BTN Predictions: Week 9 vs. BYU

Logo1Derek

I am pretty bad at predicting.  I am really good, however, at being an optimist.  Each week I predict impending doom for our opponent – our Broncos will finally put together a complete game, completely dominate, and the result will be a blowout of epic proportions.  Each week, we show flashes of brilliance. Sometimes it is on defense.  Sometimes it is on offense.  It has yet to be both at the same time for an entire game yet.  The Fresno State game was about as close as we have come, but a fumble in our own red zone by Dallas Burroughs changed the flow and made the game closer than it should be.  A young team, a new coaching staff with new schemes  -we are bound to have some growing pains.

If you tried to predict this game a few weeks ago, you might have predicted a blowout, but by the wrong team.  Things sure have changed.  Taysom Hill goes down, and what do you know BYU is on a three game losing streak.  It feels like Boise State is slowly trending up while BYU is in a complete nose-dive down.  This game should be a close one (Vegas says it is a seven point win for the Broncos), but I can’t change my ways now, right?  After weeks of having faith that my team is going to go #HAMPlanet on a team I can’t say we are going to play a tight game against a wounded animal.  So here it is – we FINALLY put it all together – our offensive line lays down the tracks for the J-Train, Grant Hedrick has another solid game passing, our defensive line sacks Christian Stewart six times, and Jeremy McNichols takes one to the house on a kick return. It wont be a blow-out of epic proportions, but this game will never feel close.  Boise State 42 BYU 23.

Noel

I’m a homer.  I always will be.  I have no problem always picking the Broncos.  If we were habitually on the losing side of games, I might change my tune. But, this isn’t the University of Idaho (I had to get a dig in.) and we are home favorites for a reason.   The Blue Turf is despised by everyone outside the program.  Haters give a plethora of explanations like “camouflage” and “ugliness”.  I say because it has an aura around it.  It feeds the Broncos.  It gives an extra glue between the fans and the team.  Boise State needs that atmosphere to win this game.  Grant is efficient, our defense gets a score, the crowd creates dumb penalties for the Cougars, and the Broncos win, 38-24.  #HAMPlanet

Tami

I really hope this game is a blowout, for a myriad of reasons. I want to see all too smug, local BYU fans in their Bronco gear the rest of the season, after Boise destroys them. I want Coach Mendenhall to again throw his team under the bus in the media in the postgame. Sad BYU fans throwing a fit after a week of borderline nasty smack talk would be stuff that legends are made of. I want to see a systematic dementing of BYU’s entire offensive and defensive schemes. A truly raucous Bronco Albertson’s Stadium will be required because the Cougars, despite all the underdog talk of a program at the brink, will most certainly bring their A game. It’s going to be a fight and since I have to pick, I guess BSU wins, 28-21.

Gage

The Broncos are at home, yes, stating the obvious, but thus far on the season that means one thing…. one. very. important. thing. Jay Ajayi balls out at home. He’s averaging 5.9 YPC with 7 TD’s. Jay is the Broncos rock, period. He is NUMBER ONE in the country for total touches; we go as he goes. *On pins & needles every time he fights for extra yards and takes a big hit* … ‘Get up baby, get up’

Going off what Derek mentioned above, I am also waiting for a week where the Broncos piece it all together. Could it happen this week, maybe. But my sloppy, unreliable, and usually wrong intuition has me feeling otherwise… I think the Taysom Hill-less Cougars will put up a good fight, preventing a lopsided Bronco victory – hang around for 3 quarters or so and make the final score look closer than it actually was. Broncos 31 BYU 17

Heath

I am not exactly sure how to look at this game. BYU has not been great without Hill and if Nevada can beat them, so can we, right? Boise State doesn’t lose at home, Jay Ajayi is a different person on “The Blue” and yet I find myself worried. I guess that basically sums up this season though. The crowd should be intense tonight and I think that gives us a big boost. This game is quietly becoming a solid rivalry that could be great for years to come. Rivalry games however tend to be close, at least the better rivalries do. Because of that, I going to say Boise State 34, BYU 28. As great as the Cougars defense has been against the run Jay Ajayi is going to get his tonight. I also trust Hedrick at home much more than I do on the road. The question of this game will be our defense against BYU’s offense. In a weird turn of events from the start of the season I know. But BYU is going to air it out against us tonight. If our defense can  step up, I am confident we can win this game.

