5 Keys – 1 Prediction


1.) Keep Finding New Targets: No Matt Miller, no problem right? If Boise State can keep up the Nevada trend of getting everybody involved that might be the case. Matt Miller is an exceptional talent, that will be deeply missed. But if Boise State can spread the ball around then this could become addition by subtraction. Hedrick seemed to lock on to Matt early and often and the offense seemed to be built around 3 guys. Now with Miller gone it looks to be forcing BSU to become more diverse and in someways more dangerous. If BSU keeps up the new, more diverse offense, Boise State could give the Fresno defense fits all night long on “The Blue”.

2.) Jay Ajayi Keeps up Home Success: Jay Ajayi is a beast, but he is an absolute freak at home this season. So far in 2 games he has 369 yards and is averaging over 6 yards per carry. If Jay keeps this up, nobody will beat Boise State at home. If Jay even comes close to this kind of production against Fresno State, they should win the game. Fresno’s defense has struggled this season, and they haven given up a tons of yards per carry this season against solid opponents. Mix this with Jay Ajayi at home and Fresno State could be in for another embarrassing trip to Boise.
3:) Defend the Bubble-Screen: If you hated Robert Prince and the bubble-screen passes then you will really enjoy rooting against Fresno State. Just like last season Fresno is going to try and get the ball on the edge and win in space. One of the ways they do this is getting their best player Josh Harper the ball on bubble-screens and letting him work. For Boise State to win this game they will need to continue their success defending and often times blowing this play up. Cleshawn Page against Ole Miss and before he got injured showed he can be a monster on this particular play. If he can show that again against Fresno it could lead to some big hits and turnovers. More importantly if Boise State as a whole can defend this play, they will win the game.

4.) Remember Last Season: No sport is more emotional in my opinion than football. Boise State does not like Fresno, Fresno does not like Boise State. Add to that mix a little revenge and then sprinkle in some blue turf and Boise State has a recipe for a beat down. Many of the guys on this team now know what it felt like last season to lose to Fresno on national TV. They need to use this emotion and payback factor to teach Fresno who owns this rivalry.

5.) No Big Plays: When you look Fresno the biggest stat that stands out to me is their lack of big-plays. Specifically when you look at their first 3 beat downs they were averaging around 4.5 yards per PASS.  Once again, Jay Ajayi at home this year is averaging more per carry than Fresno was in some of their games in the passing game. With this, Boise State can’t allow Fresno to get any confidence with any big plays down the field. If they can keep Fresno in front of them all game long, I fully expect Fresno to struggle to score points.

1 Prediction: My prediction for this game is that a new star will rise for Boise State. Who that is, I am not sure. Right now though,  I would put my money on McNichols if he gets the chances. Few players have looked as good as McNichols did in his first game against Nevada. If he gets touches against Fresno I expect that trend to continue. If it is not him however, somebody else will step up big not named Rhodes or Ajayi.











5 Stages of Grief – The Process After Air Force



A lot of fans might find themselves still in this stage, after all maybe today is Saturday? Maybe, the NCAA reviewed it and found something wrong and they need to replay the game? I mean, we couldn’t actually lose to a team like Air Force right? This is Boise State, this is the marquee “non-power 5″ team in the country. Nope, no way Boise State lost that game, I will just avoid the news and move on to next Saturday as if we won.

Unfortunately the reality of the situation is we lost, we lost badly. However, no matter how much I tell you this, it will be up to you the fan, to take the next step.



I saw a lot of this step last night, I personally hit it around the end of the 1st quarter. “No f’n way, Hedrick is going to do this again!”. “How hard is it to hang on to the BALL!”. “Hey Harsin, your boy is embarrassing you!”. And much like the .gif above, “No, NO, NO!!!”. That one probably took place after the 2nd or 3rd turnover, at this point it is hard to recall. However I do know Hedrick was the target of most my anger and if we enter the game against Reno with the same QB…. Well, I just can’t really think about that without throwing something right now.



If we just would have put in Finley sooner… Or maybe if we didn’t have so many injuries, then of course we win. None of this would have happened if we just would have (insert a bargaining chip here). Remember, it is only natural to think there is something Boise State could have done to prevent this. However, sometimes the world just doesn’t align the way we planned.



“Will Boise State ever be great again?” “Now I know what if feels like to be a Vandal all the time.” These are pretty normal reactions & feelings to such a devastating defeat. Just remember, there is always another game, another season, and the future to look forward to. Until then however, we all understand if you need to spend some time with your best friend Jack Daniels for awhile.



This is the step I am in at this point, I have come to accept it. After all, we or at least I expected some challenges this season. Was that challenge a lose to Air Force, no, not even close to that. But with a new staff come new challenges, new systems, and a new future. Boise State has a long climb back to the top but that doesn’t mean we can’t save this season. Making it to the Mountain West Championship certainly just got a lot harder. But the Mountain Division is not exactly full of deep, talented teams. If Boise State can find  a way to regroup vs Reno, anything is possible. The “access bowl” is gone, and playoffs were never really an option to begin with. So Bronco fans hopefully can rally with this team and find optimism in the little things. The future is still there to be attacked, let’s get together and support a team who obviously could use it.

