That'll do, Kellen...that'll do

Photo by Joe Jaszewski/Statesman

The Kellen Moore era has begun in earnest and it looks like it may be soon joining other well-known eras such as the paleozoic and mesozoic. Moore looked freakin' great against a game ISU team, but obviously will really show his mettle in the upcoming weeks. Moore's 274 yard, 2 TD day was the best debut we've witnessed in quite some time...let alone from a freshman. Kellen looked poised, confident and showed a great touch when it came to nickel and diming or dropping 80 yard TD bombs. Moore finished the night with no turnovers and a passer rating of well over 200 in the 49-7 drubbing of the Bengals—Nice.

A few notables sat the game out and will be key returners for Bowling Green (who gave our SOS a boost yesterday by beating a possibly overrated, but still solid #25 Pitt team). Ryan Winterswyk was conspicuously absent at DE, but was filled in for nicely by future star Jarrell Root. Winterswyk has a bit of a knee tweak and may not be a go for the game against the Falcons on the 13th, but "should" be back for the Oregon game (keep your fingers nicely crossed). Kyle Gingg was also absent last night with a minor injury...he is more likely to be healthy for the BGSU tussle, but was not overly missed against ISU as Derrell Acrey recorded 14 tackles and freshman Aaron Tevis recorded 8, a tipped pass and two sacks.

No cause for alarm

Many fans are a little worried about inconsistent line play in the first game...mainly due to the fact that the offense didn't get rolling until nearly the 2nd quarter and the fact that the running game never fully took flight. Let me address those concerns thusly: It was the first FREAKIN' GAME! Let's all take a step back and look at the big picture. Boise State was about half a yard from posting the exact same score against Idaho State last night as they did against Weber State in the 2007 opener. Boise State's O-line is extremely young and untested...were missing behemoth Nate Potter and still allowed a single sack and sprung the runners for some big gainers. I personally thought that the run-blocking last night was not as good as the pass-blocking...but it was nothing terrible...the interior line wasn't opening huge holes, but Kellen stayed relatively pressure free and the run game looked like it could've really taken off if given more time. Also, Doug Martin and DJ Harper played extremely sparingly last night. The D-line looked pretty good...good pressure...a lot of sacks...and if you take out one lackluster drive pretty much shut down the ISU offense entirely. More perspective: In 2006 (considered by some to have been a "pretty good year") Ian Johnson had 89 rushing yards in the opener against Sacramento State. Last night? 87 yards. We're fine, Chicken Little.

Could be cleaner
As I said before, this was the first real live football a lot of these guys have played in months and for a lot of them, the first real live college football of their careers. There were some mistakes made—fumbles, pass interference, missed blocks and poor pursuit angles...but all-in-all this was a solid outing all around. Any mistakes made seemed to be atoned for later on and that is all you can ask of our athletes. Two oddly familiar looking fumbles by Titus Young were atoned for by two beautiful TDs, and bad field position for the Broncos (yep, fumbles) gave way to great defensive stands. Linebackers and secondary played very well...missed tackles were at a minimum and the one long drive given up by the D seemed to be due more to some poor pursuit angles than poor tackling like last year. The D-line was getting a good push, but will need to seal off the ends a bit better...Winterswyk will help with this immensely.

Bright spots
Richie Brockel did his best Mike Alstott impression on two goal line runs. Freshman Tyler Shoemaker from Mountain View showed the coaches that putting him on scholly last week was the right move by hauling in two nice TDs. Derrell Acrey wasn't "supposed" to start this one, but did...led the team in tackles with 14 and looked grrrreat. Jeron Johnson showed that you better think twice before running into him head-on...he isn't going to slow down. Ian Johnson blocked a punt...really. Aaron Tevis is a Colt Brooks clone...and he's only a frosh. One bright spot for the Bengals was their place kicker...he was kicking the crap outta that ball last night. Never got to see our new look kick return team because the balls were sailing out of the endzone.

Passing Grades
Special Teams—B

Kellen gets Helmet Sticker


And the Oscar goes to...

DTX media has produced a very tight little intro that is going to be used on BroncoVision, the still woefully undersized video screen, right before kickoff. As you can see from the screencap above...it features lots of Doug "Doug Mad" Martin and a cast of thousands (well...dozens) of the Broncos' finest as they prepare to annihilate the competition. DTX really did a bang up job on this and since BroncoVision is terribly hard to see and the PA is so terribly hard to here...you can check out the masterpiece here. Warning: may induce goosebumps, chills and possess you to start doing sit-ups.


Like this...except opposite.

For all of the Bronco games this season—I will be doing in-depth unit breakdowns, gameplans and player profiles for the opposing teams. That said...do I really need to do this for the Idaho State game? I'm not being lazy or anything, I just am not sure what angle to take on this. Sure, the coaching staff and players are giving Idaho State the Lou Holtz treatment in the media...but this game just really will not be close...if it is, we are in serious trouble. No matter...here is my best half-assed shot at it.

Ok, here goes...
Boise State has arguably the best stable of running backs in the west. Ian Johnson is a Doak Walker nominee, finished 8th in Heisman balloting in 2006 and is coming off back to back 1,000+ yard seasons. Jeremy Avery can flip a light switch and be in bed before the room goes dark. DJ Harper torched Fresno State last year and by all accounts is a much badder man this year. Doug Martin was the scout team player of the year when he redshirted last season and looks like he could run, Incredible Hulk-style, through a barrage of M-1 Tank fire.

Boise State also has an extremely talented group of wide receivers. Titus Young and Austin Pettis return for their sophomore seasons after playing as true freshman last year and combined for 11 TDS. Vinny Perretta is back for his senior season after missing most of '07 with a shoulder injury. Perretta has lit up the Broncos Defense in fall camp.

Kellen Moore
, a freshman, is the most decorated QB in Washington State history. He wrestled the starting job away from a 5th year senior. He may possess miraculous healing powers.

Idaho State did not place a single defensive player on the All Big-Sky first OR second team last season.

ADVANTAGE—Boise State (small silver lining for the Bengals: Jeremy Childs will not be playing)

Go for 3
Ryan Winterswyk is a bad, bad man. Mike T. Williams is too. Linebackers Kyle Gingg, Derrell Acrey, Tim Brady and Dallas Dobbs are playing like their hair is on fire after a not-so-hot 2007. Redshirt Freshman LB Aaron Tevis has been drawing raves from about everyone in town. Jarrell Root and Billy Winn are no longer redshirting. Kyle Wilson is a potential first team All-WAC pick at DB and sophomore Brandyn Thompson has been impressive this fall. SafetyJeron Johnson wants, very badly, to remove an opponents head on any given play and Jason Robinson has benefitted from the tutelage of Marty Tadman.

Idaho State placed one returning player on an All Big Sky team last season...WR Eddie Thompson.

ADVANTAGE—Boise State (Eddie Thompson will have 0 to 2 catches tomorrow evening)

If you couldn't tell from my informal style and sentence fragments...this game should be a yawner. Hopefully it will afford our guys an opportunity to get some game time experience in...gel a little bit and then carry that momentum into the rest of their schedule. Boise State will roll in this game 52-3 and I will commence writing actual game previews from here on out.


Cupcakes are good...

Though this weekend's opener lacks the drama or uncertainty that the rest of the Broncos' slate offers...there's no reason to get down about it. Most Bronco fans are just happy that real life football is due to be played at Bronco stadium in only a few short days. But maybe there is more intrigue in this matchup than meets the eye. Just look!

