QB Paul Pinegar (PHOTO - Cary Edmondson)

2003 Statistics

Coach: Pat Hill
55-35, 7 years
2003 Record: 9-5
at Tennessee LOST 6-24
at Oklahoma LOST 28-52
at Colorado State LOST 10-34
at Hawaii LOST 28-55
RICE WON 31-28
at Southern Methodist WON 20-11
at Nevada WON 27-10
at UTEP WON 23-20

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

"Anybody, Any Place, Any Time" is the mantra of the self-appointed Davids from Fresno Valley. And rightfully so, as these Dogs have taken out more BCS-conference foes than any other non-BCS conference team over the past four years. This is a scary proposition for Washington and Kansas State, two BCS-conference foes on the early slate. This year will be the first since 2001 where the Bulldogs start an experienced group as well have tremendous amounts of depth and healthy competition throughout the lineup. If spring were any indication according to Coach Hill, yes FSU has more swagger and more confidence. That usually occurs when bringing back so many veteran starters plus both kicker and punter; a group that helped the Bulldogs win six of their final seven games. The key dimension they possessed by the end of the year was their offense starting to take shape to help an already solid defense. Enough quality veterans returned for 2004, so coaches devoted much of their time this spring giving backups and newcomers a chance to showcase their talents while getting quality snaps...a move that could really pan out in terms of adding depth to the already solid core of starters.

The Bulldogs had three quarterbacks in the NFL during the 2002 season (David Carr, Trent Dilfer, Billy Volek), tying Michigan and Florida State for the most of any college. Current starter Paul Pinegar fits the same mold, 15-5 as a starter, a cannon for an arm with the ability to put up huge numbers through the air. The right mix of ingredients exists in "the Valley" this coming fall as have during past successful campaigns. Fresno needs a quality passing QB...they have one. Fresno needs quality, speed and depth at RB...they have it. Fresno needs a solid pass-blocking OL...they have it. Fresno needs a tight secondary to prevent the scoreboard from exploding on both sides of the ball...they have the best group in the WAC. The only difference is the skill players at receiver. If guys like Jamison and Fernandez start to light up their pass catching fires, watch out. Replacing Bernard Berrian, not just as a WR, but also as a return specialist, is the prime objective needing filled in order to push the Bulldogs over the top and into more than another Silicon Valley Classic invitation.

The schedule is more favorable than last year's brutal out-of-conference start. Even still, big tests will be on the road against aforementioned Washington, Kansas State and WAC champions Boise State. The Dogs have lost the past three times to Boise and will seek revenge. In the past, where this team has failed in attaining double-digit win seasons has come from struggles within conference play. That should change with the current depth and experience. The Dogs present one of the more complete teams in the conference, and, as a result, this group will be as special as the 2001 squad that really put Fresno State's program on the map.

Projected 2004 record: 7-4
QB - 4 DL - 3.5
RB - 4 LB - 2.5
WR - 2.5 DB - 4
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Paul Pinegar, 294-174-9, 1773 yds., 11 TD

Rushing: Dwayne Wright, 190 att., 1038 yds., 3 TD

Receiving: Jermaine Jamison, 23 rec., 210 yds., 0 TD

Scoring: Brett Visintainer, 21-28 FG, 35-35 PAT, 98 pts.

Punting: Mike Lingua, 84 punts, 38.3 avg.

Kicking: Brett Visintainer, 21-28 FG, 35-35 PAT

Tackles: James Sanders, 93 tot., 55 solo

Sacks: Brian Morris, 11 sacks

Interceptions: Manuel Sanchez, 4 for 50 yds.

Kickoff returns: Adam Jennings, 10 ret., 21.9 avg.

Punt returns: Adam Jennings, 5 ret., 10.8 avg.


DB James Sanders (PHOTO - Cary Edmondson)
OFFENSE: Marque Davis-WR, Alec Greco-TE, Bernard Berrian-WR, Jeff Grady-QB, Rodney Davis-TB
DEFENSE: Del Hawkins-NT, Bryce McGill-OLB, Marc Dailey-MLB, Dee Meza-FS

Junior Paul Pinegar returns for his third season as the Bulldog starting quarterback. After a solid freshman campaign, he struggled in '03 while trying to overcome a torn muscle injury, which caused him to miss the first five games. Although he showed improvements by season's end, he was never quite the same quarterback - this is something to keep an eye on. Pinegar struggles a bit with his feel for the game, often throwing fastballs when touch is required, and then lofting it too much when a dart is required. Despite his rocky road, he is ranked in the school's top ten for career passing yards and touchdowns, and throws only one interception for every 60 throws. Pinegar has the physical tools and has worked hard to improve his arm strength, now he must show more consistency.