Also of note, I hate BYU, and I just wanted to end on this. Few schools get my blood boiling the way BYU does. Idaho and Nevada probably hold a higher rating in the overall “hate” index, but BYU and their fans do everything they can yearly it seems to pass them. Go Broncos!

5 Keys – 1 Prediction

tuxpi.com.1413440185

1.) Keep Finding New Targets: No Matt Miller, no problem right? If Boise State can keep up the Nevada trend of getting everybody involved that might be the case. Matt Miller is an exceptional talent, that will be deeply missed. But if Boise State can spread the ball around then this could become addition by subtraction. Hedrick seemed to lock on to Matt early and often and the offense seemed to be built around 3 guys. Now with Miller gone it looks to be forcing BSU to become more diverse and in someways more dangerous. If BSU keeps up the new, more diverse offense, Boise State could give the Fresno defense fits all night long on “The Blue”.

2.) Jay Ajayi Keeps up Home Success: Jay Ajayi is a beast, but he is an absolute freak at home this season. So far in 2 games he has 369 yards and is averaging over 6 yards per carry. If Jay keeps this up, nobody will beat Boise State at home. If Jay even comes close to this kind of production against Fresno State, they should win the game. Fresno’s defense has struggled this season, and they haven given up a tons of yards per carry this season against solid opponents. Mix this with Jay Ajayi at home and Fresno State could be in for another embarrassing trip to Boise.
3:) Defend the Bubble-Screen: If you hated Robert Prince and the bubble-screen passes then you will really enjoy rooting against Fresno State. Just like last season Fresno is going to try and get the ball on the edge and win in space. One of the ways they do this is getting their best player Josh Harper the ball on bubble-screens and letting him work. For Boise State to win this game they will need to continue their success defending and often times blowing this play up. Cleshawn Page against Ole Miss and before he got injured showed he can be a monster on this particular play. If he can show that again against Fresno it could lead to some big hits and turnovers. More importantly if Boise State as a whole can defend this play, they will win the game.

4.) Remember Last Season: No sport is more emotional in my opinion than football. Boise State does not like Fresno, Fresno does not like Boise State. Add to that mix a little revenge and then sprinkle in some blue turf and Boise State has a recipe for a beat down. Many of the guys on this team now know what it felt like last season to lose to Fresno on national TV. They need to use this emotion and payback factor to teach Fresno who owns this rivalry.

5.) No Big Plays: When you look Fresno the biggest stat that stands out to me is their lack of big-plays. Specifically when you look at their first 3 beat downs they were averaging around 4.5 yards per PASS.  Once again, Jay Ajayi at home this year is averaging more per carry than Fresno was in some of their games in the passing game. With this, Boise State can’t allow Fresno to get any confidence with any big plays down the field. If they can keep Fresno in front of them all game long, I fully expect Fresno to struggle to score points.

1 Prediction: My prediction for this game is that a new star will rise for Boise State. Who that is, I am not sure. Right now though,  I would put my money on McNichols if he gets the chances. Few players have looked as good as McNichols did in his first game against Nevada. If he gets touches against Fresno I expect that trend to continue. If it is not him however, somebody else will step up big not named Rhodes or Ajayi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