Go Broncos, and remember….


BTN Predictions Week – 5: At Air Force

Heath - I have sat here on my computer every week feeling comfortable about the game. Even against Ole Miss, I was comfortable knowing any outcome was possible. Before Air Force, I sit here with a feeling of confusion. This week has gone by and fans and media have basically enjoyed a nice vacation. Air Force just does not evoke emotion and predictions like other games. For me, I think this game will be a blowout, I am going 42-13. My better judgement says the score should be closer, like 33-21. But I am going to keep predicting we score over 40 points until it happens. This team has what it takes to be an offensive juggernaut, question just remains can they reach that potential?

Noel - It’s that time again.  You know, when the Broncos face the dreaded triple-option of Air Force.  It’s one of the games that I have a love/hate relationship with. It’s tough to prep for with only one week and it could be a trap game no matter what our record is. I was at the Air Force game last year and it was frustrating to watch.  That could have been a mix of the offensive funk the team seemed to be in and the complexity of defending the option though.  I am not as worried this year.  I feel like we have a decent linebacker corps this year and that makes a big difference.  Jay goes for 150, Grant throws for 250, and Demas gets close to 100 too.  Broncos win, 41-21.

Tami – Playing Air Force is nerve-wracking normally, let alone at a place BSU has never played before. The weather forecasts look clear and warm, the Broncos are probably as ready as they’re going to be for the option attack that is coming their way, and it feels like the offense is doing good things more consistently. AFA so far has played Wyoming as their only conference opponent, and managed to lose. Wyoming hasn’t put more than 20 points on anybody so far this season. I think Boise’s defense is going to shut down the Falcon RB with the most yards in the conference so far, and the Jay Train is going to show the flyboys exactly what shock and awe looks like. I think the Broncos beat both the Falcons and the spread (+13) this week, final score 38-14.

Derek – I am really not sure what to expect in this one. I am not too worried about our Defense stopping Air Force as It seems like Marcel Yates really wants to show what he can do against the triple-option.  The offense appears to be getting better every week and is getting close to putting it all together. There are two things that do concern me with this match-up:  playing in a new, unique environment, and the fact that going back to last year we rally have not performed well on the road.  I think our defense dominates again, but our offense takes a step a back on the road in a strange environment.  I am going Boise State 27-13

Gage From the simple fact that Air Force is very good at running the ball and BSU is equally good at stopping the run, there’s intrigue. If the Broncos defense can perform at a high level and continue to tackle sufficiently, I see us running away with it. I especially would expect a blow out if the Broncos are able to start fast. Air Force is not known for their prolific passing attack, therefore if the Broncos are able to manufacture quick points and put Air Force in early deficit the final score will be in the Broncos favor. Triple-option playbooks are tricky and highly deceptive though, so don’t be shocked if this is closer than some expect. Broncos 45 – Air Force 20

Boise State & Air Force After The Game (2013)

In a world where the negative seems to stand out, things like this often go unnoticed. In one of the better traditions in college athletics, Boise State joins with Air Force after the game in 2013 on “The Blue”. I was lucky enough to get this video as I was sitting next to the Air Force section last season.

Go Broncos! Respect Air Force.


Embrace The Past – Zabransky vs Hedrick

Z vs HedrickMiddle of the week of the Air Force game, I figure why not have some fun? After all, I have seen some comparisons of Grant Hedrick to Jared Zabransky, so the timing feels right. The question is ultimately for the fans and readers of Blue Turf Nation. Who would you rather have at QB? Would you take Jared Zabrasnky? or Grant Hedrick?

To help you choose, here are some quick stats and rundowns.

Jared Zabransky (click for entire stat line)

Big Wins: Oklahoma, Oregon State x 2, Utah, & BYU.

Big Loses: Georgia, Boston College, Louisville.

Career Highlights: 85 yard TD run vs Hawaii, went 19-29 for 269 yards & 3 TD’s vs Oklahoma in the greatest game ever played, including the throw on the hook & lateral/ladder.

Career lowlights: See 2005, specifically the game vs Georgia (4 int’s, 2 fumbles).

Grant Hedrick (click for entire stat line)

Big Wins: Colorado State & Nevada.

Big Loses: BYU, Oregon State, Ole Miss.

Career Highlights: Filling in for Joe Southwick against Fresno Hedrick steps in and throws a beautiful TD. Perfect, 57 yard TD pass to Matt Miller against Louisiana-Lafayette. 5 TD performance vs Colorado State in 2013.

Career Lowlights: 5 touchdowns to 7 interceptions against BYU, Ole Miss, San Diego State, and Oregon State. with 4 of those interceptions coming against Ole Miss.

So Bronco Nation, as of right now, who do you take? Who would you build your team around? Jared Zabransky, or Grant Hedrick?

Bleed Blue, Embrace the Past, Attack the Future.