Final Walk Down the Ramp

Tom Brandstater

It has five years since Tom Brandstater witnessed his first senior tackle as a grayshirt. It has been a long up and down journey to this point, and it is finally here. Brandstater will play his final game at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday afternoon. But before he walks down the ramp one final time, he will partake in the tradition he has seen many times on Friday night…

This is not how it was suppose to be. Tom Brandstater is one of 10 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award given annually the nation's top senior quarterback. He was the starting quarterback for a top 25 team in September that was expected to contend for a BCS bowl berth and at very least come away as Western Athletic Conference champions.

Nevertheless, the Bulldogs stare at the final 25% of their schedule with none of their preseason expectations attainable. In fact, Brandstater must lead FS to win two of his last three games to avoid the program's fist losing record in WAC play under Coach Pat Hill. It all starts with New Mexico State on Saturday afternoon. But before he takes the field he will enjoy his final moment in front of teammates at Friday night's senior tackle.

Senior tackle is a special moment for the seniors to say their goodbyes in front of their teammates, family, and friends the night before their final home game. Only two other starting senior quarterbacks have ever taken part in the tradition. And those two, Billy Volek and Paul Pinegar, played in bowl games in their finals seasons and each was playing for a WAC title heading into their final home game.

For Brandstater, the only thing left to play for is pride and a possible bowl berth. It is disheartening for him to look at the season and realize he is playing well enough to help his team win ball games. But understands he is not making the key plays. Through nine games, he has thrown for 2,050 yards and 17 touchdowns against 8 interceptions. He has completed 60.8% of his passes and has a quarterback efficiency rating of 138.6.

BB.C caught up with Brandstater at practice this week to talk about his final game in Bulldog Stadium…

Brandstater talks senior tackle –

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