Attack The Opponent: Air Force Academy Falcons

Air Force is Air Force, same as they ever were or ever shall be. This team of brave young men in Colorado is hosting Boise State for the first time in the history of the matchup. Saturday’s game has to be the epitome of a business trip for the Broncos, or else it could turn into an injury-ridden trap game. The boys in Blue have to be sharp to defend the triple option successfully, especially with the MWC’s second leading rusher calling Falcon Stadium home. Injuries have taken a toll on AFA’s offensive line, so Boise State has a real shot to shut down the run game and force Air Force to rely heavily on their passing game.

AFA’s QB, Kale Pearson is putting up some nice numbers so far this season, but this game is a barometer game for the cadets because their SOS isn’t exactly spectacular. Playing Wyoming closely but ultimately losing, then beating Georgia State and Nicholls State isn’t brag-worthy. Pretty sure Coach Yates will have the defense as ready to go as he can and we’re just going to have to hope we don’t end up in a battle against both the Falcons and injuries.


afamascotThis guy makes me nervous enough. Never seen a raptor with that level of swole before.

Air Force’s defense has also been stingy against their opponents, holding both Nicholls and Wyoming under 20 points. They have been successful holding on 3rd down, and their run defense has been far superior to their pass defense. This means a big night for Grant, and probably for Jay as well, because well, AFA hasn’t seen anything like him and probably won’t again. Pay attention, Colorado Springs. There will be greatness in your midst.

choochoo

CHOO, CHOO! HERE COMES THE J-TRAIN!

Playing a service academy always comes with mixed feelings for me. They’re an opponent so its natural to want to hate a little, but it’s difficult because America. On Saturday, we’ll see lots of patriotism, scores of clean cut looking young men and women cheering on their brothers on the football field. The AFA team will play with guts and heart and Boise State fans will feel lucky to have seen the spectacle and escape with the inevitable win. However, scratching the surface a little turns up issues that makes you wonder if athletics have any place in what amounts to a military officer training center. For example, the scandal earlier this year with players on the football team sexually assaulting women after dosing them with date rape drugs at a party. Or maybe that the Air Force Academy runs a prep school which is basically a publicly funded high school to churn out athletes who couldn’t normally meet the Academy’s admission requirements. The playing the Falcons package comes complete with politics, patriotism, gratefulness for these young men’s sacrifice, all tied up with an awkward looking, dirty pink bow over wrapping paper made of taxpayer dollars.

Boise State’s job this week is taking them to Colorado Springs, their objective is to make it home whole. Air Force is a tough team in real life, and is putting up some unreal numbers on paper. However, Boise State is coming together too well to take a loss this week. The question is going to be whether Boise State is also going to be able to stay healthy at the same time. We’ll find out at 5 PM on Saturday!

I’m sure the guys are doing a better job of focusing than I am, because all I want to see is Air Force taken care of successfully because RENO AWAITS.

reno

This Week at the Diggity’s – Week 4 (I’ll Be Ragin’ At Some Cajuns!)

Happy Gameday, Bronco Fans.  I’m excited to see the team back on The Blue tonight. Hopefully, they’ll let us breathe a bit easier this week. Those pesky Huskies about gave me a heart attack with the way they stayed in the game. If I had a post game song of the week would be “Slip Sliding Away”.  That field was awful.  But, on to this week. We’re always #AttackingTheFuture here at the Diggity’s.

I’m just wondering out loud here but why is cranberry and apple juice called Cran-Apple? I think it would be way more funny if it was called Crapple Juice. Or do you think the makers of Snapple would sue for it being too closely named?….What is the difference between Domestic Abuse and getting indicted for harming your child? I see none. If convicted, Adrian Peterson should miss 6 games under the new policy. And that’s on top of what’s going on right now….I’m up and ready for this UConn game and I’m going through Facebook just to see what’s going on. I see an Alberston’s ad that says “If you wear your Ducks jersey in the store, get 10% off your purchase.” Of course you know I’m not a Duck fan, so am I being discriminated against?….AlberstonsDucks

