Bronco Feedbag: Hawaii (Rainbow) Warriors

Roasted_puaaYour pig won’t taste as good as this one

Aloha!  It is Hawaii game week, and I am excited!  I have been looking forward to tailgating for this game for a long time.  I grew up with a lot of Pacific Islanders – one of my good friend’s jokingly called me Keleka once – a rough translation of my name  – and it stuck. Anyways,  I was lucky enough to be able to attend many back yard Luaus, and  there is nothing like Polynesian food and culture.  Let’s get to it!


Traditional Kalua Pig is cooked in an underground pit called an Imu.  This oven is made by digging a hole, starting a mesquite fire and then covering the fire with rocks and lining the pit with banana leaves.  The whole pig is then salted and stuffed with more hot rocks and wrapped in banana leaves or wet burlap to maintain the moisture of the meat.  The pit is then covered in sand and left to cook for about eight  hours.  Once finished, the pork is shredded to mix the melted fat with the meat to spread the flavor throughout the pig.  My friend’s parents had an imu in their back yard and would make Kalua Pig for special occasions – there is nothing that compares to it. Unfortunately, for tailgating purposes you probably don’t have the time to cook the pig traditionally, and I would guess the people who own your tailgate spot would frown upon you building an imu.  Luckily crock-pot Kalua Pig is very easy.  All you need is some pork butt roast, sea salt, and liquid smoke.  Pierce the roast a few times with a fork, cover it with sea salt and liquid smoke, and cook on low for about eight hours or on high for about four hours.  Once it is tender, shred it with a couple of forks and mix it with the fat and juices in the pot, and serve.

A great traditional side item to serve with this is Local Kine potato-mac salad. It is basically a mixture of potato salad and macaroni salad, so get your favorite recipes of both, and mix them together.  If you are short on time (or lazy) you can also buy a container of each of these at your nearest deli and throw them together.

If you want to go all out, make some spam fried rice or sticky rice and you will be able to build your own Hawaiian lunch plate!


I am a big fan of all the beers from Kona Brewing, and I think Big Wave is perfect for tailgating.  It has a great balance of malts and hops, but is lower in alcohol (4.4%) so you can still have a few.  Here is the description from Kona:

Our brewers wanted to make a beer that went down easy after a day out on the water. Big Wave Golden Ale is just the ticket. Big Wave is a lighter bodied golden ale with a tropical hop aroma and flavor – a smooth, easy drinking refreshing ale. The use of caramel malt contributes to the golden hue of this beer and our special blend of hops provides bright quenching finish.

You can find Kona’s brews pretty much everywhere around the Treasure Valley, and some stores carry their sampler pack so you can try all of their great beers.


In previous editions of the Feedbag I have referred to Business Insider’s article on the most popular liquor in every state, which for Hawaii is Jack Daniels.  I am going to go a different direction this week so we can keep with the theme, so let’s make some Mai Tai’s!

Most people think of Captain Morgan’s when it comes to spiced rum, but I really like Shellback Spiced Rum.  I find it a lot smoother and great for shots:

Shellback® Spiced is a flavorful, medium-bodied rum of remarkable quality. Its 12 exotic spices combine to offer unique aromatics and layers of caramelized vanilla, brown spice, cinnamon, and honey. With a distinctive yet versatile profile, it is pleasantly warm with a clean finish and makes for a tasty shot, mixes nicely with soft drinks and serves as the perfect companion for hot drinks.

For the Mai Tai, pour a shot of Shellback, and a shot of Malibu Coconut Rum over ice, add a splash of grenadine, and top with pineapple juice and orange juice.  Stir and enjoy!

Enjoy your tailgate parties this week. Should be a great October day for football!


Attack The Opponent: Hawaii Warriors

Hawaii legit might be one of the best teams in the Western Division of the Mountain West. Nobody really knows what that means. Hawaii has been about as dangerous as this guy since 2007 or so. RainbowBunchieBut this is a different Hawaii. Okay, not so different, but they are less inept than usual. In the Mountain Worst (19-27 overall on the season for a staggering…. 58% winning percentage. Good job, MWC Bros. Good effort.) The ‘bows are currently 2-2, with a victory over perennial P12 bottom-dweller Colorado (ITS A WIN OVER A G5 SCHOOL DANGIT) and UC-Davis. They lost horrifically to both Ohio State and Wisconsin, unable to muster a single touchdown in either contest.

