Can the Broncos Finish Perfect?

Three weeks into the season….

and coming off a win at UConn, I think a Boise State Football rendition of the Presidential State of the Union is somewhat suitable. Now, without mixing politics and football, it’s safe to say there is still uncertainty on how the Broncos will finish this year and many questions remain unanswered … e.g., is a one loss season possible? Can they win the Mountain West? Could they break into the new playoff format? The Broncos are currently 2-1 and a fourth of the way through their regular season (WHAT!? it just startedI KNOW). Following their first game loss to Ole Miss, the Broncos and their faithful shifted focus. Since true perfection is no longer obtainable, Boise State has their eyes set on a Perfect Finish.

Below, I will attempt to decipher what can be drawn from the Broncos first three games; I will provide three reasons why I believe a one-loss-season is possible, and three others as to why I don’t. Disclaimer: I will not touch on the schedule or the qualities of our future opponents. This is because, well, simply put…I don’t watch our upcoming opponents with regularity. Therefore, if I attempted to break-down each team; I would unfortunately sound like an ESPN Analyst trying to cover a team that they’ve only received a sheet of stats to go off of … horrendous. Right, Bronco fans? Instead, I will strictly focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the Broncos at this current state.

First, let’s briefly recap the first three games with a few pictures for summarization:

Ole Miss 35 – Boise State 13

 

boise-state-blasted-by-ole-miss

Well…shit…maybe a photo recap isn’t a good idea after all. This picture is depressing.

Boise State 37 – Colorado State 24

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 10.57.24 AM          (photo credit-Tami)

Don’t cry little Ram, CELEBRATE! After all, you did beat a cross-town rival and PAC 12 school. 

Boise State 38 – UConn 21

photo (1)

Too many great things in one picture, but an individual in particular stands out.

Redshirt- ‘uhhhh … wtf is going on here …?’

 

Three Reasons a One Loss Season is Possible

 1. Jay Ajayi

The most obvious reason of my 3 …

Jay Ajayi is undoubtedly the best pro-prospect on the Broncos. Although ‘best pro-prospect’ doesn’t always mean the best player on the team or biggest contributor; in this case, he’s all the above. We all know Jay’s story: chose football over fùtbol, nearly got kicked off the Broncos, tore his ACL; then bounced back in stellar fashion and has improved by leaps & bounds each year since. Jay’s most gaudy trait is his ability to maintain balance while dodging defenders and running through others. Anyone who has had the privilege to watch Jay when he is feeling it; will know what I mean when I say … he is special. Jay’s favorite move is his video-game-esq spin-move. He will use it consistently throughout a game to shed off wimpy tacklers as they approach from all angles. Jay has also relied on a special habit of his, and that is to quickly break his runs outside; he is very good at changing directions for his size and has an uncanny ability to turn what would be a short gain into a rather explosive one. Here, he encompasses both of the prior mentioned skills masterfully. To say he is an All-American talent and would be a Heisman candidate if playing for a “Major Conference” school—is an understatement.

The only fear with Jay despite the occasional fumble, is his exceeding workload. In 3 games he has had 71 carries and 18 receptions; very few if any other players in the NCAA have had more total touches. Scary. But for now, we’re all aboard—riding the Jay-train to victory.

2. Front 7

It’s been astonishing how impressive the Broncos front seven has been despite their youth and inexperience. Even further astonishing; it’s not just seven guys. Anyone who has rotated onto the field, seems to have made an impact at some point. Following Demarcus Lawrence’s departure for the draft, I was unsure if anyone could fill the massive void he left in the Bronco’s pass rush. I was somewhat correct in my assumption that not ONE particular guy could fill that void, but now it is more so a collective unit of interchangeable pieces that are all capable. It allows the players to stay fresh and provide a spark once they step back on the field. Highly successful. The Broncos defensive stats reflect that notion: Boise State currently rank 2nd in nation in rushing defense YPG (Yards per Game), 3rd in tackles for a loss, and 7th in sacks. Not bad. And mind you, nearly all the front 7 starters will be back next year (!!!).

Clearly, the Broncos have not only been phenomenal in getting to the quarterback, but, possibly even more stout in stopping the run. What is the direct factor? Getting to the QB/RB early is crucial but, if unable to wrap up; tackle, and finish the play—the pressure is useless. I contribute a lot of the Broncos front seven success to tackling. And I mean a lot. Whether it be new D-line Coach – Steve Caldwell or new Defensive Coordinator – Marcel Yates … the Broncos have shown a noticeable difference in their ability to tackle consistently compared to 2013.

