Attack The Opponent: University of Louisiana – Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

The Ragin’ Cajuns have one of the most solid mascots in the NCAA. Unfortunately, their football team isn’t as awesome as Cayenne, the red pepper with the intense stare that serves as ULL’s unofficial mascot.
My anger comes from having these flappy useless bird arms.

AHH-YEE rhymes with intensity!

Why unofficial? Apparently the Ragin’ Cajuns started as yet another southern team named the Bulldogs. That lasted until 1963. Then apparently they still kept the bulldog around as a mascot until the early 80’s when they trotted out….a chicken. Now, it’s not like the Broncos are a super terrifying mascot, but at least we aimed for majestic wild horses instead of poultry.

fabcajun

The Cajuns are currently 1-2, with their only win coming against the Southern Jaguars which is a wonderful school that I had no idea existed until about 30 seconds ago. The Broncos and the Cajuns did have a common opponent this season in Ole Miss, but that didn’t end kindly for either school. ULL fell to Ole Miss last week 56-15. In week 1, Boise lost to the Rebels as well, 35-13.

There is no big cause to be concerned though. While it appears that Boise’s offense is bad in comparison just from the scores, the Boise offense that will show up this weekend on The Blue is a different animal than the performance put on at the Georgia Dome. Boise’s offense has more dimension now. ULL is going to have to do some serious UConn style work on defense to slow down Boise’s ground game, and seeing as our good friend Dr. Bo Wallace torched their pass D for 4 TD’s…well, as long as the Broncos bring their game, it should be a happy happy joy joy kind of night at Albertsons Stadium.

On the offensive side of the ball, ULL has either a very balanced or very sad attack, depending on your point of view. Their QB is Terrance Broadway, who has passed 516 yards this season and 4 TDs. Grant, on the other hand has 849 passing yards and 5 TD’s. Jay Ajayi has 344 rushing yards, which is only 49 yards shy of the rushing totals of the top two rushin’ Cajuns, Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris. Matt Miller has 90 more yards by himself than the Cajun’s top two receivers, Jamal Robinson and Gabe Fuselier. If the Broncos defense stays as sack/pick happy as they were last weekend, it’s going to be a very long day for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

I wonder if Albertsons bakery is going to provide refreshments?

 cupcake How you doin, Cupcake?

 While Boise and ULL have never played against each other before, they do now share a conference with our Vandal brethren to the north. Sorry, ULL, they really were raised in a barn, but only by their own wishes.

The Ragin’ Cajuns fans seem to be similar to any fan base who is 1-2 – gross overreactions by some, the temperate ones trying to talk everybody down, those who are angry…it’s all typical. They do, however, appear to be a fun-loving bunch with a good sense of humor, so maybe they’ll feel better about their chances in this game if we show them a good time tailgating. Boise State isn’t exactly LSU in the party department, but we understand the nuances of consuming breakfast burritos and Bloody Mary’s at 10 am. Besides, this guy looks like he’s pretty fun at a party.

youcandoitguy

ALLL MORNING LOOONG

There are a couple of things Boise should look out for. The first is fatigue. These guys have been back and forth across the country twice in 4 weeks, playing early two weekends in a row. At least the Broncos will finally be on their own time zone, but jet lag is a jerk that is out to ruin your day. If the Broncos don’t prep well, or are tired, this could turn into a trap. ULL does spread the ball around fairly effectively, statistically speaking. A slow start, failure to launch in the fourth quarter, further injuries, all of those things could lead to a game with more interest than we need or hope, with a Funbelt team in mid-September.

So, Saturday at noon, then. CBS SN. Homecoming weekend. The Broncos should get a nice win on one of the few warm weather weekends left of 2014. Hope to continue to see a more balanced attack, some gaudy yardage numbers wouldn’t be amiss either. The Ragin’ Cajuns are their own brand of misery right now, and their coming a long way to a loud, hostile place once the game begins. The Blue should be especially gorgeous this weekend, and while I hold no real animosity, I don’t think that Lafayette is the one that can spoil it.

Just want to say thanks to @keleka24 for covering me last week while I was indisposed. You’re #awesome!

Mountain West Recap: Wolf [SPACE] Pack are back?

Week 3 of Mountain West play is over, and with that comes more clarity in the race for the Mountain West Championship game. In a week that featured some bizarre matchups, some teams impressed, others continued to embarrass themselves (looking at you, Fresno). Here’s what happened on Saturday, September 13th…

Saturday

Boise State 38, Connecticut 21 – Early on, it appeared all was going as planned. A blast from Armand Nance forced a fumble that Tanner Vallejo took to the house. #BEATEMDOWN, right? Not quite. On the worst playing surface I’ve ever watched Boise State play on, the Huskies appeared to have all the energy in the stadium. The Broncos looked listless, Ajayi worn-out. Whether that’s because of the early start time, jet lag from a long trip, whatever excuse, it was clear Boise State was lacking something. A UConn punt that hit Jack Fields was recovered by the Huskies, and they quickly capitalized. Broncos fans were getting nervous, but key INTs from Moxey and Deayon closed this game out for Boise State. Considering the circumstances, be glad the Broncos won this game.

Link to highlights

Air Force 48, Georgia State 38 – About those bizarre matchups, here’s another one. The Falcons traveled all the way to Georgia to take on the Panthers after losing in Laramie to Wyoming last week. The offense moved the ball easily all day behind Kale Pearson, throwing 224 passing yards (!!!) and the run game going off for 315 yards. The Falcon defense is still a problem, giving up 38 points and 532 total yards to a bad Georgia State team. That said, Troy Calhoun’s team needs to start winning again regardless of the circumstance. They’ll take the win.