Against a typical MWC team, Hawaii might be able to hold their own. The issue isn’t their skill players – Max Wittek is a decent MWC quarterback, especially in a down year as far as QB play goes in the conference overall. RB Paul Harris gets his yards – on paper. He went off against Davis, racking up over 13 yards per carry. Against a better defense, he averages just over 3. As usual, Hawaii’s OL, while talented, just doesn’t have the size or speed to hang with top 25 opposition.

Boise State has the #11 ranked defense based on yards allowed with the biggest strength being at the defensive line. The Bronco’s have the #4 ranked run defense in the country. Mr. Harris is in trouble. The saving grace for Hawaii even managing to score might be Boise’s lack of depth at safety with Dylan Sumner-Gardner out for a long while after having surgery on an injured foot on Monday.

Hawaii’s defense is reasonably solid – against mid-major level competition. We found out in Virginia last week that Boise State is capable of playing with anybody. Hawaii is also coming off two trips to the central time zone in the last month, which is just a brutal amount of time to be on a plane. They don’t defend the run super-well, ranking 63rd in the country, but pass defense is better at 43rd.  Boise’s offense hasn’t been statistically spectacular, really, but has shown flashes of brilliance along the way – especially since Rypien has taken the helm. Jeremy McNichols has been an absolute beast, and leads the country in TD’s with 10. The playbook has opened up, utilizing everyone from Shane Williams-Rhodes to Jake Roh. Even K Tyler Rausa is getting in on the action, being 87.5% from 3 pt and 94.4% on PAT’s.

Hawaii is better than usual. That doesn’t make them a great football team. They still run the ball way too much and get gassed in the second half. They’re on a crazy travel schedule, have played some tough teams on the road, and are ripe to get stomped into The Blue by some dudes dead set on protecting it.

Boise State is still finding their identity, and last Friday’s demolition of Virginia was a brilliant step. There’s a ton of potential in these Broncos. Hawaii is going to Hawaii. They’ll show up and play really hard, never giving up, with Norm Chow squinting on the sidelines and calling the #HBDive. Their passing game will be less bad… than it has been recently, but it’s not going to matter much. Boise State is the better team, and its nice to be able to say that finally.

Go freakin’ Broncos. Bleed blue.



Attack The Opponent: Virginia Cavaliers

UVA is an interesting team. Keep in mind, this is based on data from three games. Not a huge sample size, but a wildly varying one. Virginia has lost in close games to two ranked teams (UCLA and The Rosen One, and cautiously decent Notre Dame) and notched a close victory over FCS William and Mary. The narrative on the Hoos has been a stout defense and a misfiring offense. However, they’ve allowed serious yardage in all three games, haven’t managed to cause a turnover…and still played all three teams closely.

Oh no. UVA is one of those teams that plays to their competition. Whether its a middling FCS team or the #7 team in the country. Boise State is currently a team trying to minimize turmoil and distraction after the worst kind of those things – a rather brutal injury to Ryan Finley triggering a QB controversy.



I believe that the UVA game is going to come down to three things – what happens at quarterback for Boise, whether UVA is better than their stats say on defense, and confidence. Virginia’s fanbase is almost as jaded as the Vandals, except they actually care about tradition and pride enough to actually try.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 11.19.02 PM

They also have a well dressed mascot and great taste in rides. Plus, swords!

The Broncos coaches aren’t going to name a starter at QB any time soon. They plan to utilize both Brett Rypien and Tommy Stuart’s unique skillsets. This sounds perfectly sensible and logical, and utterly terrifying. There is much reason for hope just gauging by the feel of the game when TFF and Ryp played vs. Idaho State, but there are no guarantees. This is an opponent that came within a touchdown of a strong-looking ND. Not exactly the Bengals. Boise’s strength on D is going to surprise Virginia, but they tend to respond well to challenges and at least give opponents a scare. Taking a true frosh and a JC transfer who have a combined 0 starts into a politely hostile-ish environment. (This is going to be like bizzaro world for Bronco fans – lots of old money donors and students dressed in blue and orange dress shirts and ties or dresses. Wine tailgates, hillside seating – another of these meetings between Old Money and The Future that tend to end well for the team who wants it more.) Will it be the record-shattering freshman leading the experienced Broncos to 3-1? Or the team that should have a better record than they do and would like nothing more to do what most of their other P5 compatriots haven’t managed recently – knock off Boise State.