Records will fall
Not only will this Saturday's game be the first start for a Freshman ever in an opener, but for a couple of weeks at least it will be the largest crowd ever to witness a game on the blue turf. The Stueckle Sky Club, Loge boxes and other stadium upgrades will allow for over 32,000 Bronco butts in the seats. No word yet if the Guinness folks will be on hand.

Payback time
The Broncos have played the Bengals 29 times in school history—winning 23. It's finally payback time for the 6 losses to the Bengals. You're gonna pay Zamberlin...you're gonna pay.

Swike streak begins
As the season progresses, I am going to run a graphic showing all of the opposing QBs to get "swiked" by sophomore DE Ryan Winterswyk. No place like Russell Hill to start.

Barbeque scrimmage
You wouldn't want to waste your best tailgating on a 1-AA opponent, would you? Think of this Saturday's game as a tailgate scrimmage so your smokers and chip dips can get into mid-season form before the Falcons come to town.

Bob Behler's coming out party
Think of this as Bob Behler's scrimmage too. Behler and Jadon Dailey will have a full game to talk about the ineffectiveness of Eddie Thompson, Mitch Rudder, the Big Sky conference and Jadon's love for tacos—so tune in and hear the dynamic duo for the first time!

The Century mark
Boise State has yet to score 100 points in their years playing football. All I'm asking is 11 TDs (going for 2 every time) and then 4 simple field goals. You can do it fellas.

O ye of little faith
We all know how special the freshman signal caller is...but this weekend, if you have enough faith...we may witness Kellen Moore heal a blind referee, feed the entire stadium with naught but a handful of nachos, cast a demon out of Buster Bronco.

Flappymouth, we hardly knew ye
Buster Bronco (besides being possessed, apparently) has a new noggin...and it's jaw is 50% less flappy. We can't wait to see him run on the field and chest bump Andrew Woodruff and then go and fight the Carl's Junior Star guy.

You kidding me?
Where else have you got to be? Really...Mr. Stuckup...where've you got to be? I thought so, get down there and watch a good old fashioned beatdown.

8-26-06 Bronco Nation podcast

A rather pared down crew joined the Bronco Nation podcast last night...just JT Ray of Bronco Nation N.O.W. and yours truly. The smaller crew doesn't mean that we didn't make fun of the Vandals, though. Sherm Blaser and Idaho State's Frank What's-his-name signed on during the cast as well to weigh in on Kellen Moore, left-handedness, and Idaho State's chances this weekend. We also break down the opening weekend in WAC football, new NCAA rule changes and Boise State's recruiting boom. Check it out (might wanna just leave this one running while you do your work...it's a long one).

icon for podpress  The Bronco Nation Podcast - It Begins [61:21m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download


End of the Rainbows? Hawaii WAC football preview

Part 6 of our WAC football preview is here. Today, I am examining the June Jones-less Warriors of Hawaii. The Warriors enjoyed a magical 2007 season that saw them capture the league title...play a cupcake schedule and get beatdown on national television by Georgia (it's ok Warrior fans, we know what that feels like). Will the Hawaii train keep on a rollin' without June, Colt and the dreadlocks? Hmmmm.

The Warriors lose a lot of big offensive tools from last season with the departure of Colt Brennan, Ryan Grice-Mullen, Davone Bess and company. The Warriors also lost June Jones...who was also a giant tool. Will the upheaval on offense spell doom and despair for Hawaii? The short answer is yes. The Warrior D is decent for the first time in a long time...but the Warriors success over the last few seasons has been predicated by their ability to put up tons of points—and without Brennan and company those points will be a little bit harder to come by. The 'bows may not drop as far as people think, however. Shall we discuss?

"McMackin" is not when you pick up someone at McDonalds
Greg McMackin took the reins from June Jones this offseason...or maybe it would be more accurate to say he took the floral print shirts and leis from June Jones this offseason. Either way, opposing team's fans are unsure what to do now that a villainous creep is not roaming Warrior sidelines. Could we be entering an era where I actually root for Hawaii when they aren't playing the Broncos? I doubt it will go that far, but McMackin does seem to be the polar opposite of Jones; humble, respectful and runs a tight ship. Unfortunately, McMackin's disciplinarian role and laid back approach may take Hawaii in the opposite direction, reversing what in many circles is known as "the Dennis Erickson" effect. Will no more recruiting the local jails, no more arrogant proclamations, no more JC raiding equal less wins for the Warriors? It's entirely possible. The islands are a difficult place to recruit and if McMackin can't hold on to the wealth of local talent, the Warriors seem destined for a decline. Add in the fact that Jones threw the entire university under the bus with his departure and sent a message to any recruits willing to fly the Pacific that Hawaii isn't committed to their athletics, and the gravy train may be permanently parked at the station. McMackin just may restore a modicum of respect to the Hawaii program, however...and not the type of "respect" that the Colt Brennan Express has garnered over the last few seasons...the lasting kind.

Most improved
Having a Hawaii player named preseason player of the year is nothing new...but having one named on defense is. Linebacker Solomon Elimimian (how many Elimimians do you guys have over there?) was named the preseason Defensive Player of the Year by the WAC media types and he should lead arguably the strongest linebacking corps in the WAC this year. Elimimian, who had 141 tackles in 2007 will be joined by Adam Leonard and Blaze Soares and they should pose a formidable challenge this season for WAC rushers. Ryan Mouton will lead the vastly improved Hawaii secondary. The Hawaii defense finished the '07 season ranked 34th nationally...a very good step for the Hawaii D. If defensively minded McMackin can keep those fires stoked...I don't see why the Hawaii D will have a huge letdown this year since many of their top playmakers return. In a reversal of sorts, the Hawaii defense should keep Hawaii in games this season—if not...another bowl trip could be tough.

Yes...you are rebuilding
A lot of coaches, when faced with the yearly departures of upperclassmen and early draftees, like to reassure fans that the team isn't really "rebuilding" but rather "reloading"...in some cases this is true...for Hawaii, it is not. McMackin and crew and most assuredly rebuilding after losing Colt Brennan and a slew of talented wideouts. JC-transfer Brent Rausch will lead the Warriors against Florida this Saturday...but don't expect to see a Colt Brennan clone take to the swamp...Rausch likely would not have gotten the nod over Brennan's heir-apparent, Tyler Graunke had Graunke not had some academic "problems" this offseason. But as it stands, Rausch is the man for their first outing...a probable beating at the hands of the Gators. Graunke has been re-instated, but has definitely run afoul of McMackin and crew and will really have to fight and claw his way back into the starting spot past Greg Alexander, Inoke Funaki and Rausch. McMackin also intimated at WAC media days that the Warriors are going to add a new element to their offense this year...something called "rushing"...no word yet on how that little experiment will pan out for them (I might advise against it). If McMackin sticks with the Jones version of the Run-n-Shoot...he better have the best man under center...because it can get ugly, at times without one (ask Timmy Chang).

One hit wonders?

