Fresno State expert chats with Aggie Websider

Want to know who to look for this weekend on Fresno State? Curious what the key match ups are for the Aggies this weekend? Wondering who Michael Vick would bet on in a fight between Fresno State's bulldog and Miss Reveille? We've got it all in this chat. Be sure to join our live chats each week with experts from the upcoming opponent.

MARIO GOMEZ: I'm here and ready to answer your questions about FS

MARIO GOMEZ: I'll start off by saying FS is completly healthy heading into the game but 6-5, 330lb DT Jason Shirley is still out because of suspension

DougFu> damn, that's a big ol' fella

BigD03> how big of a loss is Shirley for you guys?

BigD03> How do you think that will effect the Bulldogs' ability to stop the A&M rushing attack?

MARIO GOMEZ: Shirley's absence is why I think Lane could have a career game against FS

MARIO GOMEZ: FS has the speed to cut down the outside, and could limit Goodson...but McGee scrambling and Lane up the middle could run free

BigD03> FROM KT312: What are your keys to the game for Fresno State to win. What will likely be Fresno's game plan on offense and on defense against the Aggies?

MARIO GOMEZ: FS has to protect the football and limit its penalties...this is young team, many making their first road trip as a college player

MARIO GOMEZ: FS will open the offense...Coach Mac is a spread offense type of guy coming from Mich State and Louisville...the offense was pretty vanilla against Sac State

MARIO GOMEZ: defensively, the Bulldogs have to stop the rush up the middle...Lane is bigger or about the same size as FS's starting DTs

BigD03> will they put 8 guys in the box to stop that?

BigD03> forcing A&M to pass the ball in order to beat them?

MARIO GOMEZ: probably not...FS is without their DC, he had surgery to remove a brain tumor in August...DB Coach Stewart is calling the plays, FS rarely stacks eight in the box...

MARIO GOMEZ: FS will try to duplicate what it did vs K-State in 2004...get an early lead and control the clock and try its best to elminate the "12th Man"...making A&M play catch up will be FS's best defense

HuttoAg96> That's interesting, A&M has been seeing quite a bit of 8 in the box I believe. Our last opponent, Montana State, seemed to be blitzing or stacking the run for the entire game.

BigD03> FROM MRHORTON2: What Aggie weakness can Fresno St hope to exploit? What Fresno St weakness can the Aggies hope to exploit?

HuttoAg96> In the end it didn't really help them, but I would expect Fresno State to certainly bring better talent to the table

MARIO GOMEZ: FS has aggressive, fast DBs...they will rely on them to come up for run support

BigD03> But do those DBs want any part of tackling 280-pound Lane?

MARIO GOMEZ: FS is small at DT...and although athletic, FS's DBs are young an inexperienced...McGee could exploit them with his underrated passing game

MARIO GOMEZ: FS's recruits hard-nosed DBs, they are not afraid to hit, but they will have trouble bringing down Lane

Mac1014> Haven't kept up with Fresno..but always notice them in the box scores. Always have the impression of a team that can win on any given weekend.

MARIO GOMEZ: Coach Hill is extremely good at getting his teams up for the Big Games...look at last year almost beat No. 20 Oregon and at Washington but end the season 4-8...the 'Dogs are young this year but are a more focused team than the 2006 unit

Mac1014> Did yall have a lot of concerns after your first game? Or just the usual 1st game things

HuttoAg96> Mario, our offensive coordinator made a comment that your QB was supposed to be the "second coming of David Carr" - is he viewed that highly?

AgIdoc> any specific thing you guys have done to prepare for lane? most of our opponents give the rock to a scout team OL in practice. have you guys tried this?

