Attack The Opponent: Colorado State Rams

goatthelightningUh oh…

Colorado State is underachieving right now. On paper, they should be one of the few threats to the Broncos really left on the schedule. Mike Bobo came from Georgia and took over a Rams team that won 10 games last season. Rams fans are beside themselves after watching two close OT losses to P5 teams (I can’t believe that’s what Colorado counts as), squeaking by UTSA, and then losing by 15 to Utah State. CSU lost a lot of their star power to the NFL draft – boy does that sound familiar – except where BSU has flourished, really, CSU is in a fall.

nWyLx20 - Imgur

Okay, it’s hard to find gifs of mountain goats falling that aren’t terrible, but totally found THIS AWESOME ONE OF GOATS FALLING…UP!?

CSU is a team who’s stats make little to no sense when we look at totals. But the trend is revealing. The cupcake tasted like cupcake. But then things went wrong.

Offensively, CSU is struggling a little over the last few games. Boise State has a much better DL than Utah State, and this team didn’t fare well against the Aggies run defense. They didn’t against Minnesota either. Neither of those teams are the #2 run defense in the country…but Boise State is.

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The Rams retained the services of outstanding WR Rashard Higgins, and while his production isn’t quite as good as where he left off last season, that can be attributed to the inexperience at quarterback. Nick Stevens is playing consistently, but just not quite to the standard that Garrett Grayson set last season.

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The noise coming out of Ft. Collins is that the defensive woes in the run game have been due to missed assignments and not seeing formations like the ones the players have come up against before. Yeah. Hope they got some quality time in the film room, or else this weekend’s game could be very, very ugly.

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The Broncos do not have the weird stats problem. The rush game is all over the place, but the pass game is definitely much improved. Rypien has done some good work over the last few weeks, and I would expect that to continue this weekend. CSU’s pass defense isn’t bad, but there’s a lot to be said for the power of a positive trend and Boise State has a statistically correlated one.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 8.39.49 PMDefensively, Boise State has been pretty spectacular. 2 fewer big plays vs. BYU and this defense would’ve earned the “dominant” moniker games ago and the national media noise would be deafening. Boise’s DL is ridiculous. Look at that run yardage. If CSU breaks 100 yards on the ground, it will be truly stunning. CSU will find what success they can through the air…at least until Donte Deayon and new daddy Darian Thompson and the rest of the Bronco defense gets rolling in their intercepting ways. Oh, didn’t you know? Coach Yates’ DBU is leading the country in interceptions right now with 11. Hawaii doesn’t exactly have a big time WR like Higgins, so expect BSU to be defending a better air attack than we saw last week.

CSU is one of those teams that is either going to keep sinking and fight to get in a bowl game, or flip the switch at any point in the next few games and start blowing people away. Boise State might be too dominant for the Rams to actually be victorious against, but CSU doesn’t really go down without a fight. Especially against Boise State. Their fans are saltier than usual and kind of freaking out in that “Kellen Moore Induced PTSD” way that it seems we’re going to see out of MWC opponents this season with Ryp under center.


A little twisted up, that’s all.

CSU is in a good spot. They’ll have a gorgeous new stadium soon, they’ve got a head coach that seems to be a genuinely good person and is taking responsibility for the issues that are going on in that program’s performance right now. His life isn’t going to get any easier for a week or so, though. Boise State is too much. Too much balance, too much power, too much defense to allow a team that needs to find an identity to get it done on their watch. Online, Boise State fans will feign outrage that there isn’t a shut-out and CSU fans will take it WAY too seriously and keep the hate a-flowin’.


Sorry, Ram Boy. No win this time either. But your tears are delicious nourishment!

BTN Predictions: Week 5 vs. Hawaii


Derek – So, I am not very good at predictions.  I picked blowouts in our first three games and two of them were close (Idaho State was a given).  I pick a close game against Virginia and what do you know, our team puts together a complete game.  I do, however, fee VERY confident in predicting a blowout this week.  Hawaii has traveled 70,000* miles in the past couple weeks, and are dealing with some injuries.  On top of that their hot-garbage-offense is going against our stout defense.  It’s going to get ugly.  They do have a decent defense themselves, but the jet lag may catch up to them, and I think our offense continues to get better.  Vegas has this game at about a 25 point spread and 54 over/under.  I think we cover and go over.  Boise State 55 Hawaii 0.

*Miles traveled may not be accurate

Noel – I am just like Derek, it appears. That just means I’m horrible at predictions.  I don’t think there will be too much trouble with the Rainbow Warriors.  I do expect them to score in the 3rd or 4th quarter when the game is already out of reach. The Broncos’ defense will stop #HBUpTheMiddleForPresident all night long and, since Timmy Chang isn’t coming out of the tunnel in Boise, the passing game won’t be all that great either.  I’m guessing some destruction and R.U.T.S. will occur. Broncos 66, Hawaii 17.