I like what I've seen and heard from Greg McMackin so far. Despite his striking resemblance to Dick Van Patten and affinity for 44-oz Cokes...he seems like a solid guy. Solid guys usually can get the most out of their players...and I think that the defending WAC champion Warriors will again be in the mix. I don't, however, think that they will be able to repeat their success. For starters, their schedule isn't laughably weak like last years and isn't overly heavy with home dates...the Warriors may have exorcised some of their mainland demons last year, but I don't expect them to do much off the island this season. The Warriors will not beat Florida, Oregon State or Cincinnati and will likely have trouble with Washington State in their OOC matchups—they will roll Idaho and San Jose State and handle Utah State and New Mexico State easily...but that is where their conference domination will end this year. They will fail to get by Boise State, Fresno State and most likely Nevada...and will have their hands full with Louisiana Tech. No matter how you slice it...this is going to be a letdown year for Hawaii, who is coming off their best season ever. I think that a 5-7 year is not out of the question, but think a little leftover magic from 2007 will push them to 7-5. One thing is certain, they won't beat Boise State this year...the Broncos want that championship back...and they want it bad.

In the long run...you'll be better off without him.

Previous previews:
Utah State preview
Idaho preview
New Mexico State preview
San Jose State preview
Louisiana Tech preview


Bush Hamdan has class

Bush Hamdan granted the media one last interview on Saturday and said a mouthful. Is Bush a little bitter? Maybe—but that guy has given his blood, sweat and tears to the Bronco program just like everyone else, so he has a right to be a little down...remember, he just found out on Wednesday that he lost the QB competition for the second straight year and to a freshman no less. Though I may have perceived a twinge of bitterness from Bush...I also saw a lot of humility, toughness and understanding. He said what he needed to say, but didn't throw a fit or throw anyone under the bus. We basically just see a guy that has given 5 years of his life and done everything asked of him, but came up a bit short. Just like if you or I were passed over for a promotion at work, when they decided the fresh-faced 20 year old with a BA was just a better fit. It stings a little, but you move one. Cheers to Bush for taking the news and his "new" role with a lot of grace.

KTVB interview HERE.


Can we FedEx him the sledgehammer?

Orlando Scandrick's NFL career has barely begun...but he's already had two highlight reel hits as a Cowboy. Unfortunately...his first such hit left him heavily stingered, but this one was a beaut. I'm sure Patrick Ramsey is on Glenn Martinez' list right about now.


More Bronco alum news:
5 minutes with Legedu Naanee—Less if you read fast.


Seeing is believing

After seeing what many in Bronco Nation thought unlikely yesterday when Kellen Moore was announced the starting quarterback, I'm a believer...but what other improbable or not-so-improbable things will we see this season? What will we not see? Let's discuss, shall we?

10 things Bronco fans will see this season

10. A freshman as starting quarterback—If you were in a cave in Afghanistan yesterday, you might not have heard...Kellen Moore is the Broncos' starting QB (I'm kinda excited about it)

9. Dominant defense—The Broncos took a step back last season from previous campaigns...we let teams run on us, didn't get a lot of takeaways, looked soft on the D-line, etc.—well that is going to change this year. Ryan Winterswyk and Mike T. Williams can't both be double teamed and the secondary and linebacking corps are hungry. It's lights out for opposing teams this year.

8. Unstoppable run game—Ian Johnson will have a year closer to his '06 campaign and the stable of backups (doesn't feel right to call them that) will keep defenses guessing. Doug Martin, DJ Harper will add the power—Jeremy Avery will provide the elusiveness.

7. Special teams TDs—With runningbacks as kick-returners and the possibility of Titus Young returning punts...Broncos are gonna take some to the house this year. Believe it.

6. Derrell Acrey takes it to the next level—Acrey has been much hyped and rightly so. "Little Ray" is going to add intensity and physicality to the middle of the D.

5. No Huddle Offense—The Broncos have had success with the hurry-up and with the amount of Offensive looks they already bring to the table...the No Huddle should confuse the heck out of opponents. Don't start the "BOISE/STATE" chant when we're on offense, though.

4. 60 points in regulation—The Broncos have hit the 60 pt. plateau numerous times in their history...last year's came in a 4 OT game against Nevada. This year, the Broncos will accomplish the feat in regulation...and the best candidates (or victims) look to be Idaho State or Utah State.

3. A National award finalist—Ian Johnson may be a finalist for the Walter Camp award or Kyle Brotzman may be a Groza finalist—our money is on George Iloka for the House Party 3 award.

2. 11 wins—If the offensive line gels...this is attainable. The offense should be prolific, the home slate is favorable and the defense should be improved. The 11th win will likely come in the bowl game.

1. WAC championship #6—I think we may share this year...we'll get by Fresno on the blue in November, but will let one go on the road against a sleeper. An 8-0 WAC run is not off the table...but luck runs out sometimes.

10 things Bronco fans will not see in 2008

10. A loss to Hawaii—Shouldn't have happened last year...certainly won't happen this year. Brent Rausch is not Colt Brennan and Greg McMackin is not June Jones. One of those is a good thing.

9. An undefeated season—I'd love to view the world through orange and blue goggles, but let's be realistic...an undefeated season is not in the tarot cards this year. Let our boys mature a bit and then look out for the world-beatin'.

8. Idaho finishing last in the WAC—As much as I'd love to see it...I think the Vandals may double their win output from last year. What's 1 multiplied by 2, again?

7. A lot more quarterback sacks—A lot of people think that a young O-line equals a bad O-line. The new look Bronco line will have some growing pains, but with a QB with as quick a release as Moore and with the Tight End packages we employ, Moore should stay relatively safe.

6. A WAC loss on the blue—Fresno State is the trendy pick this year and will give Boise State their stiffest challenge on the Smurf Turf, but the dogs will ultimately fall short and who else has a chance? Louisiana Tech? Pffft.

5. Colin Kaepernick goes off pt. 2—No way no how does chicken legs go off on the Bronco defense again this year.

4. 300 yards rushing by an opponent—If this year's Bronco team isn't motivated by the embarrassing Nevada and East Carolina games they are comatose. With a bigger presence at MLB and veterans on the outside the linebackers will be better, and a healthy Jeron Johnson is gonna bust some heads.

3. Any love from the media—After consecutive losses and being knocked off their WAC perch...the media isn't going to dole out any Bronco love this year. Kellen Moore and co. are gonna have to earn it. What's new?

2. A glut of true freshman starters—2007 saw 5 true frosh play, but 2008 should see less. We may see George Iloka or a few Offensive Linemen get the call, but any frosh playing at the "skill" positions is virtually impossible.

1. BCS roadgame letdown—I am not saying that we are going to win the Oregon game...but I guarantee that you will not see the same type of effort from our boys that we witnessed in Seattle. Broncos may lose...but will do with grace, non-pants-wetting.

If you want to be able to make similar psychic predictions...you must learn how to focus and relaxate. Observe:


I like my crow with a dash of Frank's red hot sauce

Ok, so my "gut feeling" the other day was a tad off. This is what happens when you channel Hal Mumme's psychic abilities. Coach Chris Petersen has named his starting quarterback...and Bronco Nation couldn't be happier. The kid stays in the picture and Kellen Moore is the guy. Remember the other day when I said that I thought Bush Hamdan would be the starter? Well, also remember that I said that I was a huge Kellen Moore bandwagoner...so I definitely don't mind being wrong on this one. The very fact that Moore was in as tight a race as he was with a 5th-year senior spoke volumes about the poise and determination of the redshirt frosh. I really like Bush Hamdan and I think he has shown great leadership in his tenure here, but the next 4 years at Boise State may indeed be special with the same signal-caller guiding the offense...especially after these beefy youngsters on the O-line get some playing time under their belts. Petersen offered the following assessment of Moore:

“Kellen has just got great football savvy,” Petersen said. “He understands our offense extremely, extremely well and he has performed very consistently throughout spring ball and fall camp.”
If you were counting, that was two "extremely"s from Coach Pete.

