3 Things & a Question (Post Game)

3 Things

1.) Grant Hedrick might have an issue when it comes to playing upper level talent.

HDStat123

Courtesy of espn.com

You can decipher this information anyway you would like. For me, the biggest concern is not even the turnovers (and that is a concern). The concern for me is the inability to get the ball in the endzone. When playing top-level teams, especially in the offense driven world we live in now, the QB must get the ball in the endzone period. Grant has played against 4 top-level teams and he has scored 5 total touchdowns through the air. That is not going to cut it period.

2.) Jay Ajayi is the real deal.

JayAjayi

Courtesy of espn.com

Jay did everything in his power to keep Boise State in this game. He ran the ball very well, and he led the team in receptions. Many took to Twitter last night to look for the positive in the game. Jay Ajayi was the most positive thing you can take away. He never quit, he never stopped playing at 100%. Jay Ajayi is going to destroy the Mountain West Conference if he keeps up that attitude. Touching the ball 32 times in a game worries me a little bit, but if anybody is built for that, it is Jay Ajayi.

3.) The defense is going to be very good

OleMiss

courtesy of espn.com

All you have to do is look at those numbers and you understand what I am saying. Despite the team getting beat late in the 4th. The defense showed up and kept Boise State in this game. They did their best to match turnover-4-turnover, and dominated the run game. Marcel Yates style was very clear – they go hard, and they are very aggressive. The ball-hawking mentality of the secondary and linebackers was a sight to be seen. Not to mention the huge upgrade in tackling we saw in this game compared to every game last season. If I walked away from anything else last night positively it was that we have a defense that resembles the “glory days”.

1 Question?

yes-wait-wtfIf you were like me last night you started on a big high. “Yes we are back!” you saw the shifts, the motions, the trick-plays, and you felt like we are here to stay. Then, time went on and you walked away going…”What just happened?” So much of last night was confusing, are we that bad? Or are we actually better? Was the game really what the score said? Why didn’t Finley play during cleanup duty? The biggest question for me though remains what are we on offense? We started looking like the traditional shifts & motions offense, and we ended looking like the Robert Prince offense. So what are we going to be? I asked Ian Johnson last night on Twitter about he felt about the offense and seemed encouraged.

But even with Ian Johnson giving it a positive outlook, I am still just not sure. I still cringe when I watch us fall into a rhythm of bubble screens and read-option plays. However, maybe that is what we are? Maybe we are just a mixture of everything. It does keep Boise State hard to prepare for and it makes the team more dynamic in theory. I guess only time will tell, but for now, we still walk away questioning what are we really?

 

5 Keys & 1 Prediction: Boise State vs. Ole Miss

Logo_zps624b2167The season is here, and so are “5 Keys”. Except this season I am adding a little more to the fun. This year I will be giving the 5 keys to the game as well as 1 prediction I will make each week.

5 Keys to the game Boise State vs Ole Miss

1.) If you have been reading any of the preseason publications then one name is repeated when Boise State is talked about. That name is Jay Ajayi, and for all the right reasons. Jay is perhaps the most physically gifted RB to have ever played for Boise State. He has the size and speed of an “SEC” tailback. And that size and speed will be needed against Ole Miss. With Jay, I fully expect Boise State to get back to the “run the ball first” mentality.  Now Jay Ajayi doesn’t have to go all Ian Johnson vs Oregon State on Ole Miss for us to win (though that would be great). He does though need to keep the defense honest. 20+ carries for 80 yards and a touchdown would be a great start to the season. If Jay can have a steady game like that Boise State should be able to compete from start to finish.

2.) Grant Hedrick has to be more than just a serviceable QB. Last season Grant had solid numbers and managed the game. This year, he has to take a major step and be a play maker. Grant has the athleticism and the talent to be a star his senior year. His first step to doing that would be getting a huge win against Ole Miss. For this to happen, Grant has to make plays on 3rd down passing situations. It is easy to make the check down pass and punt. But as we have seen in the past, it takes a QB who can make the throw down the field in those situations to win the early tests to start the season. If Grant can start this season off converting on 3rd down, Boise State will win this game.