Oregon 48, Wyoming 14 – Craig Bohl’s Cowboys are a tough team to figure out. After two slim victories at home against arguably to two worst teams they’ll see all season, they walk into Eugene and start off so well they led the Ducks (!!!) 7-0 after 1 quarter. Sure, eventually Mariota and the offense woke up and won comfortably, but Wyoming did some good things. 439 total yards on the Ducks defense is nothing to scoff at. I need to see more of this team, but Bohl’s team just might flirt with going bohling this season (see what I did there?). Shaun Wick might be the best RB in the MW you’ve never heard of.

Link to highlights

A certain king of all bandwagoners was rumored to be in the suites for this game…

Colorado State 49, UC-Davis 21 – The Rams opened their home slate vs. an FCS program, which is just what they needed after facing Boise State on The Blue. Garrett Grayson had another huge day through the air, going 22/31 with 425 passing yards and 4 TDs. Dee Hart seems to have cooled down since his breakout game vs. Colorado, rushing for only 38 yards, but backup RB Treyous Jarrells had a decent day with 84 rushing yards. WR Rashard Higgins looks like he might threaten to snag a 1st-team All-MW spot. Overall, the Rams got what they needed out of their home opener, putting together a solid 4-quarter performance.

Utah State 36, Wake Forest 24 – The craptastic offensive display in Logan continues. There were two TDs, one for each team, in the first quarter. They were both pick-sixes. Then the Aggie explosion occurred, going into halftime up 29-7. Then Keeton got hurt again. That inspired a mini comeback from the Demon Deacons, a comeback backup QB Darrell Garrettson squashed. The Aggies won 36-24 over the questionable Demon Deacons, but the real topic is Chuckie Keeton’s health. Keeton’s knee does not appear to be as far along as off-season reports would allow one to believe. A win is a win, but the Aggies got problems going forward.

Link to highlights

Northern Illinois 48, UNLV 34 – In classic Rebel fashion, Bobby Hauck’s team made this game weird. It appeared we were set for a standard UNLV blowout, down by the odd score of 5-28 in the 3rd quarter. However, the Rebels made a run in that 3rd quarter to close the score to 31-26 thanks to QB Blake Decker zoning in on star WR Devante Davis. 17 fourth quarter points were enough for the Huskies to put away the Rebels, but at least UNLV showed some heart in this one.

Nebraska 55, Fresno State 19 – Oh, Fresno. Everyone knew these first three games would be very tough, but this home game vs. Nebraska was supposed to be the most likely victory of the three. Or at least the most competitive. Instead it was more of the same. In front a packed crowd of red, 20,000 of them being Huskers fans, the Bulldogs were dominated from start to finish. Tommy Armstrong Jr., Ameer Abdullah, and the Huskers bounced back from a weak performance at home vs. McNeese State to whip the Dogs in every phase of the game. Once again, Fresno gave up over 550+ total yards, and the offense struggled to move the ball vs. the Huskers first string. The highlight of the game was probably the safety Fresno got as a result of a Huskers player batting the ball out the back of the end zone on a punt return. Apparently that dude didn’t know the rules. Fresno hopes to get Brandon Connette back soon and get back on track after this horrible start.

Link to highlights

Arizona 35, Nevada 28 – We might have a clear favorite to win the West Division after Week 3. After upsetting Washington State last week, Nevada traveled to Arizona to play a second Pac-12 opponent, and they didn’t disappoint. Cody Fajardo struggled to run the ball effectively, but was nearly flawless through the air. Nevada’s run game altogether was stymied, but Fajardo made up for it. I know giving up 500+ total yards and 35 points isn’t exactly impressive, but the Nevada defense is clearly a top 2-3 MW unit. Anu Solomon and Nick Johnson were ultimately too much for Reno, but bottom line: MW fans, watch out for Nevada.

Hawaii 27, Northern Iowa 24 – Nothing better than closing the college football weekend with Robert Kekaula and an unpredictable Hawaii team. Hawaii will be without RB Joey Iosefa for at least another 3 weeks, forcing Steven Lakalaka (real name) to step up, and he did. 124 rushing yards on 32 carries, Lakalaka was the entire UH offense in this game. The defense did a good job of containing RB David Johnson, holding him to only 46 rushing yards on 18 carries. I know on the surface a 27-24 win over an FCS school isn’t all that impressive, but this is only the second time Norm Chow has won a game that wasn’t in the final week of the season. Northern Iowa is a pretty good FCS program too. Hawaii will take any win they can get. Upcoming weeks will show if UH can turn this thing around.

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Next up…Week 4

It’s all Saturday once again for the Mountain West. Hawaii travels to Colorado to take on the Buffs, which can be seen on the Pac-12 Network. Starting at 2 p.m. MT, San Jose State will be on the Big Ten Network playing Minnesota. Outside of those games, this week’s slate of games have been relegated to ESPN3 status. Boise State will play UL-Lafayette on CBS Sports, but you already knew that. Utah State-Arkansas State and San Diego State-Oregon State figure to be interesting games.

Clock flips on Boise State again this week, 8:30 p.m. start time. Get out to Albertsons Stadium and support the Broncos!

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!