The Spring Game Has Sprung

For over 8 months, Bronco Nation weathered the harshness of an unprecedented frosty year that we hadn’t seen in almost a decade.  With matching opening losses to Washington and dual “Aloha means goodbye” bowl game losses in Hawaii, it seemed like we’d gone back to 2007.  That’s where the similarities end though.  We’d just finished our first, and until 2013, our worst year in the Coach Pete era.  This April brings a renewal.  The Bryan Harsin-Era brings a rebirth.  And, on April 12, 2014, me and 13,821 Bronco fanatics got our first look at it.

There is a buzz around the Boise State football program that is noticeably different that it’s been in recent years.  Coach Harsin has done that by being the opposite of what Coach Pete was (this isn’t an indictment on Coach Pete.  To each his own.).  He’s accessible and he makes sure that his staff is. He lets us in on the program in ways that we haven’t been used to.  Coach Harsin is an Idaho boy and most of us can identify with his mannerisms and the way he speaks his mind.  I only bring this up because the electricity around Bronco Stadium was palpable.  The last time I felt that personally was when College Game Day was on campus.  And it wasn’t just a grown up event. It was a family event. Bring Dad Bronco, Mom Bronco, Brother, Sister, & Baby Bronco down and get some sunshine and football in your Saturday. It was a perfect day weather-wise.

Inside Bronco Stadium, the crowd was amazing. The goal was to get 20,000 fans out.  It was a lofty goal and I was pretty sure by the way people were filing in that we’d get close.  Obviously, I was a little incorrect as to my estimation but I think that it the Nation showed good form.  In comparison, the University of Michigan only had just over 15,000 fans at their Spring Game in a stadium that holds 109,901. I say we shoot for a sellout streak that starts with our first home game and goes on in perpetuity.

As far as the Spring Game is concerned, I’ll give you the laymen’s analysis. I am in no way an expert in college football and I can only give you my opinion on what I saw. A good friend once said “I’m not a reporter, I’m a writer.” and I fully identify with that statement.  Also, I do realize that Coach Harsin and his staff have not fully installed their playbooks, we have plenty of people learning new schemes, and there are some players that didn’t participate for various reasons.  This is in no way representative of what this Bronco team is fully capable of.

What is better than starting a “game” off than a kickoff return for a touchdown?  Not really anything, I’m quite sure.  Ask Devin Hester.  Sure – it was the scout team that covering the kick and it didn’t seem full speed but the crowd seemed to enjoy Bryan Douglas taking it back for 100 yards. I know I did.  After that, special teams was pretty much an afterthought. No field goals were attempted.  The PATs were all made.  The punting was made interesting by the wind but the return game wasn’t really a focus.

The two teams were “Boise State” and “Broncos”.  Boise State was made up of the first team offense and defense and Broncos were the 2nd team.  Everyone else filled in.  In the beginning, it seemed like a huge mismatch.  The Boise State offense had the ball moving really well on the first drive with the big play coming on a 52 yard run by Shane Williams-Rhodes.  Jay Ajayi punched it in from one yard out two plays later.  That, and the kickoff return, was the only scoring of the first half.  The defense for Boise State dominated Broncos and Broncos settled in and held Boise State after the first drive (the names make it confusing, right?).  The second half was basically more of the same.  Defense dominated.   Boise State’s first drive ended with Dionza Blue picking off Grant Hedrick and Broncos were moving the ball with Tommy Stuart at the helm but a fumble stopped that drive.  The Broncos team did get their only score on a wheel route from Ryan Finley to Devan Demas for 82 yards while the Boise State team topped off their scoring on a 13 yard run by Shane Williams-Rhodes. We were treated to a bit of excitement with a final score of Boise State 21, Broncos 7.

So here are some observations/predictions:

-The offense still needs some work.

-Grant Hedrick is well ahead of Ryan Finley and Tommy Stuart.

-I think Finley will be #2 although Stuart looked more “on-point” to me yesterday.

-Jay Ajayi will get 75%-80% of the carries this year. Maybe more.

-Derrick Thomas will get more carries than Jack Fields and Devan Demas.

-Matt Miller will never have a regular game that resembles this Spring Game.