The continued success of the front seven will a play a major role in completing a possible perfect finish. If the Broncos continue to tackle consistently we may be looking at an top-notch defense.

3. The 3 C’s

Complexity – Confusion – Cohesion

An added element to the Broncos this year is actually a staple of the past—complexity. Before Bryan Harsin roamed the sidelines as Boise State Head Coach, he was at one point the offensive mastermind during the Kellen Moore era. He spent 4 years as Boise State’s Offensive Coordinator throwing together wacky formations, unusual pre-snap motions/shifts, and trick-plays. The Broncos and Harsin consistently made an effort to confuse the defense pre-snap and force them to show their hand; therefore, making the ensuing play more successful. During that time, as we all know, BSU put up prolific offensive numbers. Casually ranking in the top-10 or top-5 each year for points per game.

Three games in, the complexity level is not to the extent it used to be, but with that being said; I believe we have only seen a snippet of the playbook and its expected creativity. With time, practice, and game experience … the play calls shall diversify. As the offensive unit gains cohesiveness—trick-plays and player motions will become more and more prevalent. In turn making an already potent offense even more dangerous.

Look out for the 3 C’s.

Three Reasons a One Loss Season is Not Possible

1. Grant Hedrick

Uh oh… he didn’t put Grant Hedrick as the number 1 reason why a one loss is not possible, did he? He did.

Usually I dislike breaking down QB play because as fans, we only give two ratings … HIGH praise or reckless condemnation. The ideas of ‘average’ or ‘mediocre’ are all but forgotten. When was the last time you heard two sports fans bantering back & forth and one say to the other Oh yeah, well, your quarterback… he’s… umm.. AVERAGE! ‘HA! got him’ … never? Me neither. Quarterbacks are the face of every football team, even the bad ones.(Everyone say hello, Tony Romo…. Hello Tony…). They receive the glory win their team wins, but the most resentment when they lose. Why? Because football is a Quarterback driven sport, we love them, we hate them, WE WANT TO BE THEM. Removing team allegiance, if you wouldn’t want to be Tom Brady, you’re lying to yourself.

Grant Hedrick fits the mold for the debate I laid out above. Grant is average … or slightly below. Prior to seasons start, and in the BTN’s QB preview, I mentioned my doubts of #9. Here’s a short synopsis of what I noticed from Grant’s 2013 season: Indecisive and questionable reads, inconsistent accuracy, decent arm, and under use of good mobility. The first two have been very visible through three games—almost glowing. And I will only analyze the first 2; his arm strength is not really something he can change with ease nor is it a major problem, and to be honest I’ve liked the way he’s used his mobility thus far (except for his god awful half-hearted slides. Get down Grant, get down). Nevertheless… in the QB preview, I went as far as to label him a “game-manager”. Knowing what I know now, I take back that statement. That title is given to quarterbacks who won’t necessarily win you a game, but won’t lose you one either. Grant has yet to show me option number one … hold your breath … and a little longer…covers eyes… option # two may have (most likely – probably – yes – yes it did) occurred vs. Ole Miss. Heading into the 4th Quarter of the season opener, Boise State was only down 7-6. Then the flood gates eventually opened, leading to lopsided the final score. The 7-6 score was directly correlated to the Broncos stellar defensive play and how well they performed; before they just ran out of gas. Grant on the other hand threw 4 interceptions from a culmination of inaccurate throws and awful reads. Ole Miss is a very good defense, but if BSU is going to win big games like that, as we are accustomed to—4 picks will never get the job done.

I’ve come to realize analysis failure is common when evaluating College Football QB’s. Let us look at a fake example—QB-A’s stats: Completed 22-30 passes, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and 275 yards (single game). By all accounts that looks like a decent game; most would assume that QB must be good or at the least, very accurate. Nope. Why? The QB presented in the example happens to be product of a system (Giving a QB spoon-fed reads and throws). The system in place for QB-A was developed for quick underneath throws and short passes. Meaning QB-A had one or two reads, maybe, before throwing a pass and most of which were no longer than 5 to 10 yards. In fact, nearly half of the throws occurred at or behind the line of scrimmage; one touchdown was from a screen play and the other was from a check-down to the running-back. Thus, not requiring much difficulty; accuracy, or play reading ability.

In 5 starts and 13 total appearances in 2013, Grant’s stats were: completed 167-242 passes, 16 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and 1,825 yards. His 69% percent completion ranked 4th in the Nation— HIGHLY misleading as it was for QB-A in the given example. If you string out QB-A’s stats over 7 to 8 games, and compared them to Grant’s 2013 stats, they would be very similar. An important piece: The play style described for QB-A is nearly identical to what system Grant was operating under last year and somewhat this year.