Moore will be the first freshman quarterback ever to start a season opener when the Broncos take the field against ISU in 10 days. If Moore performs close to as well on the blue as he did as a Prosser Mustang, bookkeepers should have the white out very close to Ryan Dinwiddie's name in the Bronco record books. Moore and Coach Pete will speak at a presser at 3 PM today...even EF Hutton will be listening.

OBNUG has a conniption.
Statesman tells it like it is.
Clarence gets his wings.


Dooley noted: Louisiana Tech WAC football preview

Part 5 of our WAC football preview is here. Today, I am examining the down-but-not-out Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. The Bulldogs have been down in recent years, but they are always capable of killing WAC title hopes for any number of WAC teams. With a new coach and a new outlook, the Bulldogs might surprise some teams this season. Then again...maybe they won't.

Ruston, Louisiana's motto is "a city planning for the future"—and while a more fitting motto for the city may have been "only 5 hours from New Orleans" or "no worse than Moscow"...2nd year La Tech coach Derek Dooley is taking the city's mantra to heart and planning for the future of the Bulldogs. Louisiana Tech hasn't won a WAC championship since 2001 (at the expense of the Broncos, no less) and has only been on the good side of .500 once since then...but the Bulldogs seem to have renewed vigor under Dooley and are hoping that this year may be the year that they get over the hump.

And to think you could have known only victory on the blue turf
Quarterback Taylor Bennett at one point looked destined to become a Bronco. Things changed... Taylor fell out of love with the blue and went on to a so-so career at Georgia Tech. In a ironic twist of fate Bennett was still able to experience the blue turf in a Humanitarian Bowl loss to Fresno State last year. Now, through the magic of NCAA loopholes, Bennett has departed Georgia Tech and enrolled at Louisiana Tech...where he will likely become the starter. Now, Bennett will again get to experience what playing on the blue turf feels like when the Bulldogs visit Boise on October 1st and thanks to Ryan Winterswyk and Mike T. Williams will also get to find out what blue turf tastes like.

Lookin' for bright spots
The Bulldogs should be better in the quarterback department after the departure of the not-so-aptly named Zac Champion. Champion threw for a mere 13 TDs last season while throwing 10 INTs...he was also sacked 29 times. Obviously the passing stats weren't great during the Champion era...but the 54 quarterback sacks in the last two seasons certainly point to another underperforming unit: the O-line. The O-line performed adequately enough to spring senior running back Patrick Jackson for nearly 1,000 yards last season...but clearly their pass blocking must improve. Thankfully for the Bulldogs...Jackson is back and they have junior RB Daniel Porter to lean on as well. Porter and Jackson may be the third best running back tandem in the WAC behind Boise State's Johnson and Whoever and Fresno State's Matthews and Miller. With consistency in the running game and better play from the Offensive Line, Tech should improve upon last year's 99th ranking in scoring offense...and they must if they want to finish higher than 5th in the WAC. Oh...here's a bit of good news—Bennett was 27 of 44 for 370 yards and 3 scores in Sunday's Fall Scrimmage. Good news for the offense, anyway—which leads us to...

Shrewish Defense League
The Bulldogs were ranked 91st in total defense last season, giving up an average of 424 yards/game. While not the worst defensive team in the WAC...they are far from the best—and their offense was not strong enough to allow for that kind of defensive production. By contrast, the top 2 teams in the WAC last year, Hawaii and Boise State, had national defensive rankings of 34 and 25, respectively. On a better note for the dogs' D, they nearly cut in half the amount of rushing yardage allowed from 2006 to 2007. Also, free safety Antonio Baker returns after putting together an all-WAC season and making 118 tackles. Baker is a solid player for the dogs and will lead their defense again this season...whenever your free safety leads the team in tackles, however, there are problems with the line. CB Weldon Brown will help Baker keep offenses from getting too deep into the La Tech secondary...but both, I'm sure, would appreciate a bit more help from the boys up front.

Dog Days
I truly believe that Derek Dooley is going to be a great coach...I just don't know if it is going to be at Louisiana Tech. Dooley's first year in Ruston saw his team go 5-7, which was a modest improvement over 2006's 3-10 campaign with Jack Bicknell at the helm, but Dooley can prove the worth of his contract this season if the Dogs can go above .500. That said, the Bulldogs face no easy task this year as their schedule is not a friendly one sending them to play at Kansas, Boise State, Hawaii, Army and San Jose State. Throw in tough home games against Mississippi State, Fresno State and a Nevada finale and the it appears that the dogs could replicate last season's record. I am going to go ahead and give Dooley the benefit of the doubt and say that the dogs will go 6-6 this season—I doubt that they'll get by Nevada, Fresno, Hawaii or Boise State in conference and the Kansas and Mississippi games will be toughies...but they should distinguish themselves as better than the bottom of the WAC and will be knocking on the door in another year or two. Though they are a terrible geographical fit for the WAC, I like Louisiana Tech and their fanbase...and I think that Derek Dooley will run a tight ship—whether that will translate into wins or a shot at the WAC title remains to be seen. Maybe next year?

Previous previews:
Utah State preview
Idaho preview
New Mexico State preview
San Jose State preview


I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a Shamburger today

Rivals.com sez Safety Will Shamburger from Jeremy Avery's old stomping grounds (Bellflower, CA) has verbally committed to play for Boise State. At 6'0" 180 lbs., Shamburger has an awesome frame to go with his awesome name. Shamburger also possesses 4.5 speed in the 40. Shamburger had 21 tackles and 1 INT last season for the St. John Bosco Braves—he also had 16 receptions for 299 yards and two scores on the offensive side of things. No position rankings were available for Shamburger, but he was given a grade of 5.4 by Rivals.com...for reference Joe Southwick and Malcolm Johnson were graded 5.6 by the same service. Shamburger is the 12th known verbal commitment for the Broncos in 2009 class.

Kickin' it with Bobby B.

JT Ray from Bronco Nation N.O.W. scored a nice little interview with new KIDO headman Bob Behler. JT obviously isn't gunning for a job at the Statesman since he asked relevant questions containing little fluff. Could Behler's improvised game call show a quarterback bias? Listen HERE to find out.


Uneducated guesses

First off, let me state that I have tried to objectively look at the Boise State QB race from the beginning. Devotees of the blog may recall that prior to Spring ball, I had Coughlin as my frontrunner. It is clear at this point that MC is not going to be the man. Let me also state that I have been critical of the local media outlets when they have gone too far in campaigning for one QB over the other. I have no qualms saying that I have jumped on the Kellen Moore bandwagon and I think he obviously has a bright future at Boise State. So make no mistake, when I make my following prediction: I am not endorsing one QB over another (not that it matters to the coaching staff) and I think that we are gold if the coaches go either way. That said...after watching yesterday's scrimmage (and not watching any of the Fall practices)—I predict that senior Bush Hamdan is going to be the starter for 2008.