-Shane Williams-Rhodes will be utilized like no other Bronco ever.

-The future is bright on both offense and defense.

-Sometimes I state the most obvious things.

-Our defense will be better than expected.

-Statue Left will always-ALWAYS-be the greatest play ever called in history.

We, as fans of this great program, are lucky enough to be here for the rebirth.  We are in for something special I believe.  Does that translate into a perfect season in 2014? Most likely not.  Does it translate into great expectations?  Yes and that’s not a bad thing.  Judging on the way things went yesterday and the excitement of every fan that I know, the annual Blue and Orange Spring Game was everything that we hoped it would be.  Welcome back, football.  Welcome back, Bronco Nation.  Only 137 days until Ole Miss.

Next Gen Bronco Fans

Next Gen Bronco Fans

This Week at the Diggity’s – Episode 4 (I Have No Dog In The Fight Really)

It’s the week of the big game (Am I allowed to say Super Bowl? Umm…Ooops) and I’m sure most people have their pick. And I do too although I am not a real fan of either team. Mrs. Diggity is a lifelong Denver fan so it’s obvious who she’s going take. All I know is that she’s going to be at work and I’ll be watching sans company. That doesn’t bother me at all. I’ll be on Twitter with my other “family” so I won’t be lonely and I’m going to run to the store for some snacks. By the way – Denver, 28 – 17. Have a great week!

Why is it, that no matter what you do and how courteous you try to be, the rudest people are always at department stores (I won’t say which one). I get over because I want to give you space to get by yet you continue on a head-on collision path? Why, ma’am? Why?…No matter how hard they try the NFL Pro Bowl is the worst all-star game of the 4 major sports. The MLB game is for home field advantage in the World Series and the NBA & NHL games are fun for no defense. This game seems like a mockery of the sport….Usually this comes later in the column but the movie I DON’T want to see is “Endless Love”. The only reason I can give is that I’m a guy….The newest season of Survivor is brains versus brawn versus beauty. I can see the train wreck coming from here….I admit it. I watched the Grammys. I loved the Kendrick Lamar/Imagine Dragons performance as well as the opening performance by Beyoncé and Jay Z. I don’t know on which planet Macklemore is a better artist than Kendrick or Jay but, hey, I’m just opinionated. These guys were big though…

I watched “Oblivion” with Tom Cruise and I have two things to say about it: 1)Is his name Jack in every movie? and 2)This has to be his most confusing movie since “Vanilla Sky”. I mean, I figured it out but I don’t know if I really wanted to…According to Tami (@reflectivity), Pabst Blue Ribbon is the “Official” beer of the 2014 Inversion. That seems to be a perfect flavor profile for the biting cold and lack of sunlight….Papa Murphy’s is running a $10 special on their Cowboy pizza until Sunday. It’s the closest a “Cowboy” will be to the Super Bowl this year. Or any year in the near future from what I can see….I’m so scared to watch “Friday Night Tykes”. It has to be the masculine version of “Toddlers & Tiaras”, right? I can imagine me just shaking my head and/or becoming extremely frustrated how parents treat their kids….The American Idol moment of the week for me was a woman who claimed she was trained in opera. She sang “Barracuda” by Heart. It wasn’t pretty. I can only imagine she did opera for the deaf….McDonald’s has done it again. While showing amazing moments of Olympians achieving the pinnacle of their careers, they managed to blow the importance of the moment. The athletes – the prerequisite biting of the medals they’ve won. Mickey D’s – fades into people chomping on nuggets. Shameful….Great game by the Men’s Basketball team vs. Air Force. I guess you can call it a man crush but I can’t say enough about Ryan Watkins. And it was good to see Jeff Elorriaga get something going too….I’ll just say this, BYU – Idaho has produced the one of the oddest videos ever and that’s all I’m gonna say about that…. I hate when people say a player “deserves” a championship. No they don’t. They need to earn it no matter how long they’ve been in the league….I actually just got done reading “Dracula”. The original one by Bram Stoker. I think for a book written in 1894, it had a great flow to it. And yes, I can read….The Boise State Men’s Basketball team let one slip away against UNLV Saturday night. I know it’s easy to get frustrated with this team. All we can do is support them the best we can. They’re just kids to most of us. *jumps off of soapbox* On the other hand, the Women’s team is doing awesome. Sole possession of 2nd place in the Mountain West? Way to STOMP the UNLV Women….The Football coaching staff has been killing it on the recruiting trail. Bronco Nation has only 3 days til National Signing day and we finally get to see one of our most anticipated classes of all time. I’m geeked….All I have to say about the song of the week is that it’s supposed to get us pumped up for football and it seems to still be used at Taco Bell Arena (Would someone steal it, please?). ENJOY!