Update on the Alberston’s/Oregon situation. There really isn’t an update actually.  I emailed them on Saturday for clarification and they haven’t gotten back to me. Since I’m in customer service, this lack of said “customer service” is terrifically frustrating….This game has gotten scary close. The Broncos have to out score UConn 21-0 in the 4th to get to my score prediction….Close win today. The defense stepped up with a  couple of scores. The Broncos need an “all 3 phases” game to beat better teams.  We haven’t seen that yet….I’m a bit annoyed at some of our fan base. It’s crazy how some of them think. So, the Broncos didn’t blow out UConn. But, when they’re up and you’re “dooming and glooming”, that’s ludicrous. Just my opinion….Also, just because I don’t get paid to write about football, have a sense of humor in this column, and /or don’t profess my expertise on football, that doesn’t mean I don’t know football. Remember, without a computer, some “experts” would need remedial training on the sport….I don’t usually want to see Ben Affleck movies but I’m intrigued by “Gone Girl”. We may have to check that out….Games I saw at least a bit of: Boise State/UConn (all), Iowa/Iowa St., Louisiana-Lafayette/Ole Miss, Arkansas/Texas Tech, Oregon/Wyoming, Michigan/Miami of Ohio, Va Tech/ECU, Georgia/South Carolina, Utah State/Wake Forest, Kentucky/Florida, Tennessee/Oklahoma, USC/BC, Texas A&M/Rice, Nebraska/CSU-Fresno, and Nevada/Arizona. From 9 AM to probably 11 PM-ish. So, you can say it was pretty serious!….Watching Sunday NFL Countdown and Ray Lewis is preaching about being a role model and leading by example. Looks like Ray Rice wasn’t listening very well….I watched Miss America and as all the women were introducing themselves, I was thrown off by West Virginia. Everyone else was being cute and up-to-date with their intros. West Va – “Take me home, country roads. I’ll be your mountain mama!” Seriously? As much as I love John Denver songs, try to stay in the now just a little….And Miss Ohio’s talent was ventriloquism while singing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. What?….I’m a Chargers fan and I think it’s awesome that they beat the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks. I don’t think Richard Sherman was exposed as a “normal person”. Keenan Allen was the Rookie of the Year for a reason….I was driving on my way to work and noticed someone holding up traffic. Much to my surprise, it was someone with a 2C plate. Thanks, Canyon County, for holding me up way over here in Eugene….I like the new helmets this week.  The chrome face masks are pretty awesome. I’m sure that Rocky Long will complain about some reflections being an unfair advantage….One of the highlights of the week is Donald Trump saying the Wilson family should thank him for driving up the Buffalo Bills’ sale price. You’d have even more money if d-bagging translated into dollars!…

FullSizeRender

I know there are tons of issues you need to cover, Commissioner Roger Goodell, but you need to actually show up on time. Your 3 PM press conference started at 3:15 PM. The small things are important in getting the big things going. Just sayin’!…Single people are now a majority in America. That’s 50.2% of people 16 and over. So, since I’m married to Mrs. Diggity, does that make me a minority?…Mrs. Diggity got to see the Middle Child in Salem this week. He has a position volunteering with the TVCC Womens’ soccer team and they were in town. She made the one hour trip to see the Lady Chukars get a win. I am just going to admit that I am jealous because I had to work.  Adult responsibility=BLAH!…Made a Banquet Breakfast Bake for Mrs. Diggity  & I today. Good to see that MRE-like food is moving into the private sector….I had a test to take that was supposed to start at 10:30 AM. I got there at 10:15. Because they were having “technical issues”, my test didn’t get underway until 12. I know I didn’t have anything going on besides college football today but c’mon. I love college football. Don’t waste my time.

I dedicate the song of the week to the Ragin’ Cajuns.  Maybe the team with the Red Hot Chili Pepper as a mascot will “Give It Away” multiple times.

So that’s it for this week. I’m really not a bitter man but this week had some super-annoying content available.  I’ll try to be a bit nicer next week.  Okay, probably not.  Enjoy the game tonight.  GO BRONCOS.

BTN Predictions – Week 4: Louisiana-Lafayette

Okay, so maybe the BTN staff got a little carried away with our #BEATEMDOWN predictions last week. How were we supposed to know the game would be played on the worst surface Boise State has played on in recent memory? Oh well, on to Week 4. This week Boise State plays host to the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, owners of one of college football’s coolest names. Boise State opened as a 16-point favorite over the Cajuns, a line that should fluctuate before game time. Last week, we questioned Vegas’ line of -17 Boise State, but the bookies turned out to be psychics when it came to Boise State/UConn (38-21 Broncos). Read below to see if the BTN staff sides with Vegas this time around, or if gambling is bad so we ignore their existence completely. As usual, comment below with your prediction or tweet it to @TheBTN.