It’s difficult to find any hate toward the Hoos. They won’t be dirty like BYU and this won’t be as emotional as UW. We share colors, the whole horse mascot thing, and not a whole lot else. The ACC isn’t exactly the SEC but it would be nice to get the next win against a true P5 team. Lets just hope for no injuries and a game that is fun to watch, because nobody really has an idea what we will see from either team until the game is played.

Attack The Opponent: Idaho State Bengals

Chaos reigns.

There was a football game last Saturday night with a crazy ending between two teams I can’t quite remember right now. Arkansas lost to Toledo. Auburn nearly lost to Jacksonville State. Notre Dame almost lost to Virginia after looking amazing vs. Texas last week. Washington State lost to Portland State last week as well. No game is safe, FCS, G5, P5 – doesn’t matter.

I can’t claim to know a ton about the Bengals. For as long as I can really remember, they’ve been an occasional tasty orange cupcake. However, these teams have played 30 times over the years – most of them prior to Boise State moving up to FBS. Boise State overwhelmingly owns the series, but ISU has won 6 times in the history of the matchup. The only person currently with the program who would remember that is Coach Pitt, way back in the long long ago known as 1994. The year when the Lion King came out, and this year’s crop of new drinkers were born. (Feel old yet, Gen X’rs?)


Just kidding, Pocatello is a beautiful city. Okay its a city. Well, a town. And the wind is a bit of a pain in the youknowhat. But other than that…

Here’s the rest of what I know about Idaho State:

They’re coached by former Montana State HC and noted straight talker Mike Kramer. He’s equally blunt and hilarious in interviews, and rumor has it, the rest of the time as well.

The Bengals have improved greatly over the last few seasons, and last year went 8-4.

There’s another Mangum kid in our future- Madison this time, who is Tanner’s older brother and made this catch two weeks ago:


The Bengals play in Holt Arena, which if the above gif is any indication, doubles as a storage unit.

Coach Yates once worked at Montana State for Coach Kramer.

ISU is home to the premier Bigfoot researcher in the country, who, just like everyone else who could have credibility by providing proof, has yet to find Sasquatch.

ISU is also home to the first professor to manage to shoot themselves with their newly legalized on campus weaponry, and a prof that doubles as a mighty trophy huntress who recently found herself amid some controversy.

….yep, that’s about it.

ISU is a threat. Just like every other team. They’re capable of putting up points in a hurry, but should be dominated along the lines. Boise State is capable of winning this game in the brutal fashion that ISU usually suffers, but that thing that happened on Saturday hopefully hasn’t disheartened the Broncos. (I am still refusing to discuss it.)

I think Finley will gain a lot of confidence in this game, because the OL should be able to hold him a pocket long enough to establish a rhythm. ISU should be outclassed on defense and special teams as well. But remember, the chaos monster is loose on the CFB world.


Not you Butters Professor Chaos.

Boise State should be ready to take out some frustration this weekend. Goals should be getting a win, establishing the offense complete with pass blocking and creative play calling, and not looking ahead to Virginia. The season is only yet beginning, and there is a long way to go before this thing is finished. It’s still good to bleed blue.

Attack The Opponent: Brigham Young University Cougars

Week one of college football’s finest moment came on a heave and a prayer on Saturday in Nebraska from a back up qb less than 100 days removed from his mission. The “Hail Joseph” jokes came fast and furious and BYU got a signature win on national TV, a feel good story, and something for the brethren to cling to as this season progresses and things aren’t as nice as they are currently.

Truth is, I’m pleased for the Cougars (and pretty disgusted with myself about it tbh), for getting that win. Last year, losing Taysom Hill the week before BSU was a season destroyer for them. It’s fun to watch BYU get rolled, but its even more fun to beat teams when they’re at their strongest. Right now, with Tanner Mangum apparently ready to step up and play the hero for the Cougars, BYU is in the best shape they’ve been in since 2013. It’s interesting to play them this early in the season. It would have been ideal to have ISU this week to give Finley another chance to tune up, but fire strengthens and there are few hotter places for a Bronco QB than Lavell Edwards Stadium in front of a fired up crowd riding the BYU hype train.