Tami – Yeahhhh, this game is most likely going to get out of hand if everything goes to plan. Kind of excited to see the ‘bows break out their awesome road throwbacks, tho. That’s going to be epic against The Blue. If one listens closely, they can hear the internet complaining about their eyes already. Boise State should score big on a travel weary Hawaii team. The Warriors will fight to the very end, but they also probably won’t have any more success than anybody else has establishing the run or defending against the McWeapon. Hawaii is a more complete team than they usually are, but the Broncos are primed for a run. Hawaii is just in the way. Boise – 58, Warriors – 24

Bronco Feedbag: Hawaii (Rainbow) Warriors

Roasted_puaaYour pig won’t taste as good as this one

Aloha!  It is Hawaii game week, and I am excited!  I have been looking forward to tailgating for this game for a long time.  I grew up with a lot of Pacific Islanders – one of my good friend’s jokingly called me Keleka once – a rough translation of my name  – and it stuck. Anyways,  I was lucky enough to be able to attend many back yard Luaus, and  there is nothing like Polynesian food and culture.  Let’s get to it!


Traditional Kalua Pig is cooked in an underground pit called an Imu.  This oven is made by digging a hole, starting a mesquite fire and then covering the fire with rocks and lining the pit with banana leaves.  The whole pig is then salted and stuffed with more hot rocks and wrapped in banana leaves or wet burlap to maintain the moisture of the meat.  The pit is then covered in sand and left to cook for about eight  hours.  Once finished, the pork is shredded to mix the melted fat with the meat to spread the flavor throughout the pig.  My friend’s parents had an imu in their back yard and would make Kalua Pig for special occasions – there is nothing that compares to it. Unfortunately, for tailgating purposes you probably don’t have the time to cook the pig traditionally, and I would guess the people who own your tailgate spot would frown upon you building an imu.  Luckily crock-pot Kalua Pig is very easy.  All you need is some pork butt roast, sea salt, and liquid smoke.  Pierce the roast a few times with a fork, cover it with sea salt and liquid smoke, and cook on low for about eight hours or on high for about four hours.  Once it is tender, shred it with a couple of forks and mix it with the fat and juices in the pot, and serve.

A great traditional side item to serve with this is Local Kine potato-mac salad. It is basically a mixture of potato salad and macaroni salad, so get your favorite recipes of both, and mix them together.  If you are short on time (or lazy) you can also buy a container of each of these at your nearest deli and throw them together.

If you want to go all out, make some spam fried rice or sticky rice and you will be able to build your own Hawaiian lunch plate!


I am a big fan of all the beers from Kona Brewing, and I think Big Wave is perfect for tailgating.  It has a great balance of malts and hops, but is lower in alcohol (4.4%) so you can still have a few.  Here is the description from Kona:

Our brewers wanted to make a beer that went down easy after a day out on the water. Big Wave Golden Ale is just the ticket. Big Wave is a lighter bodied golden ale with a tropical hop aroma and flavor – a smooth, easy drinking refreshing ale. The use of caramel malt contributes to the golden hue of this beer and our special blend of hops provides bright quenching finish.

You can find Kona’s brews pretty much everywhere around the Treasure Valley, and some stores carry their sampler pack so you can try all of their great beers.


In previous editions of the Feedbag I have referred to Business Insider’s article on the most popular liquor in every state, which for Hawaii is Jack Daniels.  I am going to go a different direction this week so we can keep with the theme, so let’s make some Mai Tai’s!

Most people think of Captain Morgan’s when it comes to spiced rum, but I really like Shellback Spiced Rum.  I find it a lot smoother and great for shots:

Shellback® Spiced is a flavorful, medium-bodied rum of remarkable quality. Its 12 exotic spices combine to offer unique aromatics and layers of caramelized vanilla, brown spice, cinnamon, and honey. With a distinctive yet versatile profile, it is pleasantly warm with a clean finish and makes for a tasty shot, mixes nicely with soft drinks and serves as the perfect companion for hot drinks.

For the Mai Tai, pour a shot of Shellback, and a shot of Malibu Coconut Rum over ice, add a splash of grenadine, and top with pineapple juice and orange juice.  Stir and enjoy!

Enjoy your tailgate parties this week. Should be a great October day for football!


Attack The Opponent: Hawaii Warriors

Hawaii legit might be one of the best teams in the Western Division of the Mountain West. Nobody really knows what that means. Hawaii has been about as dangerous as this guy since 2007 or so. RainbowBunchieBut this is a different Hawaii. Okay, not so different, but they are less inept than usual. In the Mountain Worst (19-27 overall on the season for a staggering…. 58% winning percentage. Good job, MWC Bros. Good effort.) The ‘bows are currently 2-2, with a victory over perennial P12 bottom-dweller Colorado (ITS A WIN OVER A G5 SCHOOL DANGIT) and UC-Davis. They lost horrifically to both Ohio State and Wisconsin, unable to muster a single touchdown in either contest.