Jeremy

UL-Lafayette was a popular pick in the off-season to be a trap game for Boise State. Recent weeks have been rough on the Cajuns, getting whipped at home by former Boise State conference mate Louisiana Tech 48-20, and losing 15-56 to Ole Miss. I watched that game, and Ole Miss frankly could have named the score. All of the Rebels starters were out of the game by midway of the 3rd quarter. I thought ULL did some good things on the ground, and their QB is good at improvising, but their defense gives up a lot of easy completions over the middle. I think Ajayi has a good day, but Hedrick is the player that goes off vs. the Ragin’ Cajun defense. I’ll stick my head out and disagree with Vegas this week. Give me Boise State 49-27 in yet another late game on The Blue™.

Noel

Hmmm….I’m pretty confident that the Broncos will get the “W” this week.  I’m just not sure of the final score.  After some alternating “Meh/That’s a bit better/Oh we won but not so pretty!” weeks, the boys have me teetering on the edge of uncertainty.  I think most everything comes together this week (it has to, right?).  The pass and run defense step up, Jay gets a moderate amount of touches but still shines, Grant throws for 3 TDs and runs for 1, and SWR finally breaks one. The Fighting Hot Peppers will go cold and the final score will be 45-20, the Good Guys!

Tami

The Ragin’ Cajuns just aren’t going to have enough oomph to overpower the Broncos at home. Their defense is Sunbelt Funbelt-tastic, and their offense just won’t be dynamic enough to confuse the Boise defense too much. ULL is ripe for the picking (sacking, whatever) and like Noel, I think it all comes together this week. I think that Boise will have blingy yardage numbers to match the chromey helmets, and the Broncos come away with the win, 32-10. 

Derek

I’m a glass over-flowing type of guy – always positive and always expecting the best. In my past two predictions I have placed my order for blowouts but have been served satisfying but not overly tasty wins of 13 and 17 points.  This week we get the full course meal.  The defensive line will continue their dominance, Grant Hedrick will pick up where he left off last week showing that he can be the leader the Broncos need, the secondary will finally get it together and smother the Cajun’s passing game, and Jay Ajayi will once again run free like a Heisman contending running back.  Time to eat.  Boise 59 Louisiana 10

Gage

After predicting a blow-out and Ryan Finley appearance last week, I had some time to self-reflect and let myself know i need to cool the jets. Therefore, I am not going to predict a blow-out this week. Thus meaning it will happen and the Broncos will run all over Ragin’ Cajuns. That’s how much faith I have in my score prediction skills. I think the Broncos will win by a slim margin and fail to cover the 16+ point spread. So, if you’re reading this, you should understand that means lay down big money on BSU to cover. Broncos 34 Cajuns 20

Can the Broncos Finish Perfect?

Three weeks into the season….

and coming off a win at UConn, I think a Boise State Football rendition of the Presidential State of the Union is somewhat suitable. Now, without mixing politics and football, it’s safe to say there is still uncertainty on how the Broncos will finish this year and many questions remain unanswered … e.g., is a one loss season possible? Can they win the Mountain West? Could they break into the new playoff format? The Broncos are currently 2-1 and a fourth of the way through their regular season (WHAT!? it just startedI KNOW). Following their first game loss to Ole Miss, the Broncos and their faithful shifted focus. Since true perfection is no longer obtainable, Boise State has their eyes set on a Perfect Finish.

Below, I will attempt to decipher what can be drawn from the Broncos first three games; I will provide three reasons why I believe a one-loss-season is possible, and three others as to why I don’t. Disclaimer: I will not touch on the schedule or the qualities of our future opponents. This is because, well, simply put…I don’t watch our upcoming opponents with regularity. Therefore, if I attempted to break-down each team; I would unfortunately sound like an ESPN Analyst trying to cover a team that they’ve only received a sheet of stats to go off of … horrendous. Right, Bronco fans? Instead, I will strictly focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the Broncos at this current state.

First, let’s briefly recap the first three games with a few pictures for summarization:

Ole Miss 35 – Boise State 13

 

boise-state-blasted-by-ole-miss

Well…shit…maybe a photo recap isn’t a good idea after all. This picture is depressing.