The Offseason Is Long And Full of Hashtags

Witnessing the fervor under which Bronco Nation is operating is both exhilarating and exhausting. Combing blogs, message boards, and social media – deepening an already strong culture in the process. It’s all great fun, until you realize you haven’t been away from your phone really for more than a few hours since the beginning of December. (Wait, is that just me?) It’s been a roller-coaster for the fans, just a Western Idaho Fair ride to the players and coach’s Stratosphere. Three Broncos are off to the combine. A regime change at what was arguably the steadiest job outside of Coach K’s at Duke. Recruiting…oh the recruiting. We’re “#ATF” as Coach Harsin would tweet, with that 4th and 1 urgency.

The concept is brilliant: The hometown hero returns, bringing a mixed cast of old and new friends to take over the program at his Alma mater. They come in respectfully and graciously, and proceed to not only work themselves ragged in true Boise fashion, but open up the fortress and let not only the recruits but the whole world see behind the glass curtain.

The fans are thrilled. The university decides not to raise ticket prices, betting that the direct communication and general awesomeness of what they have going in and the size of the dream will spur Bronco Nation into packing out the stadium game after game. (A much, much improved home schedule helps.)

There are just so many more questions than answers right now…and that’s okay. Will football truly year round for more of the fan base burn us out or make this place stronger? Can Coach Hars and his team ever possibly live up to the unsaid-but-palpable expectations that are skyrocketing with every social media post? Will the stadium be full, with a kick ass, rowdy student section? We can haz championships and multistar but still somehow shoulder chip equipped kids coming in?

There are only a select group of people who can imagine and produce that future, and they’re probably all working right this minute. Godspeed, fellas. Thank you for coming home and believing in the vision.

Some of the rest of us I might need to learn a little better Twitter/Life balance once spring hits, but right now I just want to talk to the internet fam and try to commit to memory this very amazing time. We’re on the cusp of something huge.

This Week At The Diggity’s – Episode 3 (The In-Between Week)

This week has brought a bit of excitement on the recruitment trail but, as we football fans know, this is the week in between the conference championships and the Super Bowl (Apparently, Heath is in Toms River, NJ according to his Twitter so he’s a cyber-correspondent). We also are starting to realize that until Spring Ball, we won’t get any football “action”. That being said, just remember that Letter of Intent Day is 10 days so we’ll be on the edge of our seats until then. Keep doing what you do, Steve. Have a great week!

steve

I’m a fan of Saturday Night Live and not much of a Drake fan. I wasn’t expecting much from his episode. I was pleasantly surprised. Mostly funny….Mrs. Diggity dvr’d the movie “Flowers in the Attic”. I wasn’t planning on watching it with her. I got interested for some reason. That movie was creepy. Just creepy….Congratulations to Southwest Airlines for making a new generation of people believe they know some Latin. Carpe Vacay? I bet I can help Tom Hanks with the Da Vinci Code now….To the people that bring the “D-Fence” signs to football games, go ahead stand by the people wearing the rainbow Afro wigs. You’re not needed any longer….It’s obvious that we’re all spoiled by high-definition TVs according to my Twitter timeline but damn it’s almost unbearable to watch sports without it. The fans at Century Link Field get to see it in HD. So should I!…Hey Denis Leary! What if I look over the fence of a work site and there’s not a Ford?…Oh boy, Mr. Sherman. You opened up a Pandora’s Box of reaction with your friendly review of Michael Crabtree’s receiving skills after the NFC Championship game. You’re either the best thing ever (according to you) or the biggest jerk ever (according to lots of other people). Erin Andrews is still hiding in the production truck….It’s the Broncos and the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII in a matchup of old AFC West rivals. Alas, no Steve Largent, Curt Warner, Karl Mecklenberg, or John Elway though. Too bad. I’m going with Denver just because Mrs. Diggity is a fan…I love Hollywood Game Night. I feel like I’d be awesome on that show. Give me Justin Timberlake, Michael Bublé, & Blake Shelton as teammates….So why is the Pro Bowl “draft” two days? Are you kidding me? The REAL draft takes 3 days and we care about those people. I’m growing less and less interested in this game as it draws closer….I made it to 6,999 tweets this week and I was going to make 7K awesome. But, what do I do? I mindlessly retweet something. Duh, Noel. DUH!…I’m not perfect. No one is. And, something that grinds my gears is Twitter righteousness. Don’t sit behind your laptop or your qwerty keyboard and tell me what’s right and wrong. I’m fixing me already. You go fix you. *hops off of soapbox*…Where in the heck is Slapout, Alabama?…The American Idol moment of the week is this pic….