MARIO GOMEZ: turnovers....and no playmakers stepped up per se...the offense didn't show much but the biggest guy to watch on offense is TE Bear Pascoe

Mac1014> cool name

Mac1014> Bear just has All American written all over it

BigD03> wonder if his brother's name is Bryant

BigD03> like the dogs in that chick flick

MARIO GOMEZ: FS has a 5-11, 270 FB Reynard Camp -- not as fast as Lane -- but he is very tough to bring down...ironically the Bulldogs have practiced without a football to focus on covering their assignments and not to try to follow the football

Mac1014> smart a$$

Mac1014> That's interesting due to some of our concerns that our D seems not to have instinct to the ball and gets wrapped up worried about assignments

MARIO GOMEZ: Bear is a big boy, 6-5, 260, I would hate to be a DB and have to bring him down...he has great hands and ironically has the strongest arm on the team, he started out as QB

BigD03> guess he could have been like that big QB that Kentucky had a few years back

AgIdoc> who is the backup qb and is there a significant talent/experience drop off?

MARIO GOMEZ: some say if the current OC was here in 04, Bear would have stayed at QB

Mac1014> He's a big Culpepper

Mac1014> What scheme does your D run?

MARIO GOMEZ: backup QB is Ryan Colburn 6-3, 230...he is a David Carr clone as far as physical features but is a southpaw...he will not play unless there is an injury

MARIO GOMEZ: the D uses a base 4-3...nothing fancy, not sure if the DB will blitz much in this game ffacing the option, but the DC has been known to bring 'em...but as I eluded to earlier, he is recovering from surgery and will not be on the sideline this season

Mac1014> Do you have good tight ends? Passing threat wise?

Hate to hear that? What kind of surgery? There is no user selected in the list

MARIO GOMEZ: Bear Pascoe is one of the best in the West...the backups have 3 career catches in combined five years of playing

MARIO GOMEZ: Coach Brown had a tumor removed from his brain, not good...the team is getting through it but Coach Brown is a true players coach and is missed

BigD03> You guys have a stud freshman RB right? Was that the FB you were talking about?

MARIO GOMEZ: Ryan Mathews, ran for 3,300+ yards and 44 tds as a HS Sr. and was 2nd team HS AA...he led the team with 77 yards vs. Sac State

HuttoAg96> how big is he?

MARIO GOMEZ: FB is starter Reynard Camp, he had one reception for 10 yards vs Sac State, but he will not carry ball...FS FBs have less than 100 career yards in the Pat Hill era

BigD03> wow... that's an interesting stat

MARIO GOMEZ: Mathews is 5-11, 205...he missed about a week of camp with a slight injury and is still learning the offense, but he has great vision and instincts

Mac1014> Prayers for your coach and his recovery.

MARIO GOMEZ: thanks for the thoughts on Coach Brown

MARIO GOMEZ: Mathews is not the fastest guy about 4.6, but he hits the hole hard and is tough to bring down...he will be a real force mid-season once he gets the offense down

Mac1014> So your FB doesn't typically get to mix it up? I never really have studied how ofter Coach Fran gives the rock to ours.

BigD03> Alexander (A&M fullback) gets it a little here and there, but he's mainly a blocker and receiver

Mac1014> Is Mathews a fish?

MARIO GOMEZ: Roshon Vercher blocked for 4 straight 100 yards ruhsers and signed with AZ as FA but I believe had one career rushing TD vs USC in 05

Mac1014> A fullback has to be a pretty special kind of athlete, I guess. Not selfish

Mac1014> Do yall throw screens? (sorry, couldn't resist)

CrouchingJackass> What other teams (if any) has Fresno played that run the option?

Mac1014> How good is your kicker? How did he do with the kickoffs moved back???

AgIdoc> good question re kicker. where were his KO's landing last week & in practice?

MARIO GOMEZ:FS has not faced the option much the last significant option team was Rice in 2004...although Oregon has used it in their spread the last two years

MARIO GOMEZ: FS used the RB screen pass constantly under former OC Frank Cignetti (02-05)...the WR screen should be a staple with the new OC

jSully> What is your prediction on this game?

AgIdoc> his blog says 38-17 ags

CrouchingJackass> I think we are going to have trouble against the screen pass.