My point is, yes, Grant’s statistics (77of 106 passes, 72% completion percentage, 5 TD’s, 5 INT’s, and 850 yards) haven’t been poor with the exception of the inflated interception #’s vs.  Ole Miss; however, I would say his plays has. If able to go back and watch any of the three games, you’ll notice Grant has missed a lot of throws and made many reads that force you to cringe. He tries to use his arm strength to fit throws into places with tight-windows and he is for the most part, incapable of doing so. In numerous instances—if Grant set his feet, make a quick decision, and got rid of it earlier; a completion, first down, or big-play might have occurred. These are errors that can be made against the Colorado State’s of D-1 Football, but not against the likes of an Ole Miss defense or a top-caliber team. Interceptions against a great team are a definite NO-CAN-DO. And truth be told, underneath throws and behind the line of scrimmage tosses will not score enough points to win against most, if not all strong defenses. They are too athletic and too physical. Deep shots that are open, but commonly missed—have to be completed, no other way around it. Grant MUST be able to stretch the field and connect on designed deep passes to allow Boise State’s offense to turn the corner to become elite.

The Broncos will go as far as Hedrick takes them.

2. Cornerback Depth

In the first three weeks, Boise State corner-backs have been dropping like flies. It started with the Broncos #1 corner – Cleshawn Page – and has trickled all the way down on the depth-chart to 2nd stringers. The Broncos top 3 cornerbacks: Page, Donte Deayon, and Bryan Douglas; have each, already missed time. The Boise State cornerbacks behind them are few and far between. Mercy Maston who would be the Broncos No. 4 cornerback if the others were healthy; has played and will continue to play significant time while the others try to heal up. Other than Maston, there is not much left. The depth is so bad that Bryan Harsin has mentioned other players from their respective positions stepping in to fill the void for the time being. No bueno.

The silver-lining in this, if any, is that new Defensive Coordinator – Marcel Yates – was previously the Broncos Defensive-Back Coach and is known for being a defensive-back guru. He is the respected creator of the heavily popular Boise State phrase “DBU” constituted due to the plethora of Bronco DB’s who have successfully made it to the NFL (Wilson, Scandrick, Johnson, Iloka, Taylor, etc.)

Yates is already showing his impact, proven by the Broncos 7 interceptions in three games. So whoever is on the field at corner will be learning from a highly touted and successful coach. With that being said, the Broncos would obviously be at their best with their top guys on the field, and will need the defensive dominance that they are capable of when healthy; to finish the year without another loss.

3. Lack of Playmakers

Currently the Broncos rely on 3 players to make the offense go. Jay Ajayi, Matt Miller, and Shane-Williams-Rhodes. That’s it. Those 3 have combined for 61 of the 78 Broncos total receptions, that’s nearly % 80 (!!!).  I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was that bad. Hedrick constantly looks for SWR (Shane Williams-Rhodes), Miller, or Ajayi. If they aren’t there—might as well call the play dead.

The emergence of tight-ends have been noticed, but they are still used very seldom in the passing game. Or at least thrown to. Tight-end – Jake Roh- has 8 receptions and is looking like a very athletic with good ball skills, I anticipate him getting a lot of targets during his tenure at BSU. The next highest player in regards of total receptions is Dallas Burroughs (receiver) with 3. Quite bewildering. The rushing attack is even less of a committee. The one man who bears the burden of carrying the load is of course, Jay Ajayi; as mentioned above he has 71 carries in three games. Behind him, running a close second in total carries is Devan Demas with …. 4 (!!!) Holy shit, maybe we’re trying to demolish Jay that way he can’t declare for the draft next year & has to return… GENUIS.

It is clear or it should be, that giving the ball to 3 guys repeatedly is not a recipe for success. I don’t think those astronomical #’s are what is intended, certainly Harsin and Sanford would love to get their best playmakers the ball, but when is too much? And how long before they begin to break-down? Especially Williams-Rhodes—5’6 & 158 lbs. It would be understandable if SWR, Miller, and Ajayi consumed 50-60 % of the passing offense, but not 80 %. Same applies for Ajayi on the ground – 75-80 % of the carries would make sense, but in ballpark of 95 % doesn’t. One could conclude this shows how inferior the Broncos other options are and also confirms the trust that Hedrick has with the 3 main guys.

I fear if the Broncos are not able to find a core group of “other guys” that can contribute offensively; they will become too predictable and easy to prepare for. To be straightforward, if the Broncos have aspirations of a one loss season, other Broncos need to step up AND Grant has to find them.