BTN Predictions – Week 6: At Nevada

Derek

After the Louisiana game a couple of weeks ago, it appeared that Boise State was starting to put it all together.  The defense continued to dominate, Grant Hedrick had a solid game, and we were seeing signs of the ball being spread around to more than just the “Big Three”.  There were definitely reasons to be optimistic heading into the Air Force game.  I expected a tough, close game – especially considering how the Broncos have fared on the road recently – but was not expecting to be dominated like we were by the Falcons.  Many people used the word “debacle”, and it truly was.  The results of the past two games truly make it hard to predict this one.  Was the Air Force game an anomaly? Was it just some growing pains of a new staff and the players continuing to learn together?  Or was that what this team is – average at best – going to win some and lose some?  If you know me, read my writings, or follow me on Twitter, you know that I am an optimist – to a fault maybe – and that will not change.   I see no reason to think negatively or doubt what myself, others, or this football team are capable of.  I am concerned about going on the road still, however this game typically has more Bronco fans attending than any other road trip.  I also think the Air Force game was a wake up call to both the coaches and the team.  I am not going to go into specifics about what players are key, which sides of the ball have the advantage, or how this game goes.  This game will be an emotional one, both because of who and where we are playing, and what happened last week, so this is a purely emotional pick.  Boise State bounces back, and continues to grow under Harsin and staff.  Boise State 31 – Nevada 21.

Tami

Nevada is a pretty good team. The Wolf Pack’s only loss so far came at the hands of Arizona, the team that beat Oregon at Autzen on Thursday night. Boise is a very talented team who is still trying to find consistency. The performance last week at Air Force makes this game quite hard to predict – I know what I want to see out of the Broncos, but a big run game, some nice deep throws to open up the field for Jay, and a shut-down defense may be more than we can hope for. The X factor is the fact that Nevada is the closest thing we have to a rivalry, and the hate is palpable. Losing to them would be a tremendous blow. So, assuming that Grant has his confidence back, the coaches are on and have everybody ready, and that some of the guys that have been out injured are able to come back (hi there defense), Boise should be able to make this a game. I’m homering it up and calling for a win for the good guys: Boise State 28 – Nevada 24. 

Dan Goodale, please be ready. We’re going to need Dead Center Dan to go to Reno and kick a ball just to watch a man and his middle fingers die.

Noel

I’m on the fence about this one. Last week was a horrid week on the field for Grant Hedrick and, if he paid any attention to the fan base, he didn’t have a good time post-game either.  His mindset is one of the keys to the game.  If his head is on straight, the offense will be sufficient. The other key is the defense. Coach Harsin and CoachYates can take some cues from Arizona’s defense on gap-integrity. and how to contain a “running” quarterback. Fajardo can eat teams up on the ground. Here’s how I see it – Broncos offense performs and the defense destroys the Nevada running game.  Broncos win 35-20 and I lob double-birds at Nevada fan on the TV.

Gage

This game might be a defining point in an already up and down season. As Derek pointed out – after beating the Ragin’ Cajuns – Boise State fans felt like the Broncos might have their mojo back, potentially leading to a chain of W’s. I felt this way myself. Short lived serenity to say the least. Air Force kindly provided a needle to Boise State’s balloon of confidence and the Broncos offense inserted it for them; with not 1.. not 2.. not 3.. but 7 turnovers.

I’ve tossed and turned all week about this game. My stabbing paranoia has me thinking the Broncos will under perform again and Nevada will win – allowing their egotistical fans to boast it in the Broncos face 2010 style. Then, on the other hand, my usual homerism has me thinking the Broncos will storm into Reno with a “F this” mentality – F last week, F the season opener, and F you Nevada. Checks to make sure I’m not a 13-year-old girl. 

I’m so atrocious at predicting final scores or even coming close (check out my previous predictions) therefore I’m going to plead the 5th on guessing this weeks final score and do so because of my superstitious nature. I will predict a close game though. Maybe even OT? Yikes. I don’t know if my heart can handle OT. But… if there are more than three “wtf Grant?” moments, prepare for another sad week in Bronco land.

Heath

I am not sure what to even say here honestly. I look at the Air Force game and then I look at the this game and I get worried. When you watch the turnovers of Hedrick my concern was a lot of throws were just inaccurate. Going into Reno the pressure on him is going to be a lot, can he handle it? I guess we will find out, but I don’t have a great feeling about it. Even with all that though, I have to remind myself I trust Harsin when it comes to the QB position and this can be no different. My other major concern going into Reno is looking at Jay Ajayi’s stat line on the road this year. If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen it, but if not here is what you need to know.

