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.

Ask a Psychic: UNR Edition

Oh, Danny. I hope you’re wrong too.
Id like to start off by saying that my record this season for predicting the winners is 4-1. Now on to the questions:
1.) Which QB will finish the game for Boise – Grant Hedrick or Ryan Finley?
Ryan Finley, Grant is feeling tired as of late. I know there is something weighing heavily on his mind.
2.) Will Nevada’s defense be able to stop Jay Ajayi?
No, but that’s not to say that he will score many points. He will have a decent game, but as you see by my next answer, it wont be enough.
3.) Who wins – Boise or Nevada?
Nevada 35-17, Good job Nevada you get another hate week next year.
I would throw in some comedy here but it’s almost 4am. Yes, it has taken an exceptionally long time to meditate on these answers. This is one of those instances though where I hope im wrong. Should be an interesting game.

Attack The Opponent: Ole Miss Rebels

Researching Ole’ Miss is a bit like observing a distant planet. 1562 miles, two time zones, a bunch of humidity, almost zero history, and a complete lifestyle difference are between Boise and Oxford. get some!

The old (probably) drunk guy dancing though, that is universal.

The year that Idaho became a state, Ole’ Miss was just forming their first athletic department. Boise wouldn’t field a football team for another 39 years after Mississippi boys first touched toe to grass in 1893. A storied program for sure, but the game coming up next Thursday has nothing to do with pedigree, conference affiliation, tenure, recruiting rankings, political leanings, or anything else outside of the 2014 Broncos and Rebels. The only people who know exactly who that is are with the programs, and the rest of us are left to wonder, wait, and fret. The Rebels are counting on tempo and speed to win this game. They love to throw nice little short passes, and a whole lot of them. Here’s their returning QB Bo Wallace’s stats from last season:

Set school records for total offense (3,701 yards) and completions (283) in a season … Completed 283 of 437 passes for 3,346 yards (third-most in school history) with 18 TDs and 10 INTs … Ranked third in the SEC and 26th nationally in both total offense (284.7 ypg) and passing (257.4 ypg) …

Yanno, just setting school records for total offense and completions, completing a good-but-not-that-good 65% of his passes for 18 TD’s. This is 7 yd per attempt though. They also scored 30 ppg last season. So, Boise’s D must be ready to defend the corner and not be afraid to hit somebody or fight for position coming over the middle to be able to intercept a few of those passes. The Rebel’s defense could be ridiculous, or it could be overblown SEC hype. There are 5 Rebel’s defenders on the All SEC watch-lists, the most notable being Pre-Season 2nd team All American Robert Nkemdiche. Or, as Broncos fans have seen before, this could be a bunch of SEC bluster and hype and the boys in orange could run them ragged and confused before halftime.

All of this remains to be seen, and exactly what we’ve all been waiting an entire off-season for. Rebels fans are apparently excited for the match-up, but talking a great big game as well. Both teams have pros and cons. Ole Miss has had strong recruiting classes recently and is coming off a reasonable performance last season, and Boise’s team is an unproven commodity with all the uncertainty in the program. Everything changed for the Broncos in December, and while those inside the program are telling us all the correct things it’s scary to not know what to expect. On the other hand,  Ole Miss has some questions in their run game – the guy listed at the top of the depth chart, I’Tavius Mathers, started exactly one game for the Rebels last season. Boise State will likely be deepest on defense, with a ton of experience in the secondary and a whole bunch of big, strong defensive linemen who are learning from what might be the best combo of knowledge, personality, and moustache on the coaching staff, Steve Caldwell. Boise State is of course going to live and die on the legs and ball control of Jay Ajayi and Grant Hedrick, but with the return of a fast paced, extend the field throwing game, this whole thing is going to be about which team can exploit the other’s weaknesses and really control the time of possession. Both teams can score prolifically in the correct defensive conditions, and both defenses look like they could be tough, at least on paper. Dead Center Dan Goodale needs to be as accurate as ever, and special teams had better be ready to go right off the bat. We might have a track meet on our hands next Thursday. We might also have a defensive battle.

I don’t doubt that Boise can put at least 28 points on the board, but can the guys hold the Rebels under that total? Vegas has Boise as ten point dogs, and while there are a few outlets calling for a return to the kind of winning everyone remembers out of Boise, most of the national consensus is that Boise is going to fall back to obscurity very quickly due to a whole bevy of excuses that Boise State fans are dutifully slicing and frying into Bronco Nation Brand Shoulder Chips. Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 7.59.24 PM

Now available in Dill Pickle flavor.

There are a few things I need to see out of this game to be happy. First, I need to know that the Boise offense is unpredictable, prolific, and accurate. I would like to see a working, nasty blitz. Would love to see lots of tight end participation in the offense, and just one nice deep ball to a flying orange blur of Dallas Burroughs. I need Matt Miller to make a one handed catch in the back corner of the end zone. I need interceptions from the safeties and jarring hits from Jeremy Ioane. Antoine Turner needs to get a sack so I can be irrationally happy for him for a while.

This game could be the return of the sense of balance in the universe that Bronco Nation has been missing, or a tipping point where the bandwagon gets much lighter. Ole Miss has a lot to prove too. Recruiting rankings and conference affiliation can only carry a team so far, eventually the wins have to come or Coach Freeze is going to have to answer some questions. Their team seems like the type that could have discipline issues and leave a mass of flags and fan’s broken dreams in their wake. While this may not be the marquee game of the night, it certainly is the most intriguing. Hotty Toddy indeed, Rebels. Put on your blazers, ties, and sundresses, sip your bourbon, and get ready to watch that cute little team out of the Mountain West give you the fight of your team’s figurative lives opening weekend. Oh, and if Ole Miss happens to lose? It would be nice if they wouldn’t turn around and lose horribly to Vandy the week after. Strength of Schedule and all that.

Isn’t football great? I missed football. Let’s never have an off-season like that again. Attack_hug