Boise State 37 – Colorado State 24

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 10.57.24 AM          (photo credit-Tami)

Don’t cry little Ram, CELEBRATE! After all, you did beat a cross-town rival and PAC 12 school. 

Boise State 38 – UConn 21

photo (1)

Too many great things in one picture, but an individual in particular stands out.

Redshirt- ‘uhhhh … wtf is going on here …?’

 

Three Reasons a One Loss Season is Possible

 1. Jay Ajayi

The most obvious reason of my 3 …

Jay Ajayi is undoubtedly the best pro-prospect on the Broncos. Although ‘best pro-prospect’ doesn’t always mean the best player on the team or biggest contributor; in this case, he’s all the above. We all know Jay’s story: chose football over fùtbol, nearly got kicked off the Broncos, tore his ACL; then bounced back in stellar fashion and has improved by leaps & bounds each year since. Jay’s most gaudy trait is his ability to maintain balance while dodging defenders and running through others. Anyone who has had the privilege to watch Jay when he is feeling it; will know what I mean when I say … he is special. Jay’s favorite move is his video-game-esq spin-move. He will use it consistently throughout a game to shed off wimpy tacklers as they approach from all angles. Jay has also relied on a special habit of his, and that is to quickly break his runs outside; he is very good at changing directions for his size and has an uncanny ability to turn what would be a short gain into a rather explosive one. Here, he encompasses both of the prior mentioned skills masterfully. To say he is an All-American talent and would be a Heisman candidate if playing for a “Major Conference” school—is an understatement.

The only fear with Jay despite the occasional fumble, is his exceeding workload. In 3 games he has had 71 carries and 18 receptions; very few if any other players in the NCAA have had more total touches. Scary. But for now, we’re all aboard—riding the Jay-train to victory.

2. Front 7

It’s been astonishing how impressive the Broncos front seven has been despite their youth and inexperience. Even further astonishing; it’s not just seven guys. Anyone who has rotated onto the field, seems to have made an impact at some point. Following Demarcus Lawrence’s departure for the draft, I was unsure if anyone could fill the massive void he left in the Bronco’s pass rush. I was somewhat correct in my assumption that not ONE particular guy could fill that void, but now it is more so a collective unit of interchangeable pieces that are all capable. It allows the players to stay fresh and provide a spark once they step back on the field. Highly successful. The Broncos defensive stats reflect that notion: Boise State currently rank 2nd in nation in rushing defense YPG (Yards per Game), 3rd in tackles for a loss, and 7th in sacks. Not bad. And mind you, nearly all the front 7 starters will be back next year (!!!).

Clearly, the Broncos have not only been phenomenal in getting to the quarterback, but, possibly even more stout in stopping the run. What is the direct factor? Getting to the QB/RB early is crucial but, if unable to wrap up; tackle, and finish the play—the pressure is useless. I contribute a lot of the Broncos front seven success to tackling. And I mean a lot. Whether it be new D-line Coach – Steve Caldwell or new Defensive Coordinator – Marcel Yates … the Broncos have shown a noticeable difference in their ability to tackle consistently compared to 2013.

The continued success of the front seven will a play a major role in completing a possible perfect finish. If the Broncos continue to tackle consistently we may be looking at an top-notch defense.

3. The 3 C’s

Complexity – Confusion – Cohesion

An added element to the Broncos this year is actually a staple of the past—complexity. Before Bryan Harsin roamed the sidelines as Boise State Head Coach, he was at one point the offensive mastermind during the Kellen Moore era. He spent 4 years as Boise State’s Offensive Coordinator throwing together wacky formations, unusual pre-snap motions/shifts, and trick-plays. The Broncos and Harsin consistently made an effort to confuse the defense pre-snap and force them to show their hand; therefore, making the ensuing play more successful. During that time, as we all know, BSU put up prolific offensive numbers. Casually ranking in the top-10 or top-5 each year for points per game.

Three games in, the complexity level is not to the extent it used to be, but with that being said; I believe we have only seen a snippet of the playbook and its expected creativity. With time, practice, and game experience … the play calls shall diversify. As the offensive unit gains cohesiveness—trick-plays and player motions will become more and more prevalent. In turn making an already potent offense even more dangerous.

Look out for the 3 C’s.