Hamdan, though he had a rougher outing in the first Fall scrimmage...has, from all accounts had a good camp. He was really neck and neck with Moore after Spring ball (an amazing testament to just how good the frosh is) and the 5th year senior has had a solid summer. Last night, though Moore again looked crisp, Hamdan looked more like a starter to me. Moore had a beautiful 50-yard TD pass to Jeremy Childs...but Hamdan had an amazing TD strike to Austin Pettis that he threw off of his back foot as the pocket had nearly collapsed on him. Hamdan also had a very nice touchdown pass to Vinny Perretta and several scrambling tosses that found their mark. Hamdan finished the night 9 of 14 for 214 yards with 3 TDs and one INT (thankfully to new starter Brandyn Thompson). Kellen Moore was 13 of 21 for 149 yards, one TD and one INT. These stats certainly don't indicate a huge chasm between the senior and the frosh and Moore did have the better first scrimmage...but like I said...Hamdan just looked more like the starter yesterday. I will pull a Hal Mumme and have my "gut feeling" moment. Hamdan is gonna be the starter...Moore will see some time this year...Moore will be unstoppable and incredibly good as a sophomore. For those of you that would like to serve up piping hot crow for me if I am wrong, I believe on a PC it's the alt-Print Screen command

Other observations from the 2nd Fall scrimmage

Vinny Perretta is going to tear it up this year. He had two long TD receptions last night and has looked very good this Summer. I think we would've done better last season with VP healthy.

Our RBs look great. I'm used to the sight of Ian Johnson in street clothes at scrimmages, so I'm not too rattled by the fact he didn't play. Doug Martin, Jeremy Avery and DJ Harper look great. They run hard and don't go down without a fight. Even freshman Matt Kaiserman and walk-on Carlo Audagnotti looked good on the blue.

Jarvis Hodge looks like Kimbo Slice. Hodge didn't play yesterday, but he is sporting a thick beard and if you squint...he looks a bit like the wannabe brawler.

Chandler Koch will be good. Koch is tall and has soft hands...maybe he uses Palmolive?

Our Freshman O-lineman are huge. Faraji Wright, Joe Kellogg, Tom Swanson and others are gonna be big players for us in the future...literally.

Tommy Smith and George Iloka will be all-WAC someday soon. alt-Printscreen

Boise State has international appeal. I had 3 Germans speaking ze Deutsch next to me at last night's scrimmage.

Offense ruled the night BUT Kyle Wilson, Jeron Johnson, Billy Winn and others were not suited up.

Brandyn Thompson will fill in nicely for our dearly departed Orlando Scandrick.

This will be a fun year. How's that for another bold prediction?

Scrimmage Links

Murphy less sure of QB race outcome.

Dustin Lapray weighs in on the action. Grab a thesaurus.

IPT's scrimmage photo gallery.


Deja Vu

Hawaii has named a sophomore JC transfer from California as their starting QB. Deja Vu? No...Hawaii has named Brent Rausch as their starting QB after a tumultuous fall that saw heir-apparent Tyler Graunke held out of camp and two JC transfers battle for the spot. Now before you panic...here are some things that Rausch doesn't have in common with the last California JC-transfer that was named Hawaii's QB:

  • Rausch's lastname is Rausch
  • Rausch doesn't have the Hawaiian islands dyed into his hair
  • Rausch doesn't have a surprisingly girly voice
  • Rausch, as far as we know, hasn't puked moments before throwing a TD pass
Here are the things that are eerily similar:
  • As mentioned before...Sophomore California JC-transfer
  • Blonde buzzcut
  • Will know mostly defeat at hands of Broncos
Ryan Winterswyk now knows whom to kill.


This one goes to Eleven

Nigel Tufnel would be so proud. That's eleven verbals for Boise State as of today (someone special's birthday). DE Kharyee Marshall from Washington High School in Phoenix, AZ pulled the proverbial trigger and will join other Arizona commits Justin Jungblut and Ebo Makinde on the blue (hopefully). Both Jungblut and Makinde received Pac-10 offers AFTER giving Boise State the nod—hopefully the blue will prevail. Marshall is a 6'2" 215 lb. D-line standout who also held offers from Idaho, Nevada, SDSU, Utah and UTEP. Marshall possesses a good frame that will no doubt take more weight and also has good speed at 4.7 in the 40. Marshall is rated as a 3 star recruit by rivals and classified as the 50th best player at his position. Makinde, Jungblut and Marshall are rated as the 16th, 22nd and 23rd best players in Arizona, respectively.

Hey Pac-10...keep away from our recruits!


O, Glorious Day!

Today...by all accounts, sucked. I was nauseous last night, starving this morning and had to endure a rather routine but entirely unpleasant medical procedure. But then, I came home and found these:
Everything's coming up roses.

A lot better season ticket holder swag this year, too. A nice Bronco license plate frame. Bravo.


Bronco Nation podcast—now with 100% more Guerrero!

The Bronco bloggin' boyz were back last night with special guest Alex Guerrero. Alex gives some nice insight into the program, his new gig with KWEI and puts the world on notice for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Also, my 1-year old attempts to get in on the podcast as well...you'll have to wait 'lil guy.

icon for podpress  The Bronco Nation Podcast - The 100 Yard Dash Fantasy [32:15m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download


Sparty over here: San Jose State WAC football preview

Part 4 of our WAC football preview is here. Today, I'm examining the oft-mediocre, but always scary, San Jose Stat Spartans. The Spartans have some intriguing transfers and returners, but you just never know what you're going to get with Tomey's boyz. Let's what they have to offer in 2008.

In 2003, Boise State defeated San Jose State in Boise by a score of 77-14...in regulation. To this day, it is the most points the Broncos have ever scored on an opponent. The following year in San Jose, the Broncos won 56-49 in overtime. These night-and-day type performances typify the play of the Spartans over the last few years...at times horrific...at other times terrific. What "ific" will they embrace this year? It is hard to say.

Sock it To-mey
Dick Tomey's sleepy demeanor pushed his Spartans to a 9-4 season in 2006 and a bowl win over New Mexico. The momentum for the Spartans was then so great that it catapulted them to a 5-7 season in 2007. Are you seeing a pattern yet? Tomey has been one thing since he took the reins of the Spartan program in 2005: Not Fitz Hill. He has guided his Spartans to new heights and par-for-the course lows in his brief tenure...but playing close-to-500 ball is what the Spartans do best. Tomey looks like he may just take a nap on the sidelines or during interviews at any moment—maybe his apathetic, Stan Laurel-like persona is what keeps the Spartans on such a milktoast even keel. We know the team can play...but when they decide to is a different story.

No O...no go
Losing your top tailback in the first game of the year is tough. When you have no capable backups for that injured tailback—it's real tough. This is the scenario that the Spartans faced last year. Star RB Yonus Davis went down in the Spartans opening game against Arizona State and never returned—neither did the Spartans rushing attack. The Spartans barely scratched the 1,000 yard rushing mark last year as a team...their top rusher had 331 yards on the year and 1 touchdown. This lack of a running game hampered the Spartans all year, and had it not been for the inspired play of WR Kevin Jurovich and the capable passing of senior Adam Tafralis, the Spartans may not have even been lucky enough to win the 5 games they did. However, for all of their offensive difficulties last season, the Spartans nearly toppled eventual champ Hawaii, dropped 51 points on New Mexico State and defeated a pretty good Nevada team in their finale. Not the type of year that Spartan fans had in mind, for sure, but no reason to push the panic button quite yet either. Yonus Davis returns to the backfield and Jurovich will be a threat...a little O can go a long way. The Spartans do have to replace 3-year starter Tafralis...but capable replacements abound in Myles Eden, Jordan LaSecla and Cal-transfer Kyle Reed. I doubt the Spartans will repeat their feat of getting shutout twice in one season, as they did against Stanford and Fresno State—but they have a little ways to go to trade offensive blows with the WAC's best.