Against a typical MWC team, Hawaii might be able to hold their own. The issue isn’t their skill players – Max Wittek is a decent MWC quarterback, especially in a down year as far as QB play goes in the conference overall. RB Paul Harris gets his yards – on paper. He went off against Davis, racking up over 13 yards per carry. Against a better defense, he averages just over 3. As usual, Hawaii’s OL, while talented, just doesn’t have the size or speed to hang with top 25 opposition.

Boise State has the #11 ranked defense based on yards allowed with the biggest strength being at the defensive line. The Bronco’s have the #4 ranked run defense in the country. Mr. Harris is in trouble. The saving grace for Hawaii even managing to score might be Boise’s lack of depth at safety with Dylan Sumner-Gardner out for a long while after having surgery on an injured foot on Monday.

Hawaii’s defense is reasonably solid – against mid-major level competition. We found out in Virginia last week that Boise State is capable of playing with anybody. Hawaii is also coming off two trips to the central time zone in the last month, which is just a brutal amount of time to be on a plane. They don’t defend the run super-well, ranking 63rd in the country, but pass defense is better at 43rd.  Boise’s offense hasn’t been statistically spectacular, really, but has shown flashes of brilliance along the way – especially since Rypien has taken the helm. Jeremy McNichols has been an absolute beast, and leads the country in TD’s with 10. The playbook has opened up, utilizing everyone from Shane Williams-Rhodes to Jake Roh. Even K Tyler Rausa is getting in on the action, being 87.5% from 3 pt and 94.4% on PAT’s.

Hawaii is better than usual. That doesn’t make them a great football team. They still run the ball way too much and get gassed in the second half. They’re on a crazy travel schedule, have played some tough teams on the road, and are ripe to get stomped into The Blue by some dudes dead set on protecting it.

Boise State is still finding their identity, and last Friday’s demolition of Virginia was a brilliant step. There’s a ton of potential in these Broncos. Hawaii is going to Hawaii. They’ll show up and play really hard, never giving up, with Norm Chow squinting on the sidelines and calling the #HBDive. Their passing game will be less bad… than it has been recently, but it’s not going to matter much. Boise State is the better team, and its nice to be able to say that finally.

Go freakin’ Broncos. Bleed blue.



BTN Predictions: Week 4 vs. Virginia


Derek – For the fourth week in a row we are going into our game not knowing exactly what to expect from our team.  With Ryan Finley going down with an ankle injury, we saw glimpses of what Brett Rypien and Thomas Stuart could do, but how will this translate to an opponent like Virginia?  Virginia is also tough to gauge with two close losses to quality teams and a close win over a team they should have beat handily.  Although I expect both quarterbacks to play and be serviceable, I don’t think they will dominate and this game will come down to defense.  The D holds late and Tyler Rausa kicks the game winner as time expires.  Boise State 24 Virgina 21

Noel – Does anyone really know what’s going to happen? This week, it’s 52-card pick up. Toss ’em in the air and hope we come up all Aces. I’m not horribly worried about the trip, or the grass field (no UConn repeats, please), but I am worried about two things: our quarterback situation and Virginia’s bipolar team. Our QBs are noobs and have never played an away game in such a hostile environment. Virginia has shown the nation absolutely nothing and are as consistent as Michael J. Fox running a telegraph. I’ll have to steal Derek’s idea and leave it up to the defense. Besides a few broken pocket down field heaves, they’ve been pretty darn good. I’ll also take our coaching staff over UVAs. The good guys win: Broncos 28 Cavaliers 17

Tami – The data doesn’t lead anywhere. Neither does the eyeball test for either of these teams. This game is an enigma playing a question mark. But what would the best case scenario be? I’m feeling lucky.

It’s possible Derek has it right with this tweet.

Hars/Drink troll us all by calling some crazy formation and putting both Rypien and Stuart on the field together for the first play. Stuart then finishes out the first quarter with points on the board and a pile of yards. The defense is opportunistic and hard-hitting and immediately takes both Virginia’s offense and crowd out of it in that old school, soul sucking Bronco way. Ryp comes in for the second quarter, the skies clear, angels descend with his white helmet and crown him…

Whoa. Too excited, sorry. This isn’t after all.

The offensive line has gelled, and do a great job protecting Ryp and he goes off. Virginia just can’t keep up and #BoiseStateTwitter loses their minds even more than usual. Comparisons to a certain lefty that IS GETTING TO DRESS FOR DALLAS ON SUNDAY fly fast and furious. Boise State, in that way they will, allows Virginia to get uncomfortably close at the end but still end up winning by 2 TD’s on a late punt return. Boise State – 42, Virginia – 28