MARIO GOMEZ: Stitser has a monster leg, but FS has always used a strategy of putting the ball in the right corner inside the 5...Stitser nails it there about 95% of the time

MARIO GOMEZ: my blog contributor has said 38-17...I haven't really given a final score much of a thought yet...I think the environment and first road trip for the young team will very tough to overcome...I expect FS to play tough but the game hinges on the shoulders of QB Tom Brandstater, he needs to play good to even give the 'Dogs a chance

Mac1014> Heck of a leg. I hope his accuracy rivals that of Mont. St.(LOL)

MARIO GOMEZ: specail teams was a key in A&M's game vs Mont St...if FS has to face long fields all day, they will have trouble

CrouchingJackass> If we get burned a few times on the screen I think we'll be vulnerable in other areas. Right now our defensive backs underreact to the ball, but if they come out and over compensate Fresno will break some big playes running the screen

MARIO GOMEZ: FS did not open the offense at all vs Sac State...New OC Coach Mac has brought in a new "wide-open" offense per se, they will show A&M some different things

CrouchingJackass> Unless of course we play Franks at DB :)

Mac1014> So your tailback has good speed around the corner? Or not so much?

Mac1014> I like that name, "Coach Mac" just has a ring to it.

MARIO GOMEZ: FS has talented, speedy receivers, they can create some plays....RB Clifton Smith is probably the toughest guy to bring down in the open field and will see some time out wide

ReederTAMU> Oh great, we're going to see some things that weren't on film? I just got nervous.

HuttoAg96> It sounds like the game should be a good one

MARIO GOMEZ: starting TB Lonyae Miller is not a speedster, he is a power guy that will motor in the open field...but he will not turn the corner and burn the secondary...backup Anthony Harding is the fastest TB and can really hit the corner with some speed

Mac1014> Ok, I'm getting the idea this is going to be an excellent test for our DB's to either man up or ride the pine.

HuttoAg96> Our defensive coordinator seems to be very good at making adjustments, so one key for FS would be to come out and score at least a couple times in the first quarter.

MARIO GOMEZ: if Brandstater can locate the right color jerseys, FS should be okay, but that is a big IF

Mac1014> curse you Hutto..;-)

BigD03> Other than the cal game, I think A&M has given up one second half touchdown in the last 14 games

HuttoAg96> Mac1014, God already beat you to it

Mac1014> HA!

MARIO GOMEZ: FS already has a reputation for going conservative when it leads at the half...

Mac1014> Don't all teams not named OU?

CrouchingJackass> How much does the acquisition of an opponents play book go for these days and do you provide these services?......kidding of course. :)

Mac1014> So you kind of hint that your QB tends to make risky throws?

MARIO GOMEZ: I would hate to become of Coach Hill's playbook sales from me

MARIO GOMEZ: not so much risky...just "stupid"....he has all the tools but the big one between the ears

AgIdoc> Mario, planning on coming to the game? Aggie Yell Practice?

Mac1014> "between the ears" worked out OK for Vince Young..(rimshot)

MARIO GOMEZ: No, not heading to College Stateion, my son starts his pop warner season this I will be watching on FSN HD

Mac1014> 2 percenter

AgE2theBONE> 2,0Sorry I got here late. Fresno St held 2,0Sac St to 102 total yards, yet scored only 24 points. What's 2,0FS's biggest stumbling block moving teh ball?

Mac1014> SO it sounds like yall have a pretty solid package coming down to Kyle. Should make for a tough game. Good exposure for both teams

CrouchingJackass> Who do you think Michael Vick would bet on if your mascot, Norman were to fight Revelry?

BigD03> LMAO

MARIO GOMEZ: FS fumbled three times against Sac State, including one at the goal line...another on a big punt return...and ran out the clock late in the fourth near the end zone...FS should have score more and the offense was pretty vanilla vs Sac State

AgE2theBONE> 2,0I see. I was pretty shocked to see only 2,024 points out of 475 yards gained. FS definitely did a lot of 2,0damage on the ground

MARIO GOMEZ: our mascot Victor E. Bulldog has little love in the Valley...FS has longed be associated with a white Bulldog and the new AD comes up wiht a brindle colored dog...I think Vick would be smart to bet against Victor

Mac1014> Reveille can be pretty salty when she is in heat

GEA89> Hey Bone we fixed that whole soft coverage thing, remember?