Come one, come all
The welcome sign is always on and buzzing at Spartan Stadium, apparently, as they have drawn Pac-10 transfers with the greatest of ease. Besides the Cal-transfer on offense, the Spartans have added Coye Francies from Oregon State to their defensive secondary and more impressively, ex-USC defensive end Jeff Schweiger. Schweiger and Francies should make their presence known this season...the Spartans already had a pretty good secondary and the addition of Francies alongside all-WAC second team corner Chris Owens will soften the blow that Dwight Lowery's graduation/drafting dealt. Schweiger is a big boy and with a Trojan pedigree may wreak havoc on WAC O-lines. Heck, OBNUG thinks he may be the DPOY. Could be...but you gotta go through Ryan Winterswyk to get it, savvy?

Is a winning season so much to ask?
A winning season is never too much to ask...but is often too much to deliver. I think that the best-case scenario for the Spartans this year is a 7-5 record, but likely a 6-6 outing is in the tarot cards. I think they'll get by UC-Davis, SDSU and Utah State and then defeat NMSU, Idaho and La Tech. Fresno and Boise State have to come to the Bay...and I think the Spartans will put a scare into one of 'em (please, not Boise State again) but ultimately come up short. This is a big year for the Spartans and I think that even a .500 campaign will give them a nice boost after last years injury-plagued and disappointing season. After all is said and done, Dick Tomey will take a nice, long nap.

Hey Spartans, at least you don't have to deal with this tool anymore, right?

Previous previews:
Utah State preview
Idaho preview
New Mexico State preview


Your guess=as good as mine

Photo by Joe Jaszewski

Ok...so I took the wife and kid down to Bronco Stadium for the ridiculously early scrimmage today. They know that most people are working at 3 PM on a Monday, right? Anyhoo...I showed up a bit late—around 4 and tried to see what I could see. The "big" play (Kellen Moore to Vinny Perretta for a 51 yard TD) had already happened, but thankfully Buck from Statueleft got me up to speed. Here's what I thought I saw:

Kellen Moore looks very poised and makes decisions very quickly (and usually wisely). He didn't have a "wow" type of day, but still led all QBs in yardage with 137 yards and a score. Moore did not play error free ball, but he did not turn the ball over (other than a ball that was stripped by a blitzing Derrell Acrey). Moore's receivers had a few drops, he threw a few a bit wide, but also wisely threw them away when nothing was opening up. Moore was only 9 of 22 on the day...but didn't kill drives and still got over the 100 yard mark. Moore may have just pulled slightly ahead with today's performance.

Bush Hamdan, though dead even throughout the Spring and Summer with Moore—may have ceded a bit of an edge today to Moore. Hamdan had no turnovers to speak of, but often threw into tight coverage and was lucky not to be picked off. Hamdan looked fairly agile in the pocket, but did not tuck and run when it may have been beneficial. The defense put pretty good pressure on him, but Bush wasn't making terribly quick reads. He finished the day 5 of 15 for 48 yards and no scores. Some remarked that the running game seemed to look better with Hamdan at the helm, but this may be chalked up to a) sheer coincidence or b) the fact that the RBs are more accustomed to a right-handed exchange. Hamdan didn't kill the offense, but he didn't spark them much either. It is the first scrimmage, so I won't read too much in. Hamdan, I think is #2 for now.

Nick Lomax had the best passer rating of the outing. He was 7 of 9 and completed 77% of his throws. It must be stated, however, that Lomax's stats were accumulated against mainly 2nd or 3rd teamers and were high percentage, short passes that only netted him 68 yards through the air. Lomax always seems to get up for the scrimmages and doesn't make many boneheaded mistakes...but he is clearly a step behind Moore and Hamdan and has not really impressed a lot in actual game situations. Lomax is hangin' in there, but I don't think he'll push Moore or Hamdan for much PT.

Michael Coughlin did not see much action on Monday. He was a respectable 5 of 8 for 35 yards and clearly possesses the best legs of the group. He also has a rocket arm, but routinely seems to overthrow receivers and rushes his passes. Coughlin saw some action last year in games and performed decently...but he and Lomax, "the tall ones" don't seem to have grasped the offense as well as the redshirt and the 5th year. I still have hope that Coughlin will make a charge and we'll see him some this year, but a starting gig looks like a longshot.

The defense played well and Derrell Acrey and Jeron Johnson stood out. Acrey adds a larger, more physical presence at midfield and Johnson just seems to be everywhere. Jeron hits like a Mack truck and leveled the much larger Julian Hawkins with a hit that echoed off the bleachers. Hunter White also caught my eye as he really flies around out there. The defensive line got good pushes into the backfield which hopefully is because of a combination of skill and the fact that the O-line is missing several cogs.

Receiving was hard to gauge. Very excited to read the stat line that Chandler Koch led all receivers with 61 yards—equally so about frosh Chris Potter snagging 5 tosses. Our future looks bright at receiver...and so does the present. Perretta, obviously snagged a long TD pass that was 100% effort. Nice to see Vinny back at full strength. Also nice to have Jeremy Childs back...he didn't light it up...but always seems to be open. Our receivers and running backs shouldn't be an issue this year. They're gold.

To sum it up. No QB really distanced himself too much. Hamdan or Moore is anyone's guess. Obviously there are pros and cons to either choice, but I don't get the impression that either would do poorly if given the reins. We'll just have to wait until Saturday's scrimmage to see if another can pull away. Until then...happy prognosticating.


All together now.

The Broncos celebrated togetherness this morning as the newcomers and veterans all converged on the Blue Turf (in full pads, no less) for the first time this fall. The true freshman who will contribute this year will start to make themselves known and the wiley veterans will show the youngsters a thing or two as well. All reports so are good. Titus the Young caught a 50-yard TD strike from wunderkind Kellen Moore and then Vinny Perretta brought in one of his own from Bush Hamdan. The two top-dogs in the QB derby certainly are both playing well...making it difficult to guess as to where the depth chart stands. Monday will be the first scrimmage and fans and analysts should be able to see who controls the offense better. It's fair to say that Moore and Hamdan have stepped it up.

Also stepping it up is the Bronco Defense. Coming of an inconsistent 2007 and losing stalwarts Orlando Scandrick and Marty Tadman...all indicators are that the defense has the fire back in their bellies. They've been creating turnovers at an alarming rate and Ryan Winterswyk and Mike T. Williams are setting themselves up to be the best Defensive End-tandem in the conference...both have been named Coach Pete's Player of the Day so far. The linebacking corps, (now with more Acrey!) have been pickin' off passes and pickin' fights. All good signs.

How the offensive line will come together still remains to be seen. Several youngsters should get in the mix soon and we'll see very soon if any of the frosh hosses will get thrown into the fire.

Getting close now...young and old have converged and it's about to get interesting.

Fresh Linkage:

OBNUG's Cliff's Camp Notes

Statueleft does some covert ops on Day 2 of camp

Kellen Moore speaks, people listen.

Dustin Lapray paints a vivid scene of fall camp. Get Pulitzer on the phone!


Noice! Thompson Coach Pete's Player of the Day

Brandyn Thompson was named Coach Pete's Player of the Day for the 4th day of Fall Camp.

