This Week at the Diggity’s – Week 14: The MWCMDCG (The Mountain West Conference Mountain Division Championship Game)

Who would have thought it?  The Utah State game is the MWC Mountain Division Championship Game and it could potentially be the last time the Broncos play on the Blue this year.  I wish I could be there.  This will be the first Senior Day that the Mrs. and I won’t be at in 5 years.  Hopefully, Bronco Nation will pack the stadium and I’ll be able to feel that goodness through the TV.  Have a great week!

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I missed quite a bit of college football today. Mrs. Diggity made fun of me for saying so…Great first half for the Broncos. The defense played amazing. Good Guys lead 28-7….The second half has been even better. Passing TD, 2 Running TDs, Punt Return TD, and a Pick 6. Way to put a total game together, boys. The final was 63-14….Here are the games I was able to check out last week. I worked Saturday so it wasn’t so bad:  Toledo/Bowling Green, UTEP/Rice, San José State/Utah State, Air Force/SDSU,  EWU/Portland State, Miami/Virginia, Oklahoma St./Baylor, USC/UCLA, Boise State/Wyoming, Fresno State/Nevada…So about those people who wanted to get rid of Grant after the Air Force game. What do you think now?…I’m now employed by the USPS and it most likely will be taking my weekends away from me. But, the bennies and pay are good and it’s not call center work so I’m good….This job is being on my feet all day. I may lose some weight.  That’s a good thing….Boise State came in at #23 in the College Football Playoff poll. That’s just ahead of Marshall and miles ahead of where they were after the Air Force game….And that means weekly bowl projections. Just for sanity’s sake, I just look at ESPNs picks. There are hundreds of people prognosticating. That being said, both Mark Schlabach and Brett McMurphy have the Broncos in the Fiesta Bowl. Mark has them playing Arizona while Brett has UCLA as the opponent…I’m all for peacefully protesting but I have no idea what good a Black Friday boycott would do and am probably pretty sure it won’t happen….Thanksgiving was pretty good.  Too much food. Way too much good food. But I’m thankful for that….Friday was a fun set of games. Good to see both Marshall and Colorado State, they of little faith in BSU, falter. I try not to talk trash until all is said and done. The Thundering Herd and Rams made the end result a bit easier to predict.

For the song of the week, this is how I think Bronco Stadium should be tonight. Get all rowdy and stuff.

That being said, enjoy yourselves, Bronco Nation.  Be classy and sassy and a whole bunch of bad-a$$y.  See you next week.

The Time is Now – Boise State vs Utah State

GDPICSaturday the season is on the line. If Boise State wins against Utah State it is on to hosting the Mountain West Championship vs a team from the West Division. That means it is time for the fans to show up & show out! After a tough season last year, Harsin & company have the Boise State Broncos back on track, and officially ranked #25 in some polls. To top it off, it is “Senior Night”, and those guys deserve a packed house in their final game!

No more excuses, no time to complain about a late kickoff, it is time Bronco Nation. It is time to show the nation what we are all about! Together we can make a difference, together we can help the Bronco’s take the last step needed on their journey to hoisting the Mountain West trophy. Show the critics that they were wrong when they proclaimed the end of Boise State was near. See everybody at Albertsons Stadium on Saturday! GO BRONCOS!

Don’t have tickets, they are still available here —> CLICK 4 TICKETS <——

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Attack The Opponent: Wyoming Cowboys

The Cowboys are 4-6 under first year head coach Craig Bohl, somehow beating Air Force and Fresno in conference. They nearly took out Colorado State, hailed by many as the best team in the MWC right now. They haven’t really truly been blown out by anybody in the Mountain West. All that combined with the fact that their place might be the second hardest place to play in conference other than Boise State makes the game coming up this Saturday require inordinate focus.

Playing at Wyoming seems like it would be the exact opposite experience of a Bronco home game. Whereas Albertsons Stadium is a riot of bright blue and orange and noise, War Memorial Stadium is a drab and fairly sparse collection of folks in brown and yellow. The wind howls and the snow blows and momentum can get sucked away like a dementor feeding on joy.

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Harsin and Ginny Weasley share a patronus. #hashtagHPGeek

Then again, the Broncos are on a roll. The Cowboys will be tough, because that’s kind of the Cowboy deal all-around. Those guys don’t just lay down, roll over, and die. Nobody is going to do that anymore, and it’s making football a much more exciting thing in the Mountain West. If only the Wyoming fan base was as hardy. Boise State is coming off some very interesting second half comeback wins. Would imagine we will see the J-Train rolling hot into Laramie on Saturday night, and the team that doesn’t kill themselves with turnovers and penalties will win.

Boise State is going to have to defend just as well as ever. Ben Weaver said during the radio show on Monday night, “Lots of incentive to go 3 and out, you could get back to the heaters.” Well, lucky you, Mr. Weaver! Hold Wyoming and their big, tough RB to 3 and outs and you can totally hang out by the heaters again this weekend!