 

Prediction

It all comes down to Grant. Plain & simple. The two other reasons I listed for why a one loss season is not possible happen to be easily rectifiable and will progress with time. The Broncos defense (if healthy) is skilled enough to compete with any team the Broncos have left to face. Jay is Jay and will do Jay like things for the remainder of the year; that will have us fans ooohing and awwing till it’s all over. I’m positive this team will contend for a Mountain West title, which, is ultimately the goal every year. I’m just not so certain a one-loss season is on the horizon. Baring anything out of the ordinary, I’m going to predict the Broncos finish 9-3 in the regular season and triumphantly revenge a team that beat them earlier in the year by giving them a smack down in that Mountain West Championship Game. The Broncos will be the 2014 Mountain West Champs­.

Mission accomplished—I think?

5 Keys – 1 Prediction: Boise State vs UConn

Boise State v Mississippi

Image Courtesy of GettyImages.

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.

1 Prediction

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.

Go Broncos!

BTN Predictions – Week 3: At UConn

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.

Jeremy

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.

Heath

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.

Noel

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.

Derek

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

Gage

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 

This Week at the Diggity’s – Week 3 (I’m not fat. I’m just a bit “Husky”!)

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!

Attack the Opponent – Connecticut Huskies

After a week back on The Blue™ our beloved Broncos are heading back to the East Coast, this time for a match-up against the Huskies of Connecticut.  Both teams are heading into this contest with records of 1-1, and both are coming off of a win at home, however these two teams had completely different performances in their wins last week.

 

 

The Huskies ended up pulling out a win against Stony Brook B&B, but it was not pretty. The Seawolves (?) out-gained the Huskies 300 yards to 223, with 54 more yards passing, and 23 more yards on the ground.  Uconn also turned the ball over twice while the Seawolves (?) had zero. Stony Brook held the advantage in time of possession, and if it were not for the disparity in penalty yards (SB B&B 108, Uconn 25) the Seawolves (?) may have pulled this out as they clearly dominated the box score.  The Huskies also lost starting quarterback Casey Cochran, who is retiring from football due to concussions.  Senior Chandler Whitmer will start for Uconn on Saturday.

 

If a mullet like this can’t protect you from concussions no helmet ever will.

The biggest threat for Connecticut is wide receiver Geremy Davis, a 6-2 216 LB Senior.  Davis put up 96 yards against BYU and 113 yards and a TD against Stony Brook last week, and is averaging 18.8 yards per catch.  This seems like it could be a problem for Boise State’s banged up secondary, but in order for Davis to get the ball Whitmer is going to have to get it out of his hands before Mat Boesen and his hair destroys him in the backfield.

Boise State’s game went a little differently.  Although the final score was a respectable 37-24, this game was a blow out.  CSU was never in this game, and if it were not for the refs making us play four quarters the score would have reflected this.  Jay Ajayi put up video game like numbers with 280 yards and 3 TD’s total offense, while Grant Hedrick made me wish I could have started him in my fantasy league instead of RGIII, throwing for 352 yards and 2 TD’s while running for 80 yards and a TD.  Our D was also dominant (for three quarters) with another outstanding performance from our front seven, and our young offensive line was tossing Ram defenders around like glitches in Madden 15.

The biggest concern for our team heading into East Hartford is our secondary.  Donte Deayon did not play against CSU (although he certainly tried – changing into his uniform from his street clothes in the 4th quarter) but should be back in action against the Huskies.  Unfortunately Cleshawn Page will not play after leaving the CSU game with an injury, and  the team had already  lost Mercy Maston to a stress fracture.  Bryan Douglas also left the CSU game with concussion symptoms but is expected to be ready for UConn.  The depth has gotten so bad that the Broncos are taking  walk-on, true freshman corner Eric Yates to the game.  Yates, who shares the same last name and refrigerator with Defensive Coordinator Marcel Yates, did not even play high school football last year. The good news is I also did not play high school football my senior year, and I am pretty sure I could fill in nicely in this game at corner. Our defensive line and linebackers have played so well that we may even be able to play without a secondary, as Whitmer will only have about .02 of a second to get the ball off.

Husky fans sending @Keleka24 angry tweets after reading the last paragraph.

So what will Boise State have to do to pull out the W on Saturday?  Showing up should do it.  A lot of people are concerned about the early start time, but being that Jay Ajayi eats defenses for breakfast we should expect a feast of epic proportions, and the game will be out of hand by brunch.  This will give our team a chance to work out some of the kinks of the past two weeks, and we may even get to see some backups get some playing time.  Lets just hope they remember to play the 4th quarter this week.

Go ahead and scoot on home, Huskies.  This one will be over before the 4th quarter starts.