“Brandyn showed up today with great focus, energy and he turned that into some play-making ability,” said Petersen. “He had an awesome interception, but his coverage has been very tight all camp long. We’re looking forward to great things out of him this fall.”
This is very good news, since the early departure of Orlando Scandrick has left a gaping void in the defensive secondary opposite Kyle Wilson. Thompson was one of 5 true frosh to play last year, but was mainly utilized in nickel formations when we played NMSU and Hawaii. Particularly uplifting for nervous Broncos is the fact that Thompson has outperformed other highly touted recruits Antwon Murray, Keith McGowan and Garcia Day. Thompson had an acrobatic pick today against Austin Pettis, who I'm pretty sure is 3 feet taller than him. Good job, Brandyn...keep that intensity up cuz WAC offenses like to throw.

In other news...Ian talks

Mission Critical—New Mexico State preview

Part 3 of our WAC football preview is here. A little earlier than it should've been maybe, but OBNUG is snagging all the BSU camp stuff and I was getting bored. Today we preview the vaunted New Mexico State Aggies. They've got offensive talent, a boorish head coach and a redneck sounding D-coordinator...this should be good.

Hal Mumme is a man on a mission. After successfully completing several other missions, that included: Feathering his hair like a majestic bird, blowing snot-rockets on national television, and making people uncomfortable at WAC media events—Mumme has refocused his efforts this season on simply keeping his job. Mumme is a complicated man...a man who likes to wear lettermen's jackets and drape snotrags towels over his shoulder. He also likes to lose football games. BUT that is all changing this year...you see, Hal Mumme has a 'gut feeling' that this year's Aggie team will be successful. And if we know anything about Hal Mumme, it's that his gut feelings are usually correct. Let's see what they're up against.

Hooray mediocrity!

The Aggies return 15 starters from last season (and Chase Holbrook returns nearly all of his teeth), when they went 4-9...so you know those seasoned vets know how to lose quite well. Eight of those returners are on offense...an offense that is equal parts excellent under the guidance of senior QB Chase Holbrook...and terrible (might wanna check this out again). WR Chris Williams is a legitimate stud for the Aggies. He may be small, but he is fast and has soft hands. Williams had 772 yards receiving and 11 TDs in 2007 and he only played in 8 freakin' games! Chase Holbrook, when healthy...can really spread the ball around and routinely puts up big numbers and high passing percentages. Last season, a letdown by Holbrook's standards—he still managed to throw for almost 4,000 yards and toss 26 TDs. The headscratcher here is that they only won 4 games. Why? Well, no rushing game to speak of is a good start. The Aggies top rushers from 2007 combined for only 1,037 yards and 7 TDs. "They're a passing team", you'll say. But that doesn't matter, the Aggies are too predictable on offense—they have to get some production from their backs or Holbrook has to do too much. The Aggies put up an amazing -19 yards rushing against BSU last year. That's not good.

Defense wins championships...that's why NMSU has none.

New Mexico State's defense was ranked 94th in the country last year—giving up 430 yards per contest. That number looks pretty good, however, when you consider that, in scoring defense, the Aggies were ranked 107th. These dubious rankings were enough for the Aggies to jettison defensive coordinator Woody Widenhofer (I'm not kidding),a guy who looked like the "time to make the donuts" guy and coached like him too, and bring in Joe Lee Dunn, a former Memphis D-coordinator, who worked wonders for the Tigers' D in the early 90's. Dunn enjoyed (maybe that's too strong a word) stints in the SEC as well, bringing his defensive skillz to programs like Arkansas and Mississippi. Whether Dunn will be able to resurrect the Aggies' D remains to be seen, but expect some growing pains this year for the squad as they try to wrap their heads around his 3-3-5 defense. If Dunn can turn the Aggie D around...the Aggies can make good strides—that is, until Holbrook and Williams graduate and the Aggies' one-dimensional offense stinks again.

Whuzzit mean?

Part of me really dislikes Hal Mumme (the part that comprises 99% of me)—so I'd like to see him get his sycophantic hieny kicked on a weekly basis. I love having coaches like Hal "the towel" in our conference because otherwise, it is really hard to get up for these layup games against the WAC bottom-feeders. Chase Holbrook is a fringe NFL guy and the Aggies certainly have some talent on offense...but until they abandon that gimmicky "Air Raid" offense and start playing some smashmouth football, they're going to continue to eek out 3 and 4 wins seasons. They get the Broncos in Las Cruces this year, so it should be a bit more interesting than the last tussle (wanna see this one more time?), but I think that the Crimson Aggies will only manage 5 wins this season against Nicholls State, UTEP, Idaho, La Tech and Utah State. Sadly, this will be enough for Hal Mumme to stick around...but on the bright side, this will be enough for Hal Mumme to stick around.

In short, watching Aggie football is a lot like watching this commercial:

It hurts.


Leaked photos from Vandal Camp

Nathan Enderle
Quarterback Nathan Enderle exhibits the Vandals new secret weapon, "the Forward Pass"

Tino Amancio
Placekicker Tino Amancio works on his craft

Walk On
Walk-on Fullback Hughey Gold poses briefly for the assembled press before taking to the practice field

Kibbie Dome
Just across from the practice field, the Kibbie Dome looms. Quiet...for now.

Vandal O-line
The new Vandal O-line has finally added some bulk up-front

Nap time
A Vandal H-back darts his way through defenders as several other nap quietly on the field

Captain Akey
Coach Robb Akey poses in full regalia in his office prior to the morning session


JC has returned!

No, not that JC. IPT has the audio of Jeremy Childs press conference up HERE. We forgive you, #9.

Did you hear the one about the Vandals?

The role of Nathan Enderle will be played by Michael J. Fox
Part 2 of our WAC football preview is here (remember, we're starting from the bottom), and this time we brought in the big guns. Kevan Lee from OBNUG was kind enough to write this glowing send up of those loveable losers—the University of Idaho Vandals. We're glad that someone out there also thinks that Robb Akey looks like the dad from Family Ties (but with the social graces of the neighbor from Office Space). Adam Korby looks a little like Tina Yothers, too. No?

Robb Akey's mustache has seen a lot of things: the sidelines of Washington State, coaching stops at Northern Arizona and Weber State, and enough Just for Men to drown a horse seven times over. But through the mustache's journey from town to town and Arby's to Arby's, one thing the mustache has yet to see is a WAC win.

Akey and his furry friend failed to earn one last year, losing games to New Mexico State (inexcusable) and Utah State (virtually impossible) along the way to going 0-for-the-conference. The final tally in the first year of the Akey:

  • 0-8 conference record
  • 37 points per game allowed
  • one Boise State "donkeys" reference
  • one 58-14 loss to Boise State
  • 18 instances of throwing hands up in the air as if to say, "What more can I do? Besides teaching fundamentals, I mean."
Yet through it all, one thing has remained clear to Akey. This Vandal team is his family.

“I like the way this family is together at this point in time and that is going to be huge,” Akey said. “We’ve got a family here and that is a great thing."
Forget for a moment the ramifications of such smothering statements (recruits want to hear "We have hot coed girls" not "You're like the son I never had") and imagine what love Akey must have in his heart to desire kinship with this ragamuffin group. The Vandals are one of the most dysfunctional teams in the country, so it takes a big man to love them so much. I don't necessarily mean that as a compliment.

At some point in the evolution of Akey's head coaching tenure, he obviously made the decision to take this family thing and run with it. Was his mustache jealous? Most certainly, but a horse-hair ivory brush fixed that. Still, choosing the family angle is a rather unique approach to an undisciplined, untalented bunch. And it leads to some interesting questions:
  • Can the players call him Papa Akey?
  • Does Adam Korby get the birthright?
  • Who does the chaperoning on dates?
  • In bed by 10:00? Lights out at 11:00?
  • What will he say when Shiloh Keo asks why he looks different than Nathan Enderle?
Family vacation to nowhere
With family in tow, Akey is ready to hit the road and go places in the WAC. Too bad Nathan Enderle hates car rides. The Idaho quarterback-by-default-not-by-choice will take the Vandals as far as they will go this year, and he will do so with a blatant disregard for completion percentage.