Three Reasons a One Loss Season is Not Possible

1. Grant Hedrick

Uh oh… he didn’t put Grant Hedrick as the number 1 reason why a one loss is not possible, did he? He did.

Usually I dislike breaking down QB play because as fans, we only give two ratings … HIGH praise or reckless condemnation. The ideas of ‘average’ or ‘mediocre’ are all but forgotten. When was the last time you heard two sports fans bantering back & forth and one say to the other Oh yeah, well, your quarterback… he’s… umm.. AVERAGE! ‘HA! got him’ … never? Me neither. Quarterbacks are the face of every football team, even the bad ones.(Everyone say hello, Tony Romo…. Hello Tony…). They receive the glory win their team wins, but the most resentment when they lose. Why? Because football is a Quarterback driven sport, we love them, we hate them, WE WANT TO BE THEM. Removing team allegiance, if you wouldn’t want to be Tom Brady, you’re lying to yourself.

Grant Hedrick fits the mold for the debate I laid out above. Grant is average … or slightly below. Prior to seasons start, and in the BTN’s QB preview, I mentioned my doubts of #9. Here’s a short synopsis of what I noticed from Grant’s 2013 season: Indecisive and questionable reads, inconsistent accuracy, decent arm, and under use of good mobility. The first two have been very visible through three games—almost glowing. And I will only analyze the first 2; his arm strength is not really something he can change with ease nor is it a major problem, and to be honest I’ve liked the way he’s used his mobility thus far (except for his god awful half-hearted slides. Get down Grant, get down). Nevertheless… in the QB preview, I went as far as to label him a “game-manager”. Knowing what I know now, I take back that statement. That title is given to quarterbacks who won’t necessarily win you a game, but won’t lose you one either. Grant has yet to show me option number one … hold your breath … and a little longer…covers eyes… option # two may have (most likely – probably – yes – yes it did) occurred vs. Ole Miss. Heading into the 4th Quarter of the season opener, Boise State was only down 7-6. Then the flood gates eventually opened, leading to lopsided the final score. The 7-6 score was directly correlated to the Broncos stellar defensive play and how well they performed; before they just ran out of gas. Grant on the other hand threw 4 interceptions from a culmination of inaccurate throws and awful reads. Ole Miss is a very good defense, but if BSU is going to win big games like that, as we are accustomed to—4 picks will never get the job done.

I’ve come to realize analysis failure is common when evaluating College Football QB’s. Let us look at a fake example—QB-A’s stats: Completed 22-30 passes, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and 275 yards (single game). By all accounts that looks like a decent game; most would assume that QB must be good or at the least, very accurate. Nope. Why? The QB presented in the example happens to be product of a system (Giving a QB spoon-fed reads and throws). The system in place for QB-A was developed for quick underneath throws and short passes. Meaning QB-A had one or two reads, maybe, before throwing a pass and most of which were no longer than 5 to 10 yards. In fact, nearly half of the throws occurred at or behind the line of scrimmage; one touchdown was from a screen play and the other was from a check-down to the running-back. Thus, not requiring much difficulty; accuracy, or play reading ability.

In 5 starts and 13 total appearances in 2013, Grant’s stats were: completed 167-242 passes, 16 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and 1,825 yards. His 69% percent completion ranked 4th in the Nation— HIGHLY misleading as it was for QB-A in the given example. If you string out QB-A’s stats over 7 to 8 games, and compared them to Grant’s 2013 stats, they would be very similar. An important piece: The play style described for QB-A is nearly identical to what system Grant was operating under last year and somewhat this year.

My point is, yes, Grant’s statistics (77of 106 passes, 72% completion percentage, 5 TD’s, 5 INT’s, and 850 yards) haven’t been poor with the exception of the inflated interception #’s vs.  Ole Miss; however, I would say his plays has. If able to go back and watch any of the three games, you’ll notice Grant has missed a lot of throws and made many reads that force you to cringe. He tries to use his arm strength to fit throws into places with tight-windows and he is for the most part, incapable of doing so. In numerous instances—if Grant set his feet, make a quick decision, and got rid of it earlier; a completion, first down, or big-play might have occurred. These are errors that can be made against the Colorado State’s of D-1 Football, but not against the likes of an Ole Miss defense or a top-caliber team. Interceptions against a great team are a definite NO-CAN-DO. And truth be told, underneath throws and behind the line of scrimmage tosses will not score enough points to win against most, if not all strong defenses. They are too athletic and too physical. Deep shots that are open, but commonly missed—have to be completed, no other way around it. Grant MUST be able to stretch the field and connect on designed deep passes to allow Boise State’s offense to turn the corner to become elite.