BigD03> anyone want to guess the line for the Bad Newz Kennel if Reveille and Victor E. Bulldog were to go at it

MARIO GOMEZ: I am sure FS has looked at A&M closely...Coach Hill has faced him a few times in the WAC

GEA89> I always bet on the woman in a fight, they don't fight fair

MARIO GOMEZ: I mean has faced COACH FRAN when he was at NM and TCU

GEA89> Rev wins then, we agree

AgE2theBONE> 2,0I was thinking more about the damage 2,0OSU did on the ground

GEA89> Dodge, year 2, problem solved....I hope

AgE2theBONE> Dititotto

AgIdoc> dodge looked fine sat vs run. tupe did not

Mac1014> tupe tries too hard

AgE2theBONE> 2,0I'm really looking forward to this game. 2,0It's nice to have OOC games one can get excited about

MARIO GOMEZ: FS always leads with the run but after looking at the Mont St game...they might want to look to the pass, especially if they really believe in Brandstater becoming a good college qb

GEA89> tupe disappointed me, Dodge should not have gotten to a couple of the ones he did if Tupe had not taken himself out of the play

GEA89> I am sure the coaches showed him that on film

Mac1014> We have linebacker issues down here..just in the fact that we used to always have dominating LB play. We're hoping to see that change. Looks like your guys will test them a lot this week

AgE2theBONE> 2,0Tupe had a problem early last season 2,0overruning plays, but worked himself out of it. Hopefully he 2,0was just too aggressive Sat and will get his emotions under 2,0control again

MARIO GOMEZ: Dodge has a motor but lacks speed...he will be tough to block

AgIdoc> agreed gea. dodge made up for some of tupe's overpersuit with good plays

GEA89> I think this is the best unit we have had at LB in years...

AgE2theBONE> 2,0No doubt, GEA

AgE2theBONE> 2,0I'm eager to see more of Lewis and 2,0Featherston, though

BigD03> anymore FSU questions for Mario?

AgIdoc> hows the FS LB unit? buncha SR's, or fr or what?

Mac1014> Do yall have good LB's?

GEA89> but is no Coryatt/Thomas/Roper/Wallace/etc.. crew by any means

ReederTAMU> Same here on Lewis and Featherston, BONE.

ReederTAMU> Also wish Miller and Chavis could have gotten their feet wet on D last week.

AgE2theBONE> 2,0Fresno had an impressive defenseive 2,0performance against Sac St. The Aggies are no Sac St, of 2,0course, but how confident does FSU feel about stopping the 2,0Aggie ground game

GEA89> I am excited about our LB crew actually, Safety has me spooked

CrouchingJackass> With a face like Victors, he probably suffers from sleep apenea which means depleted oxygen levels will preclude him from a sustained bout. Advantage Reveille.

MARIO GOMEZ: FS has its fastest group of LBs in Coach Hill's 10 years...WLB Marcus Riley was drawing comparisons to Derrick Brooks by scouts prior to his knee injury vs USC in 05...he is 100% after missing most of last year, he was all over the place vs Sac State with 11 tackles

BoneBoy> How about FSU's special teams, kicker, punter, & coverage units?

AgE2theBONE> 2,0Safeties will improve with some 2,0experience. Those are talented kids

GEA89> agreed

MARIO GOMEZ: the special teams have been among the best in the country under Coach Baxter save 06...the looked good against Sac out for true Fr. KR Devon Wylie, a small "white-boy" with 4.4 speed and PR Clifton Smith who has 3 career PR TDs

AgE2theBONE> 2,0Also, has the FSU staff looked at blitzing 2,0more than they would have prior to the Montana St game?

Mac1014> Brantly better preventive punt

AgIdoc> did FS blitz much last week? last season?

MARIO GOMEZ: Riley has fallen through the cracks since his injury...he was just a sophomore against USC and after he got hurt, Reggie Bush ran away with the Heisman attacking the WeakSide

AgE2theBONE> 2,0Hey, we have a "white boy" corner. 2,0Beat that.

Mac1014> good one

MARIO GOMEZ: FS did not blitz too much, SLB Trevor Shamblee did have one sack, he was a JUCO track star but is recovering from a knee injury as well

Mac1014> I don't think ours has ran any back, though

BoneBoy> Your prediction of the game, Mario?