Just maybe stick with the gas heaters instead of what happened in the first half vs. SDSU.

There is a lot of speculation floating around about how the end of the season is going to look. The Broncos must stay focused on the task at hand – winning this game, this week. The ‘Boys aren’t going to be an easy team to beat. As satisfying as it would be to see Boise State put a ton of points on Wyoming (mostly to add to the fan misery complex), The Broncos haven’t been consistent enough on the road to make that prediction. They do, however, seem to really care about each other and have bought into their own message. That ol’ Bronco Magic was never magic, and we all knew it. The miracles, the amazing victories, the battles with Goliaths, was all driven by this enviable philosophy that Hars and his intense band of coaches has so successfully translated to millennial speak.

I don’t think Craig Bohl has that at Wyoming yet. Thats why Cowboys fans are despondent on the message boards, and while tickets sell, they’re getting Vandal numbers through the doors. The fans will show up in slightly bigger numbers for this game because Boise State coming to town with ESPN and dat cash in tow is kind of a big deal. They took down the guys that took down Boise…maybe it’s possible for the Cowboys to out tough the Broncos on a cold and windy night over seven thousand feet.

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We did see Tony Hawk fall off a real-deal hoverboard this week. Anything is possible.

It’s also just as likely that Boise State puts together a true 4 quarter game and shuts up everybody who whines about being a second half team now. Or about how late the games are. Or about how cold it is outside. Broncos care about one thing: playing the best football game that can be played. Bronco Nation better hurry up and get with the program en masse or the team will leave them behind, just like they are conference opponents these days. The Broncos don’t have time for it. They’ve got a championship to bring home.

BTN Predictions: Week 11 vs. New Mexico

Derek

Every dog has its day. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.  Derek gets a prediction right (close?).

I have predicted blow-outs in pretty much every game this year, and FINALLY I was right.  I predicted a 42-23  blowout victory for the Broncos over the Cougars in our last game, and I was correct about the blow-out, and only off by a TD or so on both sides of the score.  So

So do I keep on keepin’ on and continue with my ways?

Nope.

Although the match-up against the Lobos of New Mexico may be screaming blow-out again, until Boise State can put together a dominating performance on the road I am going to have to go with a close game.  I have a feeling both teams are going to ground and pound (well, I know UNM will – that is all they know how to do), which will lead to a lower scoring, close game.  I am going to say that Boise scores first and that the game is never really in doubt, but due to the style of play we are going to see, the final score will look closer than the game really was.  I am going Boise State 31 UNM 17. Of course if it is another blow-out I will be extremely happy!

Noel

I’m going to have to go with Derek on this one for two reasons: Like him, Bronco Nation hasn’t put together a complete road game all season and, secondly, it doesn’t matter if the team is home or away but triple option teams are hard to get off of the field.  I know, there was a bye week to prepare but unless the team has players that run it as efficiently as New Mexico, the preparation comes up short.  That being said, the Lobos’ defense is pitiful.   Jay Ajayi will have a big game, Grant Hedrick will manage and not throw picks, and Sperbeck/Roh will have a touch down apiece.  My prediction: Boise State 45, New Mexico 21.

Tami

Today, I am feeling optimistic. Sure, there are valid points up there from my compatriots about option football meaning the game is going to be closer than we think…elaine yada yada

The fact remains that the Boys in Blue need to EAT after that last bye week, the coaches will have the guys as prepped as possible to face that offense, and 2012 was the only time in the history of the match-up that the Lobos put more than 20 points on a scoreboard vs. Boise State. I think the guys come out fired up and New Mexico are the ones going to get torched. Boise State wins 55-10.

Gage 

Does there really have to be bye weeks or even worse, dreaded off-seasons.. I like Boise State. I like football. I like Boise State Football. Since I like those things, I’m entitled to want them infinitely, correct? Therefore I feel as though I deserve Boise State Football every week … forrrrrrever.

The Broncos opponent this week is an under polished New Mexico team that can pack a surprise punch if not careful. The Lobos can run the ball, and do so effectively. They rank 5th in the nation at rushing yards per game (304 YPG). Rather impressive for a team that is ultimately one-dimensional. 74 passing yards per game!!! PER GAME.

With that being said, the only way I see the Broncos allowing the Lobos to stay in this game for 4 quarters and potentially win it; would be another turnover catastrophe similar to the Broncos other two losses.

Thankfully, I do not foresee that, I believe Grant Hedrick has found a groove and will continue to operate with the precision and decision-making he has in the past 4 games (knocks on wood ……. still knocking). The Broncos defense will load the box and stop the run as they have extremely well thus far. If all goes to plan, this will be over early 3rd quarter, but does anything ever go to plan? Broncos 48 Lobos 17

 

Heath

Late to the party so I won’t even try to examine the game. I will just say Boise State 49 New Mexico 24.

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.

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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.

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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.