1.) WAKE UP!
I am not kidding when I say my biggest concern is the team sleeping through the 1st half. (See us vs San Jose back in the day) The first 2 games of the season have carried a lot of emotion, big game vs an SEC opponent, and the home-opener. Now Boise State walks into a sleepy game in the east. Everything about this game screams blowout by the time it enters the 4th quarter. However, Boise State has to come out and find a way to get the blood pumping early and take the momentum. If not the game could be close longer than many hope. For UConn this game takes place at lunch-time, for Boise State, it takes place during breakfast. The Broncos can’t let the Huskies get a jump on them and build some confidence.
2.) Jay “Blue Beast” Ajayi
Yeah I am riding the “blue beast” nickname, why? Because I still haven’t heard a better one. That being said, I feel like this is probably going to be a key for the rest of the season and I could just copy and paste whatever I have written in previous weeks. Jay Ajayi is a machine and when it comes to facing inferior competition Jay will have massive games. I am hoping for a short day for Ajayi, but even if it is only 3 quarters I expect big numbers. As long as Boise State is handing the ball to Jay, the Broncos are in good hands and will be competitive.
3.) Get out Healthy
Boise State can’t under any circumstance afford more injuries in the secondary. Reports from B.J. Rains seem to indicate Donte Deayon will play. That is good, but BSU can’t have any more injuries in this game. With Bryan Douglass doubtful, Maston out, and Page out. Boise State will need people to step up even against a backup QB in an anemic offense. The secondary will need to communicate well in this game, if not the play-action could catch them a couple of times down the field. UConn does have a very talented and dangerous WR in Geremy Davis. And from their (UConn) perspective it would look like everything is lining up for him to have a potentially MAJOR day. Boise State must find a way to stop him regardless of depth.
4.) Grant Hedrick Needs to Keep it Up
We saw a lot of growth from Grant vs CSU. No matter how you feel about Hedrick you have to admit he is at the least tough as nails. Hedrick’s ability to run was at times very impressive against CSU and fans can hope for that to continue minus the big hits. UConn presents an opportunity for Hedrick to continue to improve on his game. I fully expect Grant to have a big game, with both his arm and legs. If he does, Boise State will roll like expected. However, nothing keeps a team in a game like turnovers. Grant can’t forget that.
5.) Find Depth
This is a cocky, assuming key, that doesn’t really apply to this game. But it is important to the season and this game provides the perfect opportunity for it. Boise State should roll in this game, which means a chance for backups to play. If this does happen Boise State needs to start to identify some depth for the rest of the season. We are still looking for another legit threat on offense. I stand by, and will maintain, that 3 main play-makers will not win us conference championship. Hopefully in the 4th quarter of this game Boise State will get a chance to find the “next guy up” if needed.
Last week I get an A- only because I didn’t take it far enough. Yes I was dead on saying CSU would not rush for 155 yards on us. But even that prediction was high so I get docked down. This week, I am going to our side of the ball and saying Boise State breaks 50 points on offense for the first time this season. My official prediction as seen here, states we score 52. I am sticking with that and hoping I am conservative again. A huge statement win here even against the Huskies would be a great confidence boost moving forward.
The BTN staff does these predictions on a weekly basis purely for the fun of it. Who doesn’t like to make predictions? Everyone once in awhile, one of us gets a little lucky. Here’s hoping that this week we nail the score again, because with UConn starting QB Casey Cochran retiring from football this week, I get the feeling we’ll see some lopsided predictions. Feel free to post your prediction in the comments section, in reply to our Twitter account, whatever floats your boat.
As I alluded to above, I predicted last week’s score perfectly. The week before that, I missed the Ole Miss score by only 3 points. I’m starting to get good at this. I’m going to test my new-found predicting abilities and possibly abuse the privilege a little. UConn….is terrible. The box score for the UConn-Stony Brook game is nothing short of ghastly. 223 total yards AT HOME, vs. a team (the Stony Brook SeaWolves…there are no Wolves in the sea) that lost to something called the Bryant Bulldogs at home the previous week. I can’t make these things up. The Broncos are hurting quite a bit at corner with injuries, and traveling to the East Coast is never easy, but I’d be shocked if this game is close. I predict the defense to have a big day, possibly to even score a Touchdown themselves. I have a gut feeling this might be too conservative a prediction, but give me 34-13 Boise State in Harsin’s first true road game. But beware of a possible #BEATEMDOWN.
I feel like our biggest opponent in this game is the time it is played. We have a weird history of flopping, yet still winning in early morning games. That being said I don’t worry about energy with this group even at 10am “our” time. So I am going to say this gets ugly quickly, and by the end it is too far out of reach for UConn for the 4th quarter to even matter. (At least we hope so right?) I am gonna go out on a limb and say we have an epic offensive game and we hit the 50’s in this one. So with that I am gonna go Broncos win 52-21 with the 2nd string guys playing majority of the 4th quarter.
I’m not excited about having to wake up pre-9 AM on a Saturday (Remember, I live in Oregon) but if I have to wake up, I hope it’s to a deconstruction of a All-American Conference bottom feeder. I don’t believe this is going to be close at all. I’ll agree with Heath and say that we may start out slow on our first drive or two due to the early start time but early doses of Jay will wake the rest of the boys up. I believe we go over 500 yards of total offense for the second week in a row and the Broncos roll, and maybe give up an extra TD in the 4th quarter, 45-21.