The Broncos will go as far as Hedrick takes them.

2. Cornerback Depth

In the first three weeks, Boise State corner-backs have been dropping like flies. It started with the Broncos #1 corner – Cleshawn Page – and has trickled all the way down on the depth-chart to 2nd stringers. The Broncos top 3 cornerbacks: Page, Donte Deayon, and Bryan Douglas; have each, already missed time. The Boise State cornerbacks behind them are few and far between. Mercy Maston who would be the Broncos No. 4 cornerback if the others were healthy; has played and will continue to play significant time while the others try to heal up. Other than Maston, there is not much left. The depth is so bad that Bryan Harsin has mentioned other players from their respective positions stepping in to fill the void for the time being. No bueno.

The silver-lining in this, if any, is that new Defensive Coordinator – Marcel Yates – was previously the Broncos Defensive-Back Coach and is known for being a defensive-back guru. He is the respected creator of the heavily popular Boise State phrase “DBU” constituted due to the plethora of Bronco DB’s who have successfully made it to the NFL (Wilson, Scandrick, Johnson, Iloka, Taylor, etc.)

Yates is already showing his impact, proven by the Broncos 7 interceptions in three games. So whoever is on the field at corner will be learning from a highly touted and successful coach. With that being said, the Broncos would obviously be at their best with their top guys on the field, and will need the defensive dominance that they are capable of when healthy; to finish the year without another loss.

3. Lack of Playmakers

Currently the Broncos rely on 3 players to make the offense go. Jay Ajayi, Matt Miller, and Shane-Williams-Rhodes. That’s it. Those 3 have combined for 61 of the 78 Broncos total receptions, that’s nearly % 80 (!!!).  I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was that bad. Hedrick constantly looks for SWR (Shane Williams-Rhodes), Miller, or Ajayi. If they aren’t there—might as well call the play dead.

The emergence of tight-ends have been noticed, but they are still used very seldom in the passing game. Or at least thrown to. Tight-end – Jake Roh- has 8 receptions and is looking like a very athletic with good ball skills, I anticipate him getting a lot of targets during his tenure at BSU. The next highest player in regards of total receptions is Dallas Burroughs (receiver) with 3. Quite bewildering. The rushing attack is even less of a committee. The one man who bears the burden of carrying the load is of course, Jay Ajayi; as mentioned above he has 71 carries in three games. Behind him, running a close second in total carries is Devan Demas with …. 4 (!!!) Holy shit, maybe we’re trying to demolish Jay that way he can’t declare for the draft next year & has to return… GENUIS.

It is clear or it should be, that giving the ball to 3 guys repeatedly is not a recipe for success. I don’t think those astronomical #’s are what is intended, certainly Harsin and Sanford would love to get their best playmakers the ball, but when is too much? And how long before they begin to break-down? Especially Williams-Rhodes—5’6 & 158 lbs. It would be understandable if SWR, Miller, and Ajayi consumed 50-60 % of the passing offense, but not 80 %. Same applies for Ajayi on the ground – 75-80 % of the carries would make sense, but in ballpark of 95 % doesn’t. One could conclude this shows how inferior the Broncos other options are and also confirms the trust that Hedrick has with the 3 main guys.

I fear if the Broncos are not able to find a core group of “other guys” that can contribute offensively; they will become too predictable and easy to prepare for. To be straightforward, if the Broncos have aspirations of a one loss season, other Broncos need to step up AND Grant has to find them.

 

Prediction

It all comes down to Grant. Plain & simple. The two other reasons I listed for why a one loss season is not possible happen to be easily rectifiable and will progress with time. The Broncos defense (if healthy) is skilled enough to compete with any team the Broncos have left to face. Jay is Jay and will do Jay like things for the remainder of the year; that will have us fans ooohing and awwing till it’s all over. I’m positive this team will contend for a Mountain West title, which, is ultimately the goal every year. I’m just not so certain a one-loss season is on the horizon. Baring anything out of the ordinary, I’m going to predict the Broncos finish 9-3 in the regular season and triumphantly revenge a team that beat them earlier in the year by giving them a smack down in that Mountain West Championship Game. The Broncos will be the 2014 Mountain West Champs­.