Running Back
The running back position is expected to be a major strength. A year ago, Fresno State ran the ball more than they threw it, a bi-product of quarterback struggles combined with their surprise find at running back. Leading rusher Dwayne Wright is not the typical small-sized WAC rusher. After replacing Rodney Davis as the starter, he flourished by pounding the conference's under-sized defensive fronts. Short-yardage specialist Bryson Sumlin has the upper hand as backup on the depth chart after leading the team with 10 touchdowns. When the Bulldogs do line up in the I-formation, Stephen Spach steps onto the field. He rarely carries the ball, but provides a fantastic lead blocker out of the backfield and as a pass-catching option around the goal line (13 receptions). This position is by far the deepest unit and will be for quite some time as sophomore Robbie DuBois, freshman Shannon Dorsey and UCLA transfer Wendell Mathis all impressed through out the spring.

Wide Receiver
In a nutshell, not one single receiver on the current roster caught a touchdown pass last season period. This is Fresno's major concern. Big expectations fall on the shoulders of Joe Fernandez and Jermaine Johnson to become Pinegar's new go-to guys. Fernandez is one of those small/quick players whom the coaches love to throw to in short patterns to see if he can (then) make plays. On the contrary, Jermaine Johnson is a 6'3 prototype receiver who made big-impact plays as a freshman (four catches over 40 yards), but last year he developed a habit for dropping passes. As the Dogs will play three- and four-receiver formations, watch out for speedy return man Adam Jennings and raw but athletic Paul Williams. Williams has game breaking skills in practice, but it hasn't shown on the field. Overall, this group has physical talent galore but will need time to season individually and gel collectively, as well as just earn the confidence of Pinegar.

Tight End
Duncan Reid is back to give the Bulldogs an athletic TE who can create coverage problems with his size and speed. Reid came on as the primary pass-catching TE at the end of 2003 and he can also be utilized as an extra blocker along the front line. The Bulldogs do most of their running inside the tackles, so if Reid can become a more consistent blocker, it will lend an opportunity for more variety to the rushing attack. Senior Stephen Spach will line up at TE in many formations in what has been referred to during his previous seasons as an H-back. You must be versatile to play TE in Coach Pat Hill's system and Spach brings this aspect to the table more so than anyone. Also keep and eye on big Mark Wood (6-4, 243), another one of many quality TEs on the team, as he returns from a knee injury that limited his season a year ago.

Offensive Line
The Dogs returns all five starters and much experience along the offensive front. It's a solid run- and pass-blocking group, led by freshman All-America center Kyle Young and second-team All-WAC selection Dartangon Shack, who will return to his more natural position of guard after starting 14 games at left tackles in 2003. Shack is one of the strongest players on the team and is a highly rated candidate for All-American honors. The unit's experience should pave the way for the most balanced offensive attack Pat Hill has ever had at Fresno State. As stated above, the strength of the unit is primarily inside, where Kawika Edwards, Young and Sean Finnerty provide an impenetrable wall for defenders to climb. An area of improvement will be seen as the group can lower the 26 sacks total allowed last season, but this was also a result of shaky decision-making by the quarterbacks. The experience, trust, and abilities of this unit will help expand the playbook, once again causing some sleepless nights for opposing defensive coordinators.

Experience will be the calling card as nine starters return - including the entire line- from an offense that was the team's Achilles heel a year ago. Only 350 yards per game is unheard of production from a Pat Hill coached team, and it is not likely these struggles will continue. The group is tried and tested at all the key positions, except receiver. But even there, these coaches will turn the raw talent available into productivity quickly. The difficulty for them, coaching in the pass-happy WAC, will be recognizing/practicing the fact that their running game is the strength of this offense. If they do this, the Bulldogs will be able to leverage the abilities of Wright at running back to soften opponents and open up the play-action passing game, alleviating the pressures off Pinegar.


OT Dartangon Shack (PHOTO - Cary Edmondson)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Paul Pinegar-Jr (6-4, 220) Jordan Christensen-So (6-3, 190)
FB Roshon Vercher-So (5-11, 245) Jamal Jones-Sr (5-10, 225)
TB Dwayne Wright-Jr (6-1, 210) Bryson Sumlin-Jr (5-10, 200)
Matt Rivera-Jr (5-9, 193)
WR Joe Fernandez-So (5-10, 165) Paul Williams-So (6-2, 200)
WR Jermaine Jamison-Jr (6-3, 200) Adam Jennings-Jr (5-10, 175)
TE Stephen Spach-Sr (6-4, 250) Mark Wood-Sr (6-4, 245)
Duncan Reid-Jr (6-6, 220)
OT Logan Mankins-Sr (6-4, 320) Kawika Edwards-Sr (6-4, 300)
OG Noa Pouono-Sr (6-3, 290) Sean Finnerty-Jr (6-3, 285)
C Kyle Young-So (6-5, 320) Robin Kezirian-So (6-6, 300)
OG Dartangon Shack-Jr (6-2, 300) Kevin Cooper-Fr (6-4, 270)
OT Chris Denman-So (6-6, 260) Matt Stevenson-Jr (6-7, 290)
K Brett Visintainer-Sr (6-0, 185) Clint Stitser-Fr (6-0, 197)