Jay Ajayi at home averages 6.1 yards per carry this season – on the road this season, 3.4.

So for us to win, Jay has to break this bad start to the road this season, and Hedrick has to be a completely different QB. Oh and I can’t forget the defense has to continue to dominate at an incredible level… Yeah, I think you guys know where I am going with this…And that is despite all this, Boise State thrives in positions like this, this is what makes BSU great. Broncos win 34 – 17.

 

This Week at the Diggity’s – Week 5 (Respect Their Service, Expect Our Win!)

Another week, another fun-filled version of TWatD’s. It’s full of angry happiness, personal insight, and just a bit of #HamPlanet amazingness. Besides learning the fact that our cat, Mojo, doesn’t like hash browns (I dropped some on the ground.), it’s been a great week here in Bronco Nation West.  We hope you had a great week too!

Credit - Boise State

Credit – Boise State

I was watching the Indiana/Missouri game and they brought up the total yardage stats. Both teams were at 387 yards. The commentator says “You can’t get any more equal than that”. Do you think so, genius?…Holy Moses! Wisconsin had 644 yards rushing against Bowling Green. That’s the most in the B1G since 1930. Did BGSU even have a defense on the field at all?…I love Boise State’s defense tonight. The offense is doing okay. Coach Harsin will have them doing up-downs and running sprints all Monday for being so sloppy. After the game, Hars looked shark-angry!I listened to the post-game presser and totally expected angry Coach. I’m sure the team gets Angry Coach Monday….Here’s my Saturday rundown for this week – Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech, Georgia/Troy, Texas A&M/SMU, Utah/Michigan, Alabama/Florida, BYU/Virginia, Indiana/Missouri, Miss St/LSU, Washington/Georgia St, Clemson/FSU, Vanderbilt/South Carolina, Nebraska/Miami, Boise State/Louisiana-Lafayette, & Oregon/Washington St. Not as much as last week but only because I was gone for 3 hours….I just saw a Southwest Airlines commercial where they claimed to “invent” low fares. If that’s the case, then you also “invented” crappy service and even worse boarding procedures. Good on you, Southwest….I hope no one gets offended but couples with combined Facebook profiles make me throw up in my mouth a little. Is there a trust issue there? Can you not do things on your own? Give me some insight here!…Congrats to Jay Ajayi for winning Mountain West Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season. He’s touched the ball enough to win it every week for the rest of the season….

IMG_1560

Credit – Boise State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really Stephen Tulloch? You tore your ACL celebrating a sack in the 3rd week of the season? You didn’t win the Super Bowl. It was a game in September….And then there’s the story about the 3-breasted woman. Jasmine Tridevil wants to be famous but got boob numero 3 so men wouldn’t be attracted to her anymore. Although that does make you really weird, guys won’t be attracted to you because you’re dumb…

This was only cool in the original "Total Recall". Right, Arnold?

This was only cool in the original “Total Recall”. Right, Arnold?

Arby’s is going the way of Carl’s Jr. to sell sandwiches. Please stop asking if “the meat scares me”, okay?….I’m not a big fan of horror movies. And “Annabelle” looks horrible. But the commercials scare the crap out of me. I’m a scaredy cat, I’ll admit it. That’s why it took almost until the third season was over to even watch “The Walking Dead”….What exactly is a top-shelf enchilada, Chili’s? You can’t steal alcohol’s thunder….We watched the series premiere of “Gotham” and I think I’m already hooked. I didn’t want it to end and now I’m stoked for the next episode. It was crazy good….We just passed the 20th Anniversary of me getting out of the U.S. Army. I’m flabbergasted about how fast two decades go by. Also, I’m ultra-appreciative of what current service members are doing now. I didn’t have to deal with any of the things that they have to….I drove past the county health department and the electronic reader board said, “Breast milk is….the best milk”. I don’t know why it made me laugh so much. Probably because there was no context preceding it….Oh silly CW. Trying to cash in on the superhero thing with “The Flash”. When are you going to do an Aquaman series? The Flash is about the least interesting superhero on the planet.  Great. You can run fast. So can Usain Bolt.

