, 200) Kyle Zimmerman-Sr (5-11, 200)



Defensive Line
With the secondary reloading, duplicating last year's sack numbers (second in WAC; 28th nationally) will be crucial but a challenge to achieve with McIntyre gone. There's reason for hope as Wazzu-transfer Jason Roberts moves into what should be a deep rotation at DE. Roberts is a big, strong, athletic end who will wreak plenty of havoc. His counterpart, Tyler Clutts, is a former-LB who makes up for his modest size with speed and physical play as he effectively gets to opposing QBs. The two should form one of the WAC's best outside twosomes, and there's plenty of depth behind them with former starter (senior) Marlon Brisco returning. Inside, bulky starters Louis Leonard and Jason Shirley are back after fighting through injury-plagued seasons. When healthy, the duo provides enough run-stopping penetration to go along with the strength on the ends, while tying up multiple blockers. Leonard can provide strong pass rushing/sack total. The depth behind them is young and undersized, so their health will once again be crucial.

This unit should combine with the line to form a much stiffer run-D than the one that ranked 60th and allowed Reggie Bush to explode for 513 all-purpose yards. All three starters are back, including standout OLB Marcus Riley, whose season-ending knee injury against USC revealed the unit's lack of depth. Riley, who plays the weakside, is the speed demon of this crew who contains opposing playmakers well, especially in coverage(s) underneath. His counterpart, Alan Goodwin, is a little bigger and almost as quick. These OLBs and DEs convinced several teams to try the middle, where defensive QB (MLB) Dwayne Andrews makes up for some pass-coverage lapses with his abilities versus RBs - he slips blocks and make tackles (unit leader the past two seasons). Juco-transfer Trevor Shamblee, who had eight stops in the spring game, improves Fresno’s depth on the outside. The starters are fast and cover a lot of ground. Still, like the D-line, health is critical here, or the entire D takes a step back.

Defensive Back
A strength the past few years, this area could now be the defense’s Achilles heel. Three huge departures leave a young unit that will be hard-pressed to match last year's numbers (tops in the WAC; 31st nationally). Nobody won the job for Marshall's corner spot in the spring, so Hill will give incoming freshmen Damion Owens and A.J. Jefferson a look this fall. On the opposite side, returning starter Marcus McCauley will have his work cut out against opponents' top wideouts. The lanky senior has the skills, size and speed to be a top-cover corner, and his experience means he’ll be a leader here as well. Redshirt freshmen Moses Harris, Jake Jorde and Marvin Haynes – all similarly proportioned at 6’1” and around 200lbs. - are pushing for time at the safety spots. The trio has tons talent, but it's young and untested. Hill will have to find the right combinations as real-game reps reveal who’s who, and fans sure hope it comes together quickly, or this team will be giving up Arena-like points in their pass-happy conference.

Concerns don't always equal weakness, and Bulldog fans are hoping that's the case with a youthful secondary that will surely be tested early and often in the opening weeks. This year, DC Dan Brown won't have the luxury of flooding the box and relying on experienced DBs with recovery speed. So, at least early on, the front seven must use its quickness to contain and keep the play in front of them while the secondary gels. The OLBs can lend their experience and speed to smother underneath. Expect plenty nickel and dime looks in those early weeks against the likes of Oregon and Washington until balance is achieved. As that happens, a potent pass rush can be increasingly unleashed, which will make things easier in coverage(s). Led by a big and fast front seven that won’t again underachieve (allowed 4.2 yards per run), this D could equal last year's numbers (32nd scoring defense; 38th total defense). But it all depends on when, or if, the secondary comes together.


DB Marcus McCauley


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Tyler Clutts-Jr (6-2, 245) Ike Ikenna-So (6-1, 255)
DT Louis Leonard-Sr (6-4, 320) Kenny Avon-So (6-3, 260)
NT Jason Shirley-Jr (6-5, 330) Jon Monga-So (6-2, 280)
DE Marlon Brisco-Sr (6-3, 260) Jason Roberts-So (6-5, 250)
SLB Alan Goodwin-Sr (6-2, 220) Ahijah Lane-Jr (6-1, 225)
MLB Dwayne Andrews-Sr (6-0, 240) Christian Carlson-Jr (6-2, 225)
WLB Marcus Riley-Jr (6-0, 220) Quaadir Brown-So (6-0, 210)
CB Damon Jenkins-Jr (5-11, 185) Elgin Simmons-Sr (5-9, 180)
CB Marcus McCauley-Sr (6-1, 205) ..
SS Josh Sherley-Sr (6-0, 205) Moses Harris-Fr (6-1, 200)
FS Vince Mays-Sr (5-11, 205) Jake Jorde-So (6-1, 195)
P Mike Lingua-Sr (6-0, 190) ..




FSU is in good shape here with the return of Clint Stitser, who missed half of last season with a hip injury. His leg is accurate (10-of-12 on field goals) and strong (average KO to the 4). He was limited this spring, so the staff brought in a pair of walk-ons to backup No. 2 kicker Kyle Zimmerman, who lacks Stitser's accuracy and range. Coverage, second in the WAC, should continue to excel behind Stitser's big leg and the team’s overall speed.

Mike Lingua doesn't kick it far (35.1 yards per try), but he does kick it high. That results in plenty of fair catches. Allowing only seven returns for 40 total yards (all season, even with USC added!!!), both stats easily led all I-A teams, ultimately paving the way for success in the field position battles and the bottom line – extra wins. The prior year was similar (10 returns for 27 aggregate yards), so expect this trend of stubbornness to continue.

Return Game
Clifton Smith, who ran back two of the three punts he returned last fall, is the obvious candidate to take over (both spots). Joe Fernandez also could provide ample worth, too, so the Bulldogs seem covered here. It's just one more way in which the staff will attempt to utilize these speedsters’ talents, and both should provide results with plenty of good starting field position for the offense.