This game starts around breakfast time here in Boise, and it will be over before the morning drinkers can pour their second Bloody Mary. As Jay Tust mentioned on Twitter, Jay Ajayi had more yards rushing in three quarters against CSU last Saturday than UConn has had THE ENTIRE SEASON. I keep hearing that the Huskies defense will be a formidable foe, however they lost they yardage battle to the Seawolves (again, what is a Seawolfe?) so I don’t see them stopping the four headed monster of Hedrick-Ajayi-Miller-SWR. On the defensive side our secondary is banged up, but it will not matter. Our front seven has been destroying the competition so far this year – including an SEC team in Ole Miss – and this game will be no different. The ball may never make it to our secondary with us stopping the run and hitting quarterback Chandler Whitmer before he can hit leading receiver Geremy Davis. Boise State puts together four quarters for the first time this season, but will only need two to finish the Huskies. Boise State 59, UConn 9
I’m not going to waste any time with this one – UConn is BAD. I expect a highly lopsided affair; one where the Broncos are flying on all cylinders early and sustain their dominance throughout the whole 60 minutes. Last week vs. Colorado State I believe we got a glimpse of the show. This week I expect to see the whole package. I only ask of two things …. Can we please keep Jay Ajayi alive in the process and not lose another corner-back …. This one should be over by halftime, and if not, by third quarter’s end. Prepare for some scouting analysis folks, I am anticipating a small dose of Ryan Finley live-game action. Yep. And that calls for a… Hell Yeah! Boise State 45 UConn 17
Usually, I like to add TWatD on the morning of the game. I realized that I would have to get up a bit too early on a Saturday to do that so I’m gonna give you what you want today. Please keep all the praise and pats on the back until after you read it though. And remember, I usually start the next column right away so some things may overlap. It’s okay though. There’s no such thing as TOO MUCH Broncos. There is such thing as too much of this:
That was done on purpose. UConn put it out as “Get Noisy for Boise”. Oddly enough, I couldn’t find one with sound. Anyways, have a great week! Here we go.
Gameday – It’s a Blue Out tonight. I know there’s always someone who doesn’t get the memo but hopefully it translates to TV….With over 50k at Autzen, this town should be empty by about 1/3. And, as Mrs. Diggity reminded me, the rest should be panhandling or at WalMart….The new season of The Ultimate Fighter is a competition of 16 women & uses the “Love At First Fight” tag line. I wonder what would happen if that were used for a men’s competition? If they’re gonna fight, don’t minimize it with that kind of stuff, Fox….So, College Gameday is going to Fargo, North Dakota again. Boise State had two undefeated seasons and two Fiesta Bowl wins and could only shake one visit out of ESPN. How much money has BSU made for that company?….Alrighty, that’s a win folks. I can’t imagine that Jay Ajayi will be able to handle this kind of workload for the rest of the season. Or maybe he will. But maybe there’s something that we don’t know about Demas & Fields and that scares me big time….To the attendance/bad fan theorists, 34,910 for the home opener coming off a loss & a “bad” season isn’t horrible. I don’t think we’re at the Nebraska/LSU consecutive sellout streak level but have you ever been to Lincoln or Baton Rouge? Ok, I’ve been to Red Stick. It’s not a bad town….I wasn’t too bad with my prediction this week. Grant performed better. The ball went to a few more players. Jay got way more touches than I predicted though. At least I was close on the score (I predicted 38-24)….We decided to watch “Utopia” on Fox. It may turn out to be one of those train wreck shows that we can’t stop watching. Like Fresno State football this year….
Since it’s on everyone’s mind, I’m not sure anyone expected such a grandiose Tony Romo implosion in the first half of Sundays game against the 49ers. He gave us the best non-playoff Romo-ing ever….I’m not surprised about the Ravens releasing Ray Rice after the “REAL” video. I’m horrified that he ever had a chance to play for them again. He has demons that a 2-game suspension couldn’t fix….I started a new job today (Monday). So what does that mean? No Monday Night Football for the next 5 weeks because my schedule is 1:30 PM – 10:00 PM for training. I do get horrible training videos and paperwork today though….I just realized that this week’s game against UConn starts at 9 AM for me. I will have had my Bronco fix by early afternoon. What will I do with the rest of my day?….One of my favorite new shows is “Food Fighters”. It pits a home cook against 5 successive professional chefs. I couldn’t do it. I don’t have 5 great dishes that I could go to….I was talking to a Oregon Ducks fan and he said he still didn’t know how the Broncos won in 2008 & 2009. I told him, “Two words. KELLEN MOORE.”. His response? “Kellen Moore is overrated.” I then ended all football discussions with him. He obviously wasn’t knowledgeable on the subject….I try not to be ultra-serious in this “column” but I’d be doing The BTN a disservice if I didn’t mention the passing of the 13th anniversary of the Attacks on September 11, 2001. I will never forget the feeling I had that day and I hope I don’t, or you don’t either, ever have to feel that again. Thank you to anyone that has ever, or continues to, put their lives on the line to make everyone else feel safe….The BYU/Houston game was tough to watch in my opinion. It seemed that the Provo-based Cougars had no motivation or desire to put the Houston-based Cougars away. We know they can be better than that. I suggest that they’re holding back on purpose. Seems like that would be against any “Honor Code” though. Sandbaggers!
So there it is. Another fun-filled ride through Mrs. Diggity & I’s mischievous minds while we’re waiting, watching, and waiting again for Bronco Football. Imagine the stuff I don’t write. For the song of the week, I wanted to make it “Canine-Related”. I hope you all wake up on time tomorrow. Happy Friday!
Former Boise State player and Blue Turf Nation contributor Jason Robinson has established a Kickstarter to help fund his clothing line Already The Leader, which focuses on producing high-end, everyday apparel built for the athletic body type. Check out this message from Jason, and click the link below the video to help out!