AgIdoc> i think he's deferring

MARIO GOMEZ: during fall camp Wylie was given the nickname "Wonder Bread" by everyone, not just the black receivers...he is the only white boy among them

Mac1014> I gotta go(stupid work). It's been fun. Good luck to yall and thanks for coming on.

AgE2theBONE> 2,0I need to go to work, too. Thanks 2,0mdgcfb, and others. Peace

BigD03> before you leave, what is you all's prediction?

12thManInKY> Did we cover Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakum yet?

BigD03> here we go...

MARIO GOMEZ: I'll give my prediction...

MARIO GOMEZ: A&M 25, Fresno State 20...hard fought game but A&M will win the TO battle and that will be the big difference

BoneBoy> Only Travis Tritt & Rev vs FSU's mascot fights & who Vick would bet on.

Mac1014> Is that your final answer?

BigD03> Mac - what is your prediction? I was going to have everyone give their's at the end

GEA89> good luck with that..... I say A&M 35 Fresno St. 17

Mac1014> I was about to do a 24-21 Ags

MARIO GOMEZ: I don't think A&M will score 35 against FS's defense unless Brandstater gift wraps a few ints for TDs

Mac1014> We win, but a hard fought and maybe still sloppy game from both sides. Maybe sloppy because of hard hitting defense

BoneBoy> Rev 31-FSU Bulldog 17

AgIdoc> i see us being just as good if not more potent on offense, but also giving up more points. 38-21 ags

MARIO GOMEZ: the rain could be a big factor...the option becomes tricky and does the passing game in wet weather

Mac1014> stupid rain

AgIdoc> its going to rain?

Mac1014> We need a retractable roof...squeeze ags

BoneBoy> 30% chance of rain?

Mac1014> if it rains, it's Jtrain up the gut all night baby!

12thManInKY> Ms. Reveille 45 Victor 10

AgIdoc> 45 is a lot vs a D1 team

GEA89> I bet A&M scores 35, I was being conservative, A&M will control the clock and the ground and FSU's O will not be on the field much

ReederTAMU> No way we score 45.

Mac1014> LSU did it...wait

GEA89> we;ll see I guess

BoneBoy> FSU's game is ball control, as well

Mac1014> Appy state almost put up 45

12thManInKY> Sorry MS Reveille 44 Victor Pinco De Guyo 9

12thManInKY> Better?

AgIdoc> thats more LIKE it

ReederTAMU> Yes, that's more what I was thinking. ;)

Mac1014> I'll pay 20 bucks to see Victor bite Vick on the ass

BoneBoy> Rev would bite him with fervor!

MARIO GOMEZ: LSU only scored 38 on FS last year and that was one beaten up 1-5 FS team, mentally and doubt in my mind A&M will beat FS but unless the 'Dogs implode by turning the ball over, I doubt think it gets too ugly...if Mont St had better field position, they probably score more than 7 points

12thManInKY> I would pay 20 bucks to see Billy Pickard ride Victor into Kyle Field

Mac1014> I meant LSU vs. Miss St.

BoneBoy> We might have to take off Rev's muzzle if Vick shows up

Mac1014> But then we are no LSU and yall would whip Miss St

ReederTAMU> If Mont St had a decent kicker they score more than 7 pts

AgIdoc> i have another Q for the FS guy: do you guys rotate in a lot of DL? or pretty much stay with the starters?

12thManInKY> IF and Could of been Might have made you a millionaire as well

Mac1014> I'm going to fire myself if I don't get to work. Good luck to your son this weekend!! Gigem!

MARIO GOMEZ: FS uses 5 DTs with Shirley out...they use 5 DEs and DE Ikenna Ike also can line up at DT

12thManInKY> The Speed on Fresno Defense is comparable to any past teams?

AgIdoc> pretty good on the DL? or is it a worry spot?

BoneBoy> 5 DE's & 5 DT's on the field at one time is gonna slow down our running game (kidding)

12thManInKY> Sorry is it comparable to any of their past teams?

MARIO GOMEZ: FS's defensive speed is comparable to the 2004 team...all four of the DB starters on that team are in the NFL...Thanks for having me here...I am going to head out and answer the questions left in The Tailgate

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