First game is Monday, Sept. 1st) Fresno State
LB Ben Jacobs. With the departure of LB Marcus Riley,
the team’s leading tackler and 2007 WAC Defensive Player of the
Year, Jacobs (a 6-3, 225 lb sophomore) will have to improve on
his breakout performance last year (81 tackles) and put pressure
on Rutgers QB Mike Teel, and help to slow down the talented cast
of Scarlet Knight receivers.
QB Inoke Funaki was listed third on the depth chart for the
Florida game last week. When he finally got on the field, after
signal-callers Greg Alexander and Brent Rausch struggled, Funaki showed
why he was named the Warriors’ starter out of spring ball—leading Hawaii
to its only two scores of the game. Look for Funaki to lead Hawaii
Saturday against the Wildcats of Weber State.
redshirt sophomore QB Nathan Enderle. Enderle (6-5, 225), showed
flashes of brilliance in his rookie season, although he completed too
many passes to the opponent (18) as Idaho finished last in the WAC in
pass efficiency. After a tough season opener against PAC-10 Arizona,
with 0 TD and 3 INT, Enderle comes home to face in-state rival Idaho
State. He should have a big game against an overmatched Bengals
secondary that allowed Boise State to throw at will for 352 yards and 3
Special Teams Units. Kansas is balanced on offense and defense
and has tremendous speed. If Louisiana Tech has any advantage on the
field it will be the element that helped them upset Mississippi State in
the season opener—special teams. The Bulldogs’ special teams units are
truly special, featuring a pair of flashy returners—WR Phillip Livas and
WR Phillip Beck—along with power-legged P Chris Keagle who will play a
huge role in establishing field position.
WR Marko Mitchell and WR Mike McCoy. Mitchell and McCoy,
both seniors, are good playmakers who have the ability to stretch the
field (they finished 2007 as #1 and #2 in the WAC, respectively, for
receiving yards per catch). Against Texas Tech, who has a stout run
defense, the pair will have plenty of opportunities to make big plays
through the air.
New Mexico State…GAME
San Jose State…Spartans
junior QB Kyle Reed. Reed, a 6-3 transfer from Cal, stepped in
last week to guide the Spartans to a comeback win against U.C.
Davis—capped off by a thrilling TD pass with eight seconds left in the 4th
quarter. Reed, whose heroic efforts have catapulted him from third to
first on the depth chart, will have to be terrific this week as San Jose
State travels to Lincoln for a showdown with Nebraska. The Huskers have
shown susceptibility through the air, so Reed should have a decent day
if he can limit the turnovers.
State senior LB Jake Hutton and junior LB Paul Igboeli.
It’s Oregon. Sure, it’s not the Oregon of early last year—the Ducks
have no proven quarterback to turn to with Dennis Dixon graduated, Nate
Costa out for the season (knee), and Justin Roper questionable for
Saturday (concussion). But the Ducks have no shortage of playmakers,
and RB Jeremiah Johnson is electric. The Aggies will answer with two of
the best linebackers in the nation—Butkus Award hopefuls Hutton and