 

I know we’re playing Air Force and “Top Gun” is about Navy aviators but….

dangerzone

 

Maverick: Mustang, this is Maverick, requesting fly-by.

Air Boss Johnson: Negative, Ghost Rider. The Pattern is full.

Enjoy your week.  Stay happy!

BTN Predictions – Week 4: Louisiana-Lafayette

Okay, so maybe the BTN staff got a little carried away with our #BEATEMDOWN predictions last week. How were we supposed to know the game would be played on the worst surface Boise State has played on in recent memory? Oh well, on to Week 4. This week Boise State plays host to the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, owners of one of college football’s coolest names. Boise State opened as a 16-point favorite over the Cajuns, a line that should fluctuate before game time. Last week, we questioned Vegas’ line of -17 Boise State, but the bookies turned out to be psychics when it came to Boise State/UConn (38-21 Broncos). Read below to see if the BTN staff sides with Vegas this time around, or if gambling is bad so we ignore their existence completely. As usual, comment below with your prediction or tweet it to @TheBTN.

Jeremy

UL-Lafayette was a popular pick in the off-season to be a trap game for Boise State. Recent weeks have been rough on the Cajuns, getting whipped at home by former Boise State conference mate Louisiana Tech 48-20, and losing 15-56 to Ole Miss. I watched that game, and Ole Miss frankly could have named the score. All of the Rebels starters were out of the game by midway of the 3rd quarter. I thought ULL did some good things on the ground, and their QB is good at improvising, but their defense gives up a lot of easy completions over the middle. I think Ajayi has a good day, but Hedrick is the player that goes off vs. the Ragin’ Cajun defense. I’ll stick my head out and disagree with Vegas this week. Give me Boise State 49-27 in yet another late game on The Blue™.

Noel

Hmmm….I’m pretty confident that the Broncos will get the “W” this week.  I’m just not sure of the final score.  After some alternating “Meh/That’s a bit better/Oh we won but not so pretty!” weeks, the boys have me teetering on the edge of uncertainty.  I think most everything comes together this week (it has to, right?).  The pass and run defense step up, Jay gets a moderate amount of touches but still shines, Grant throws for 3 TDs and runs for 1, and SWR finally breaks one. The Fighting Hot Peppers will go cold and the final score will be 45-20, the Good Guys!

Tami

The Ragin’ Cajuns just aren’t going to have enough oomph to overpower the Broncos at home. Their defense is Sunbelt Funbelt-tastic, and their offense just won’t be dynamic enough to confuse the Boise defense too much. ULL is ripe for the picking (sacking, whatever) and like Noel, I think it all comes together this week. I think that Boise will have blingy yardage numbers to match the chromey helmets, and the Broncos come away with the win, 32-10. 

Derek

I’m a glass over-flowing type of guy – always positive and always expecting the best. In my past two predictions I have placed my order for blowouts but have been served satisfying but not overly tasty wins of 13 and 17 points.  This week we get the full course meal.  The defensive line will continue their dominance, Grant Hedrick will pick up where he left off last week showing that he can be the leader the Broncos need, the secondary will finally get it together and smother the Cajun’s passing game, and Jay Ajayi will once again run free like a Heisman contending running back.  Time to eat.  Boise 59 Louisiana 10

Gage

After predicting a blow-out and Ryan Finley appearance last week, I had some time to self-reflect and let myself know i need to cool the jets. Therefore, I am not going to predict a blow-out this week. Thus meaning it will happen and the Broncos will run all over Ragin’ Cajuns. That’s how much faith I have in my score prediction skills. I think the Broncos will win by a slim margin and fail to cover the 16+ point spread. So, if you’re reading this, you should understand that means lay down big money on BSU to cover. Broncos 34 Cajuns 20