Attack The Opponent: That Darned Bye

We’re in the thick of a moment that should be committed to memory carefully. With four games left in the season, the Broncos are a dangerous team. They out-prepare their opponents, and out-execute them too. Boise State plays hard, hits harder, learns quickly, can adjust on the fly and obviously has fun. A team like that is hard to beat. The truly hard part of the schedule is over. The rest are traps. Next up is New Mexico, yet another option team but one that is still 2-5. Then SDSU, who needs to be beaten into submission similarly to what happened to BYU last Friday. After that is Wyoming, who very much want to beat our guys and seem to think they can do it, but then they also aren’t a good football team so, whatever. They’ll take their best shot in a few weeks. Utah State could be a tripping point if overlooked, but they are down to fourth string freshman QB’s. Just how good of a coach and recruiter is Matt Wells, anyway? Not many are that good. After that, if the Broncos emerge unscathed, we’re talking an MWC Championship game on the Blue. In year one!

Next June, when there isn’t anything going on and its a billion degrees outside and we’re in the doldrums of a college football offseason, remember how glorious this has been. Bowl season is coming, possibly with a decent opponent for the Broncos, and then soon enough it will be over for another year. Recruiting info will ramp up and then ramp down, signing day, the spring game, and all of a sudden it’s the middle of the summer and everything sucks a bit more because college football is so impossibly far away.

all baseball and no football makes tami something something

all baseball and no football makes tami something something

This has been a spectacular season so far. Sure, it started off in a less than optimal way, but that loss vs. Ole Miss didn’t turn out to be so bad. The Air Force game was an aberration, a horrible example of worst case scenario. Grant stood up afterwards, dusted himself off, and has proven to be a very good quarterback – the most accurate in the nation by almost 2% over Brett Hundley, Jameis Winson, and Cody Kessler. Those are awfully big names to be ahead of on the arguably most important quarterback metric.

Jay Ajayi has also had a great season so far, getting tons of yardage. He’s an impact back, and can get 4.5 yards just by existing. The Jay Train is going to go to a very lucky NFL team whenever Jay decides it’s time to take that step. Speculation gets us nowhere, because Ajayi is the only one that knows and it sure seems like he’s hungry and focused and trying to play football for Boise State to the best of his ability. He’s maturing as a player and it’s truly wonderful to watch. However, there are some younger guys who are making a difference too. Thomas Sperbeck, the circus catch making receiver who has stepped up brilliantly in place of Matt Miller for one.

(Speaking of Matt, his injury just sucks. He was 15 yards away from the school receiving record and instead of figuring out how to get it he just stepped back, put on a headset, and is still being a great leader on the sidelines and in the locker room. Mr. Miller, here’s to a quick recovery and a great combine performance and draft.)

Shane Williams-Rhodes is having a good, if not somewhat quiet year. He is on track to better his TD best from last season, and is only a few big plays from being back around that heady 9.1 yard per carry number from last season. Swerve seems to always be just a broken tackle away from popping off for big things, and with New Mexico and Wyoming and their terrible defenses coming up, he should do some interesting stuff. Jeremy McNichols is another young player who is electric with the ball. He is a great compliment to Jay, with his ability to keep defenders honest on the outside.

giphy-3

Jeremy McNichols sliding around that corner like

The Broncos defense has additionally been quite solid, snatching the most interceptions as a team in the MWC, holding teams to the second lowest in rushing yards and yards allowed per carry. Pass Defense stats totals aren’t as pretty as the rush D, but the takeaways and the fact that the Mountain West’s defensive player of the week has been a different Bronco twice this season (Donte Deayon and Kamalei Correa), we can safely call the defense back.

It’s a good time to be a Bronco fan. Coach Harsin and his assistants have infused this team and this city with much needed optimism. Albertson’s Stadium was so loud it was impossible to think on Friday night at times, and it’s been a while since that happened. Boise State football is truly fun again, and winning is the reason. Coach Petersen left the program in pretty good shape and Harsin added to it with a truly excellent 2014 class. The world appears to be changing around us as far as what schools are able to offer recruits, so it remains to see if Harsin and his team can keep up the torrid pace, but Boise State remains a place to be for kids who want to win football games, learn how to be a successful person, gain a family, get a good education, and possibly a chance to play football professionally. If anybody can sell a recruit on that, it’s these guys.

We’re 8 games in and the future is just as bright as it was that first day Harsin stepped, beaming, to the podium last winter. That is more than we ever could have asked for. Let’s hope the rest of the season is just as satisfying.

This Week at the Diggity’s – Week 9 (The Real Cougars Are At Hannah’s Downtown)

It’s BYU week here in the City of Trees and, unfortunately, people tend to make it about religion. I think that’s too easy so I stay away from it. I’d rather just make fun of their fall from grace and keep it current.  We have over a decade of this matchup to go so keeping it new from the fan side will make it more enjoyable for me. Check out the uniform combo for this week and enjoy the Diggitys:

IMG_1717

Wow…Percy Harvin traded to the Jets for a conditional draft pick? What triggered that? There has to be some sort of back story….I feel good about Grant in this game. He’s using his head for something other than a helmet holder. 20-10 at the half….FresNOPE out scored the Broncos in the second half but tough running by Jay and defensive stops in the 4th quarter, including a Donte Deayon pick, gives the game to Boise, 37-27. GO BRONCOS!…I’m sure you know how big of a college football fan I am but I’m kind of bored with this Saturday’s games. But, to make things better, both the Sooners and Cowboys made sure we called the state “Chokelahoma”…. Here is what I watched this past week. Although it was a tough Saturday without a Bronco game, I still checked in on a lot of football: UL-Lafayette/Texas St., Pitt/Virginia Tech, Colorado School of Mines/Fort Lewis (CO), Oregon St./Utah, Boise State/CSU-Fresno, Temple/Houston, Baylor/West Virginia, Oklahoma/Kansas St., Alabama/Texas A&M, Clemson/BC, UCLA/Cal, TCU/Oklahoma State, New Mexico/Air Force, Ole Miss/Tennessee, Oregon/Washington, Florida St./Notre Dame, Colorado State/Utah State, BYU/Nevada, Hawaii/San Diego State, Arizona State/Stanford….As a fan, I’m tired of people playing the what-if game.  As in “What if the Broncos hadn’t lost to Air Force?”. It’s great to speculate about what may happen in the future but it’s torture to think about the past….This week’s bowl predictions for Boise State are out – Brett McMurphy has the Broncos playing Stanford in the Cactus Bowl and it’s the Hawaii Bowl vs. Lousiana Tech according to Mark Schlabach. Interesting….I love “The Walking Dead” and I like to see the reaction of people online. Today, a bunch of people were complaining about how many commercials were on during the episode. Hey peeps. Guess what? If there weren’t any commercials, this show would be on HBO, not AMC. Feel grateful….Congratulations to Donté Deayon on being named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week….

Donte

The Mo’ne Davis-Chevrolet commercial is one of the best on TV. And, according to Darren Rovell from ESPN, the NCAA says that Chevy can pay her with no danger to her future eligibility. It’s cool that she can get paid but crappy that they have to worry about it at age 13….Speaking about commercials – way to go to Android for using “Party Hard” by Andrew WK. I love that song….According to people who live here in Eugene, it rains a lot during the late fall/winter time. I wouldn’t have guessed it by the way locals drive though. Atrocious!…

I’m a music fan.  I love all types so, instead of a song that has some connection to the game, I just want one that will give us some feels.  I hate waiting all day for a game so maybe this one will work:

That’s it for now. Remember, young team means mistakes. Positive thoughts for a win. GO BRONCOS and see you next week.

Attack the Opponent – Colorado State Rams

The Mountain West conference had a rough few days, opening with a .500 win percentage after the first weekend of play. However, the only team that played a power 5 opponent and won was Colorado State, against in-state rival Colorado. The Buffs aren’t exactly the top of the Pac – they haven’t had a winning season since 2005. The Rams fans seem to be jacked up on this win – using it as additional proof that the Broncos are going to be taken down this week.

Now, the Rams do have some things working in their favor. Their D held the Buffs to 134 yards rushing, but weren’t as successful against the pass, allowing 241 yards. On the offensive side, Dee Hart (transfer from Bama) and Treyous Jarrells combined for 260 yards on the ground, strengthening what was already a decent Mountain West ground attack in 2013. They also have the first win out of the way, and against their instate rivals. The only issue is that those rivals just aren’t a very good team, Pac affiliation or no.

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 10.57.24 AM You know it’s true, Ram Boy. No sad face!

One thing the Broncos had going for them the other night in Atlanta was defense. Now, Ole Miss wasn’t performing spectacularly. Bo Wallace was getting picked off like his passes were dandelions in a T-Ball outfield. I just find it doubtful that CSU can come up with another nearly 400 yard game on Boise State like happened last season. On the ground, I do think that the Rams are going to get their yards. Boise’s DL looked fairly strong against Ole Miss, but CSU does have strength in that RB stable.  However, if Boise’s linemen can get enough disruption in an SEC backfield to cause 3 interceptions and 3 sacks, what on earth is CSU, a team that gave up a sack and an int to Colorado of all teams going to do? This could be the best kind of way for the Broncos to open their home slate – with a spectacular defensive show.

????????????????????????????????????????? Dr. Bo and Dr. Nick…both Ole Miss Alumni?

There are some things that are going to have to be done on the offensive side for Boise State that aren’t really opponent specific. Being able to finish drives and get in the end zone is of utmost importance right now. If the Broncos don’t figure out how to make that happen, it’s going to be a very long season. Grant Hedrick has to be better at reading the field and making good choices, or Shane Williams-Rhodes is going to end up without a head at some point. Do we have WR’s other than Williams-Rhodes and Matt Miller? There are many questions to be answered in the coming weeks.

Let’s start with answering some against CSU. Grant WENT OFF during this game last year for 5 TD’s, and it appears that the Rams are still working with a weakened pass D. If that is the case and Grant doesn’t go all Zabransky Head Case on us after the loss to Ole Miss, the Rams could be in real trouble. This game will be a fight, no doubt. We’re not going back in time to the days when we whipped everybody in the MWC by 40. CSU has a strong run attack, a pretty good run D, and the kind of confidence that beating up your big brother can bring.

goatfight

CSU/CU game highlights, as performed by goats.

Is that going to be enough to win in Boise, late on a Saturday night? Doubtful. Boise is still the cream of the MWC, despite a few message boards and media outlets crying that it’s all doom and gloom. The Rams are going to have to come up with some big offense that I just don’t think they have. As long as Boise’s offense actually executes the flashes it showed last week, it will confound MWC defenses far and wide.

Come get some, Rams. We need a cupcake to snack on, but it looks like we’re having lamb chops instead.lamb chop