Enderle, who is perhaps better known for not being Joey Harrington's little brother, was not particularly good last year, which fit in well with the overall theme of the Vandals. He is nothing if not a team player.

If you ask us, Enderle's problem is his inaccuracy, poor decision-making, and ADHD pocket presence. If you ask Robb Akey, Enderle's problem is not having a mustache.

There. Fixed.

Enderle's inadequacies are too bad because the Vandals have a very good running back behind him. Sophomore Deonte Jackson, heretofore referred to as "the offense," has the potential to be the WAC's top runner this season both because he is talented and because he will get an overwhelming amount of touches. The Vandal skill players are short on skill and long on getting tackled easily, so Jackson's game-breaking ability will be much needed. Yes, I know I just said "game-breaking ability."

It was the mustache's idea to put Idaho State on the schedule
The Vandals are always good for at least one Division I-AA team on the schedule. Goodness, if they weren't, they might never win a game. But whereas most D-1 schools breeze through these cupcakes, the Vandals fight and claw and scratch their way to seven-point wins. And boy are they happy about it.

This year's I-AA opponent is Idaho State; the same Idaho State who will lose to the Broncos by 50 points the week prior. After the Bengals, Idaho gets Western Michigan, Utah State, and San Diego State in what, for any other team, would be a super easy stretch. For the Vandals, it will be a perfect opportunity to show how far they have or haven't come. If they can't win two games out of those four, then they might as well fold the program and let Akey's mustache use the Kibbie Dome as its own, personal bachelor pad. Did someone say Kibbie Dome mustache?

We swear we didn't know there was film in the camera
The Vandals have a few things going for them that are entirely new and foreign. For starters, the coaching staff returns in tact (which may or may not be a good thing). Second, there are some good players on the team in Jackson and Korby. Third, the schedule is incredibly easy. Start printing those "2008 Idaho Vandals: 3-9" T-shirts!

But then again, these are the Vandals we are talking about. And they obviously have serious lapses in judgment.

Might this problem manifest itself at the most inappropriate times on the football field? Of course it will, although hopefully they'll keep their shirts on this time. Idaho is bound to blow it once or twice this season; that's what they do best. But it appears that their strategy is to put themselves in situations where screwing up royally doesn't cost the team in the win column. For instance, Nathan Enderle forgetting what an out route is will probably happen in the San Diego State game, but the chances that the Aztecs take advantage of the mistake will be minimal. Their schedule could seriously save them a game or two.

Of course, they stand no chance of beating the Broncos, Bulldogs, or Wolf Pack. But it is becoming increasingly more apparent that the Vandals are not concerned with competing at the top of the WAC. They are concerned about competing somewhere, anywhere.

And that should be good enough for the mustache to see its first WAC win.


Big Surprise

Well, it looks as if my crystal ball is nicely buffed for the 2008 season—Ryan Winterswyk is off to the predictable start as an all-WAC world-beater for his sophomore season and has been named Pete's "camper of the day" for the first day of fall camp. Pete said of the super soph:

“Great effort,” said Petersen. “He’s a veteran guy for us now and he knows the intensity we need to play with and win with and he sure had it on day one.”
Oh yes (rubbing hands together maniacally), it is all going as we have foreseen it...Winterswyk "the Flying Dutchmen" gets the very first camper of the day honor...records 17 sacks against Idaho State...crushes a Bowling Green running back into dust... Oh yes, it is all panning out like we thought.

Does the WAC realize it is about to get systematically Swiked?

In other news...Dave Southorn intimates that some of the newcomers are fat. Who are you, Dave...Charles Atlas?

And does the Bronco blog podcast has some competition? Nope.

And how about the Magic Valley Times? They've got Wordsworth doing their blogging...brings a tear to the eye.

IPT has a nice little audio slideshow of day one.

Coach Pete presser

Audio now up on IPT website HERE. Highlights?

  • Jeremy Childs is back...but not for the ISU game—Paul J. calls him "Jeremy Avery"
  • "1 to 2" true freshman starting would be great
  • Extremely excited about DJ Harper—"Haven't even seen the best of him yet"
  • Richie Brockel is a genius—Graduates in a few weeks; has two years left to play ball
  • Vinny Perretta is back in top form
  • George Iloka a greenshirt? He's ready to compete for playing time this year
  • Billy Winn won't be ready for first game
  • Matt Slater is on scholly now
  • Coach Pete not a big fan of new clock rules

Are you ready for some football?!

All the hand-wringing and speculation about Jeremy Childs can now come to an end. Fall Camp opened today at East Junior High and Jeremy Childs was among the participants. Childs, who missed the Hawaii Bowl (causing Taylor Tharp to have several circuits blow) and the Spring semester due to off-the-field issues is back for his Junior season—and hopefully ready to sync up with whomever is under center this Fall. Childs should be the leader among the talented group of receivers that Boise State returns this year in senior Vinny Perretta and sophomores Titus Young and Austin Pettis.

A large contingent of walk-ons joined the team this morning:

No. 10 Drew Hawkins (QB, Boulder, Colo.), No. 17 Carlo Augnotti (RB, Johannesburg, South Africa), No. 20 Josh Borgman (CB, Boise), No. 33 Jimmy Pavle (PK, Molalla, Ore.), No. 38 Josh Hill (TE, Blackfoot), No. 39 Drew Wright (RB, Nampa), No. 43 Alex Ruben (LB, Scottsdale, Ariz.), No. 45 James Crawford (LS, Westlake Village, Calif.), No. 46 Hazen Moss (LB, Rifle, Colo.), No. 48 J.C. Percy (LB, Blackfoot), No. 54 Michael Ames (LB, Boise), No. 56 Alex Lavoy (LB, Reno), No. 63 Jake Densley (OL, Boise), No. 65 Tim Whipps (OL, Eagle), No. 74 Zach Gholson (DE, Carlsbad, Calif.), No. 78 Demetri Sauve (OL, Boise), No. 83 Brett Davis (WR, Boise), No. 84 Tim Ruben (WR, Scottsdale, Ariz.).
Absent among the newcomers is LB/FB Jake Hess out of Nevada, who was reported to be joining the team back in May. Two former walk-ons have left the program as well—kicker Brock Jaramillo and Safety Shaun Jordan. Sophomore Kyle Brotzman is just too good for Jaramillo to get any real time and we think Jordan may have seen the writing on the wall as well with the emergence of George Iloka, among others.

DJ Harper impressed in a morning session that included Kellen Moore, Bush Hamdan and Nick Lomax. Freshmen Chase Baker and Shea McLellin worked with their elders on the D-line. The young'uns practice this afternoon. We'll keep you all posted when the camper of the day is announced. Coach Pete is to hold a presser at 2:30

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Guerrero makes one more move

Fight, Fight, BSU has found out this morning that Alex Guerrero will be doing color commentary this fall for Boise State football games. What?! No Jadon Dailey?

The reality is that Jadon will still be doing color commentary for KIDO's game broadcasts with Bob Behler—Alex will be doing color commentary for KWEI's Spanish language game broadcasts. Congrats to Alex for this new opportunity...you'd better believe that if I spoke Spanish, I'd been listening in.