Mission accomplished—I think?

Attack The Opponent: University of Louisiana – Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

The Ragin’ Cajuns have one of the most solid mascots in the NCAA. Unfortunately, their football team isn’t as awesome as Cayenne, the red pepper with the intense stare that serves as ULL’s unofficial mascot.
My anger comes from having these flappy useless bird arms.

AHH-YEE rhymes with intensity!

Why unofficial? Apparently the Ragin’ Cajuns started as yet another southern team named the Bulldogs. That lasted until 1963. Then apparently they still kept the bulldog around as a mascot until the early 80’s when they trotted out….a chicken. Now, it’s not like the Broncos are a super terrifying mascot, but at least we aimed for majestic wild horses instead of poultry.

fabcajun

The Cajuns are currently 1-2, with their only win coming against the Southern Jaguars which is a wonderful school that I had no idea existed until about 30 seconds ago. The Broncos and the Cajuns did have a common opponent this season in Ole Miss, but that didn’t end kindly for either school. ULL fell to Ole Miss last week 56-15. In week 1, Boise lost to the Rebels as well, 35-13.

There is no big cause to be concerned though. While it appears that Boise’s offense is bad in comparison just from the scores, the Boise offense that will show up this weekend on The Blue is a different animal than the performance put on at the Georgia Dome. Boise’s offense has more dimension now. ULL is going to have to do some serious UConn style work on defense to slow down Boise’s ground game, and seeing as our good friend Dr. Bo Wallace torched their pass D for 4 TD’s…well, as long as the Broncos bring their game, it should be a happy happy joy joy kind of night at Albertsons Stadium.

On the offensive side of the ball, ULL has either a very balanced or very sad attack, depending on your point of view. Their QB is Terrance Broadway, who has passed 516 yards this season and 4 TDs. Grant, on the other hand has 849 passing yards and 5 TD’s. Jay Ajayi has 344 rushing yards, which is only 49 yards shy of the rushing totals of the top two rushin’ Cajuns, Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris. Matt Miller has 90 more yards by himself than the Cajun’s top two receivers, Jamal Robinson and Gabe Fuselier. If the Broncos defense stays as sack/pick happy as they were last weekend, it’s going to be a very long day for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

I wonder if Albertsons bakery is going to provide refreshments?

 cupcake How you doin, Cupcake?

 While Boise and ULL have never played against each other before, they do now share a conference with our Vandal brethren to the north. Sorry, ULL, they really were raised in a barn, but only by their own wishes.

The Ragin’ Cajuns fans seem to be similar to any fan base who is 1-2 – gross overreactions by some, the temperate ones trying to talk everybody down, those who are angry…it’s all typical. They do, however, appear to be a fun-loving bunch with a good sense of humor, so maybe they’ll feel better about their chances in this game if we show them a good time tailgating. Boise State isn’t exactly LSU in the party department, but we understand the nuances of consuming breakfast burritos and Bloody Mary’s at 10 am. Besides, this guy looks like he’s pretty fun at a party.

youcandoitguy

ALLL MORNING LOOONG

There are a couple of things Boise should look out for. The first is fatigue. These guys have been back and forth across the country twice in 4 weeks, playing early two weekends in a row. At least the Broncos will finally be on their own time zone, but jet lag is a jerk that is out to ruin your day. If the Broncos don’t prep well, or are tired, this could turn into a trap. ULL does spread the ball around fairly effectively, statistically speaking. A slow start, failure to launch in the fourth quarter, further injuries, all of those things could lead to a game with more interest than we need or hope, with a Funbelt team in mid-September.

So, Saturday at noon, then. CBS SN. Homecoming weekend. The Broncos should get a nice win on one of the few warm weather weekends left of 2014. Hope to continue to see a more balanced attack, some gaudy yardage numbers wouldn’t be amiss either. The Ragin’ Cajuns are their own brand of misery right now, and their coming a long way to a loud, hostile place once the game begins. The Blue should be especially gorgeous this weekend, and while I hold no real animosity, I don’t think that Lafayette is the one that can spoil it.

Just want to say thanks to @keleka24 for covering me last week while I was indisposed. You’re #awesome!