WTF

My favorite reality show of all time is on again. You guessed it – King of the Nerds. I like it because I’m not near as nerdy any of the people. And I got to know what a “Japanophile” is (Japanophilia is an interest in, or love of, Japan and anything Japanese.)…Thank you sir or madam with the bright blue halogen headlights. I didn’t really need to see anything driving down Fairview. What are those good for? Do you need to see the future?…Dylan Smith got some TV time during the game for practicing how he gets the stools out during time outs. We do everything all out here in Bronco Nation…I am not sure where this basketball season would be without Ryan Watkins. No disrespect to any other team member but he is the guy that keeps this team together. Ryno was a beast in the Pit (a loss as we all know) and a beast again at home in the win vs. San José State. He’s someone you show your kids when you want to teach them what hard work looks like….Movie I don’t want to see this week – “Three Days to Kill”. Kevin Costner’s days as an action star are over. And don’t come at me with the old guys in “The Expendables”. Kevin wasn’t in that league….To honor all of our friends that do a bit of “investigating” when it comes to potential recruits, I present to you the song of the week -

See you next time!

This Week at the Diggity’s (Episode 2) – Love & Playoff Football

This Week at the Diggity’s continues with a second episode. I’ve decided to add a song that has caught my fancy.  It will be at the bottom. The song may be picked for any other reason but it reminded me of a moment or that it made me happy or that a friend brought it up. Both Mrs. Diggity and I love music. I stick more to the Hip Hop side of life and she’s a rock-n-roll lover.  You may get either or. Just be ready.  Enjoy and I’ll see you next week.

 

The Jack-in-the-Box where the assistant calls his watch a “clock bracelet” – epic. Although, I know way too many people that collect watches for that to be true. And I hope our youth isn’t that clueless…Cam Newton went all Mary Catherine Gallagher during the game against the 49ers apparently…

.photo 1 photo 2

Two days out of the year, Mrs. Diggity and I don’t get to be friends. Well, we’re a normal married couple but this is different. She’s a Denver Broncos fan and I’m a San Diego Chargers fan. We had the unprecedented 3rd game. Yay! I lost…I know this is about a week late but I wanted to mention it. The Insane Clown Posse is filing a lawsuit against the FBI for labeling their fans a gang. Yes. Two guys who are wearing clown makeup filed a lawsuit against a government law enforcement agency. Let that sink in…I finally broke down the Christmas tree. It’s the 13th. It was giving us some amazing mood lighting at night. Well, that’s a good excuse for me to be lazy….I find myself getting really excited about commits these days. The new staff has to take credit for that.  Thanks for allowing us that insight, Coach Harsin….I’m so proud of the Bronco Men’s Basketball team for getting a big win over Nevada in Reno. After two heartbreaking losses in a row, maybe a road win versus a hated rival will get them back on track…Something cool happened this week. I won a Twitter contest. I just retweeted something and I won a prize pack from Sour Punch Candies. Awesome, right? I love candy….Maybe I’m reading too much into the H & R Block commercials or I’m too sensitive about my intelligence but the way to get me to use your business isn’t by telling that I couldn’t possibly be smart enough to do my taxes completely correct on my own….The wife and I watch American Idol (don’t judge) and we were pretty excited that it started. Much to our surprise, the first male contestant of the season decided he’d twerk. That scares me….The movie I don’t want to see this week is “Devil’s Due”. I’m a big baby and I don’t like to be scared. I’ll admit it.  I do want to see “Ride Along” though. Although Ice Cube as a police officer seems kind of anti-N.W.A. to me…You can’t cover up the smell of whiskey with mints and you can’t cover up what you did in the bathroom with air freshener. All you get is minty whiskey breath and flower-scented crap bathroom….Don’t tweet recruits k? *Hops off the soapbox*….I’m really torn. I don’t know if it’s more lame that the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee is now a rapper or that Nelly is giving him advice on how to be cool….