3.) Can we start fast might be the most important key/question of them all. I feel like this game, if nothing else gives us a strong advantage to start fast. We know Ole Miss has no idea what we are bringing to the table. Because of this we should have the opportunity to score some points and build momentum in our favor early. If this happens, I fully expect Ole Miss to fight back into the game. But putting the Rebels up against the wall early could go a long way for the Broncos on their way to a win.

4.) Boise State has to get pressure on the QB. If this does not happen, I can’t stress enough how ugly this game could get. I believe Yates will bring pressure with blitzes, specifically, I expect to see some corner-blitzes. But the pressure that is more important here is coming from the defensive line. With Demarcus Lawrence gone to the NFL the question is going to be who is our new premier pass-rusher? The first game of the season would not be a bad time for somebody to step into that role. If Boise State can get pressure on Wallace, it will go a long way in helping our secondary deal with threats like Laquon Treadwell.

5.) Here I am going with the X-factor, SWR, Shane Williams-Rhodes. Nobody on Boise State, or perhaps college football has a skill-set quite like SWR. Yes he is small, but he is also impossible to prepare for. The best part about this prediction, is Bryan Harsin loves to have unique weapons like Rhodes. I imagine we will see Rhodes in some fly-sweep situations, some slot-routes, and maybe even some old school Vinny Peretta like run/pass option stuff. Rhodes might not make or break this game, but he has to play a vital role for the Broncos to win. I said it last year plenty, Rhodes wasn’t used to his full skill-set. This year with Harsin back in town, I have no doubt Rhodes will be put into positions to make plays.

1 Prediction

If you follow me on Twitter you might have already seen me call my shot on this. But my prediction is on what we can expect to see from our offense. Now, I could be completely wrong on this, and I admit it is 100% a somewhat educated guess. But based on what we have heard, and seen in bits and pieces. I am starting to think the offense we see vs Ole Miss resembles what we saw against Georgia in 2011, a lot. We will see shifts, and motions, pistol reads, and power formations. However, we will also see a hybrid no-huddle/huddle offense. When the momentum is on our side, I can see us rushing to the line and calling plays. When the game needs to be slowed down and talked about, I can see us huddling. Staying unpredictable and dictating the way the game is played seems to fit this staff well.

Getting Behind BTN Hall-of-Famer Scott Jorgensen

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Scott Jorgensen is a lot of things, a 3x Pac-10 wrestling champion, former #1 contender, BTN Hall-of-Fame inductee, and undoubtedly one of the most exciting fighters in MMA history. However, tomorrow night this former Boise State star could very well be fighting for his future in the premier MMA organization in the world, the UFC. Jorgensen is coming off back-to-back loses and loses in 4 of his last 5 bouts. And though many including myself would point to the fact that 3 of those 4 loses have come against guys who are either champion, former champion, or #1 contender’s, the UFC tends to have little sympathy or care about such things. The UFC is a cut-throat business where a losing streak often means walking papers.

There is no doubt Scott Jorgensen is aware of this fact. Overall, I am pretty sure he is probably tired of addressing these questions all together. My purpose in writing this article in fact is not even to rehash these issues over and over again. My point in writing this was to make Bronco Nation aware that one of our own is going into battle tomorrow and they should tune in. The fight itself will be on Fox Sports 1 between 3 and 5pm. But even if you can’t catch the fight don’t hesitate to send Jorgensen some well wishes on Twitter (@ScottJorgensen). Jorgensen is one of our own, he wrestled at Boise State, and still trains here today. He has opened a gym in Boise, and has spent a lot of time giving back to the community. It is time for Boise to support one of our own.

Good luck Scott, the Blue Turf Nation has your back!