Defensive Line
This unit can create havoc with their quickness (32 sacks), but is a typical under-sized WAC front. With the exception of Donyell Booker at tackle, the starters average just barely over 250 pounds and were exposed for 175 yards per game rushing in '03. Defensive end Brian Morris was granted a sixth year of NCAA eligibility, and his great pass-rushing abilities (11 sacks) are a bonus to a unit that has depth questions. Former walk-on Garrett McIntyre went through several injuries before picking up steam, ending '03 as the defensive MVP for the bowl game win over UCLA. Together, both Morris and McIntyre represent 19 sacks from a year ago. End Claude Sanders, provides another good pass-rusher but needs more discipline for support in the outside running game. As a unit, this group will swarm and attack the ball early but could wear down as the game progresses due to the motors constantly running...fair warning to opposing QBs, watch your backside.

Middle linebacker Dwayne Andrews is a punishing 240-pound sophomore who played last year when starter Marc Dailey was banged up, responding with 21 tackles in three starts against Tennessee, Oregon State and Oklahoma. Enough said. Get your track shoes on for Manny Sanchez, a speed burner on the outside who gives this defense a dual threat as a run-stopper and as a quality extra defender in pass coverage. The other outside linebacker will be Todd Garcia, a short and stocky player with a hard-nosed pension for the ball. This group will provide the Dogs an aggressive defensive attack in the middle and underneath sections of the field.

Defensive Back
In the WAC, a solid secondary is often the most important difference-maker among teams. Fresno State is in good hands, returning three starters and eight experienced players overall. All-WAC safety James Sanders, the team's leading tackler two years running, plays along heady Tyrone Culver to man the middle. Raymond Washington and Awan Diles are the starting corners. Even though Diles has great closing speed he gives receivers too much cushion, and will be challenged by Richard Marshall. Marshall is a playmaker who returned a pick for a touchdown. This secondary will not only shut down opposing passing attacks, but also can make game-turning plays on the scoreboard.

Eight starters return from a defensive unit that carried this team. Fresno State lines up in a base four-three but has tendencies of ample movement before the snap, usually leading to blitzes. In the past, coaches took the pressure off the back four by having them play it safe in coverage. This year, the secondary (perhaps the best this program has ever compiled) has the speed and reactionary abilities to capably play tighter in man-to-man. As a result, the coaches will take more risks. The front-seven will be strong in passing situations but needs to toughen up against the run. Fortunately for Fresno, WAC teams tend to pass more than run, playing right into the strengths of this defense.


DE Garrett McIntyre (PHOTO - Cary Edmondson)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Claude Sanders-Sr (6-3, 240) Brian Morris-Sr (6-2, 250)
DT Fai Satele-Sr (6-1, 290) Dwayne Ruffin-Sr (6-1, 260)
NT Donyell Booker-Sr (6-2, 305) Louis Leonard-So (6-4, 330)
DE Garrett McIntyre-Jr (6-3, 250) Marlon Brisco-So (6-3, 240)
OLB Manuel Sanchez-So (6-1, 215) Marcus Riley-Fr (6-0, 190)
MLB Dwayne Andrews-So (6-0, 240) Kyle Goodman-Jr (6-0, 230)
OLB Todd Garcia-Sr (5-11, 230) David Adamo-Sr (6-2, 235)
CB Awan Diles-Jr (5-9, 180) Richard Marshall-So (5-11, 170)
CB Raymond Washington-Jr (6-0, 190) Therrian Fontenot-Sr (5-11, 190)
SS James Sanders-Jr (5-11, 205) Nate Ray-Sr (6-0, 205)
FS Tyrone Culver-Jr (6-1, 200) Josh Sherley-So (6-0, 185)
P Mike Lingua-So (6-0, 190) ..




The "V" on the helmet might just stand for kicker Brett Visintainer in 2004, a Lou Groza Candidate. He has great accuracy, making 11 of his last 13 FG attempts. Visintainer won WAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors twice, both after his FGs won games for Fresno State.

By nailing 28 kicks inside the opponents' 20-yard line, sophomore Mike Lingua showed he could pinpoint his kicks, providing Fresno State an advantage in winning field position.

Return Game
Adam Jennings will be the heir replacement to departed all-purpose star, Bernard Berrian much like he did in 2002 when Berrian sat out with a knee injury. Jennings returned a punt for a touchdown in spare opportunities last fall and will complement a usually dangerous Bulldog return game.