honeybee

If you’ve never seen the show “Mystery Diners” on the Food Network, you should check it out. It’s amazing how horrible some restaurant employees can be to people. It’s funny but not really….I like that the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is named after a sports sticker company (Panini). But it reminds me of a sandwich with grill lines on it. Congrats on Matt Paradis and Ricky Tjong-a-Tjoe being invited. You too, Charles Leno, Jr., for getting the invite to the East/West Shrine Game….Great win over Utah State at home as well this week. The boys gave back a double-digit lead but managed to pull it out in the end. Props to Derrick Marks and the Pok-e-Beast, Ryan Watkins, for ballin’ out (I’m hip, right?)….Ready for a song? This week, it’s “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Why? Because I’m happy. And it’s catchy.

Ask Us Anything!

We know you have questions that need answers.  We are here for you.  Whether it be questions about Boise State football, basketball, or gymnastics, we think we know the answers.  If we don’t?  We will find out.  Or make one up.  Need to know how to get your kids to clean their room? How to brew a good IPA?  Just need some advice?  We can help!  Ask us anything!  Email your questions to blueturfnation@hotmail.com or ask us on twitter @TheBTN and use #AskUsAnything.  Each week we will put together some of the best (or most interesting) questions and post them at blueturfnation.com.

Fire away!

 

This Week at the Diggity’s – Same Ol’ Fun, Different Network

If you were wondering what in Atlanta, Idaho is going on here, let me fill you in. I live a life that revolves around my wife, Mrs. Diggity, the three kids, Boise State sports, other sports, and an odd view on what I see around me. In an obvious ripoff of Larry King’s column, I like to hit things in fast, short bits so I don’t lose your attention. I’ll infuse some pop culture, Broncos talk, opinion, and, hopefully, some humor. Every new article is a new “Episode”. Enjoy!

meandmrs

Have you ever seen a bunch of grown men (and women) get so excited about another group of men? If it were anything else than a new coaching staff, I’d be worried about us. Welcome Coach Harsin and gang…Mrs Diggity is just a little ditzy sometimes. She just figured out what ATF meant. Yeah, just now. Always The Female!…Hey KBOI! Coach Pete left for Washington quite a bit ago. I think it’s time for you to pull him out of your news advertising. And what is a 2 degree guarantee? Do I get my weather back if you’re wrong?…I don’t want to be the guy that has to travel the coldest parts of the world just to deliver Coors Light. I mean, Coors Light? Not even Bud Light Platinum?…I now have a Twitter dilemma. I don’t usually “Favorite” tweets. If I like something, I retweet it. There was also a thing going around that if you hit that star, you’re flirting. I guess that works if you’re in middle school…I’ll tell you why submarines use rolled steel, GMC. It’s strong and light. A sub that sinks to the bottom of the ocean is pretty useless…”Thank you, Pizza Hut, for trying to make Ace of Base a little bit relevant again.” said No One. EVER!…Movie that I don’t want to see – “I, Frankenstein”. I can’t even get an inkling of the story from the commercials. That means it’s bad. I do want to see “The Lego Movie”. Ryan Watkins tweeted that he did too. I say we all meet up and go check it out…ESPN has run out of 30 for 30 material. Oh. Hey. Tanya Harding. I didn’t see you there. What’s that lead pipe for?…I really don’t mind that Mazda compares its made up SkyActiv system to almost every cool thing ever…I am very late to the party but I like Community. I just watched a full episode for the first time…Maybe I’m not cool but I’m not concerned whether my tissue has a stylish box. I don’t need it to match anything I have. Just keep my nose clean please….One disappointing thing about having a job that starts at 5:30 AM is that I miss later Bronco Men’s Basketball games (Hawaii & SDSU). Maybe if I would have tweeted one more positive thing, Marks would have made that shot….I suppose it’s a big deal that Notre Dame is changing from Adidas to Under Armour. Maybe we can see some horrible uniform combos from them now. I really don’t care what company pays for the clothes they lose in…I wish boxing was as popular as it used to be. I think one or two BIG fights a year is like a defibrillator. It shocks the sport back to life. It’s killed itself though. And the UFC will watch it die…I’ve used the acronym ATF in multiple ways as a hashtag on Twitter this week – #AttackTheFridge, #AttackTheFries, #AdvanceThisFriday, and, of course, #AttackTheFuture…From the Boise State history files – LaGarrette Blount has 4 touchdowns for the Patriots today. Three of them were short runs. No word on whether he PUNCHED them in or not…I heard this today “I’m favoriting my own stuff (different word) because it was awesome.” So now you know what I have to live with every day. Also heard this gem – “This is the 5th most awesome thing that’s ever happened in my life. My kids (3 of them), being married to you, and Scott Stapp favoriting my tweet.” So I guess the ex-lead singer of Creed is flirting with my wife now.