Can totally see why the Cougar faithful are there though. Miracles create fervent fandom.


Boise State fans get this because fervent fandom is kinda our thing as well. Nobody makes fun of family like family, and as much as it feels correct to pretend that we’re not the same as Those People In Provo, BYU fans are our neighbors, our friends, our extended family. Especially with a pair of Idaho boys at quarterback. Hill was a lot of fun to watch and it was awful to see him be injured again. Nobody should go through that pain of fighting to overcome just to have it end like that. Taysom Hill has a bright future ahead of him outside of football, but its always rough to see a dream go down.

However, football is football and it all marches on. Teams have to win the game in front of them. Taysom wasn’t the only BYU player injured last week, even though you wouldn’t know it by the internet discussion. Travis Tuiloma (DT) and Jordan Preator (DB) were both lost to injury. After these two went out, Nebraska was able to engineer their comeback. BYU looked weak at RB as well – only getting 45 yards outside of the QB’s. Adam Hine got the most carries….with four. BYU’s receiving corps looked very good, able to be in the right places at the right times to keep things moving. While Nick Kurtz got the yardage, the passing attack is very evenly spread as far as attempts. Boise State’s corners played very well on Friday, holding UW’s freshman QB to 150 yards through the air. Pretty sure the entire idea was to make Browning win that game, and Boise did that. As much potential as UW’s young QB showed on The Blue, he’s not Tanner. When the next opponent wins in that dramatic of a fashion, it’s a good reminder that anyone could’ve been Nebraska that day and had our hearts broken.

BYU’s QB is legit. BYU’s OL is less so. BYU’s WR’s/TE’s are huge and talented. BYU’s Defense is suspect.

Boise is in a different position. For fans of a team who won a first week matchup against a Pac 12 opponent, especially the one coached by Pete, there are some pretty salty Boise State fans. Yes, Boise only put up 337 yards of offense and that may not be enough versus the Zoobs.


Then again, BYU doesn’t exactly have the corner on magic. Maybe our Fin has something amazing in his arsenal too.

Yate’s defense is for real, especially on the defensive line. The lack of successful blitzing last Friday shouldn’t be seen as a harbinger of bad defense to come. All it meant was that the game plan was being executed. If Mangum keeps tossing those floating over the top passes, Donte, DSG, and Moxey are going to eat, as the young people say.

timidkittyeatingNo, bad kitty. No food for you.

There are definitely things to clean up on both sides. BYU has to find better defensive pressure to keep Fin from gaining confidence while holding McNichols and Young under 3 YPC. Boise has special teams issues and has to contain a stick of dynamite. Tanner is going to get his yards, but if Boise can eliminate most of the big gains and get some stops (red zone preferred), we’ve got a game.

This whole series has been quite interesting. BSU and BYU are inexorably tied together at this point, and will likely end up as travel partners in most conference expansion scenarios. These games have been back and forth and highly entertaining. The fan bases love to smack talk, and for all the problems that I have personally with BYU as an institution of the LDS church and the delusional subset of their fan base still riding a natty from 30+ years ago, they’re sure a decent replacement for a rivalry game.

Both teams have a good shot at winning this weekend, but Boise State has one thing that BYU does not – huge amounts of experience in victory. BYU just never seems to act like they’ve been there before. Boise State won on a missed FG and everyone acted really classy. Hars just took off his headset and walked with his team to midfield for handshakes and hugs at midfield with Petersen, and we’re done. After that win at War Memorial, Bronco Mendenhall crowd surfed in the locker room…and its not the first time. I get having fun and celebrating with the team, but it just makes me think BYU is ripe to be beaten after the emotional swings of this weekend. Vegas doesn’t seem to know what to do with this game either.  Both of these teams have their futures in their hands and execution of the plan is going to be the difference. Based on past data…that’s Boise’s strong point.


Broncos are known to kick butt at execution.

I’d say good luck this weekend, Zoobs, but everybody knows I don’t mean it. I hope BSU shows up in their missionary jersey set (black/white/black) and stomps the Cougars by 1000 points before popping champagne and lighting cigars at the 50 to celebrate their victory in the most offensive way possible. Luckily for everyone, BSU is much more classy about the BYU game than I am personally. Can’t wait for Saturday. This one is going to be fun.