Boise State flips A&M commit, lands Dylan Sumner-Gardner

Photo courtesy @_KingDSG

Wow.  Attack the future is right.

Bryan Harsin and staff showed that they mean business when it comes to recruiting when four-star safety and Texas A&M commit Dylan Sumner-Gardner tweeted today he was following Marcel Yates to Boise:

 

This is a huge get for a fan-base that was yearning for some great recruiting news after losing what seemed like every commit they had received under Chris Petersen.  It also goes to show that all the hype about the new coaching staff being great recruiters was true.  To be able to get a S.E.C. caliber player to flip to Boise State is nothing short of miraculous.

Sumner-Gardner is the 86th ranked player and the 10th ranked safety in the country by Rivals, and held offers from Auburn, LSU, Notre Dame, and Texas among others.

Oh, and according to Justin Hopkins of 247 Sports (who predicted DSG would follow Marcel Yates to Boise on December 18th), there is more big news to come:

 

It should be an exciting few weeks with recruiting as Harsin and staff have shown they are going to give it all they have to get the best players possible on The Blue!

#AttackTheFuture!

Hedrick Leads Boise State in 42-30 Win Over Colorado State

Grant Hedrick

Grant Hedrick shined Saturday as Boise State beat Colorado State, 42-30.

Boise State got off to a slow start. After allowing a field goal on Colorado State’s first possession, the Broncos turned the ball over on their first play from scrimmage on a Hedrick fumble. Down 10-0 with less than five minutes left in the first, quarter, the Broncos looked to get on the board on an 18-yard Jay Ajayi run. Ajayi was ruled out at 2-yard line. On the next play, Hedrick ran the ball in for the score.

Hedrick turned things on in the second quarter, and didn’t slow down for the remainder of the game. Hedrick threw 3 touchdowns in the second quarter, with Geraldo Boldewijn, Shane Williams-Rhodes and Matt Miller each bringing in a touchdown.

Boise State led 28-17 going into halftime.

Hedrick threw two more touchdowns in the second half, one to Miller and the other to Aaron Burks.

After bringing the score to 42-30, the Rams looked poised to make a comeback after recovering their onside kick.  Donte Deayon stepped up and made an interception to help BSU seal the victory.

Hedrick had the best game of his Boise State career with 305 passing yards, 5 touchdowns and 30 rushing yards. Hedrick appeared more comfortable leading the Broncos than in his start at BYU.

Boise State improved to 6-3. The Broncos are in first place in the MWC’s Mountain Division, and are bowl eligible after this win. Boise State hosts Wyoming on November 16.

Gameday Poll: What will be the outcome of Boise State vs. Nevada?

So we all know you have seen the NCAA 14 simulation (Brad was wrong guessing the uniform again!), what do YOU think will happen against Nevada?  Vote below and leave a comment with your score prediction!

What will be the outcomeof Boise State vs. Nevada?

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