9.30.2008

Al Davis now certifiably insane...

The Oakland Raiders love to lose. How else can you explain their bizarre draft picks, their complete feebleness on the field and their pitiful string of hires (Jon Gruden notwithstanding)? The Al Davis Experience took another painful U-turn today...replacing youngster Lane Kiffin with...ready...Tom Cable! They say when life shuts one door it opens a window...well get ready to open the windows, Raider fans because it's going to start to stink. Learning nothing from history or the utter failures of other Vandal head coaches (Scott Linehan?), Al Davis saw fit to turn the reins of a once storied program over to the guy that was too inept even for the Vandals. If I didn't grow up a Raiders fan, I would be positively gleeful.

Maybe I'm overreacting a touch...I mean, Cable did win 11 games for the Vandals which is about 11 times more wins than Robb Akey can muster. Nope...Al Davis needs a straight jacket over that jogging suit.

Raiders 'need' Cable [SFGate]

9.29.2008

Know your enemy (for this week, anyway)

"Go OUIALST!"

Boise State will open up their WAC schedule this Wednesday when the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs come to town. The Broncos are coming off a HUGE win at Autzen Stadium against the Oregon Ducks while the Bulldogs took care of business against Southeast Louisiana in their last contest. Most fans, like me, know little about Louisiana Tech and lil ole Ruston, LA. Needless to say, there is a lot to be learned about this week's foe (don't worry, Kellen Moore already knows their defense intimately)...so let's explore through the magic of factoids and childish jokes. For the mutual benefit of the Bulldog faithful, I will let you get to know us a little bit too...so take notes.

Ten things Bronco fans might not know about Louisiana Tech

10. Louisiana Tech University was created and founded by Act 68 of the Acts of the State of Louisiana of 1894, established "for the education of the white children of the State of Louisiana in the arts and sciences". Don't worry...they integrated in 1965.

9. Louisiana Tech offered the first Nanosystems Engineering program in the nation. If your Nanosystems need a tune-up...you know where to go.

8. Louisiana Tech is not the only school located in tiny Ruston, LA—the Louisiana Center for the Blind is there, too. Insert referee joke ---->here.

7. Country music singer Trace Adkins is a Louisiana Tech alum—as is Terry Bradshaw, who you may also best remember as a country singer.

6. Louisiana Tech is one of only 3 current WAC members to have beaten Boise State in football (in 2001). You will pay for this transgression, Derek Dooley...you will pay.

5. Louisiana Tech quarterback Taylor Bennett once famously committed to play for Boise State before turning tail and running to Georgia Tech. This weekend he will get to play on the blue and will also be playing the role of lunch meat with Ryan Winterswyk and Mike T. Williams reprising their roles as "the bread".

4. Current Tech coach Derek Dooley practiced law for two years before becoming a coach—this means that he not only examines game film...but also cross-examines it.

3. Coach Dooley is the son of legendary Georgia coach and Athletic Director Vince Dooley...the man responsible for unleashing Herschel Walker on the world.

2. There are currently 5 active NFL players that played for Louisiana Tech...2 of them are kickers (Josh Scobee and Matt Stover). Good news, Brad Oestriecher!

1. Louisiana Tech has an all-time win percentage of 55% and have won 23 conference championships since 1915. Most of the Dogs' championships were won in the Southland Conference of the FCS and the Gulf States Conference of the NAIA. The Bulldogs won divisonal national championships in '73 and '74. For a team with barely over .500 lifetime record...I would say that these accomplishments are pretty darn impressive, no?

Ten things Louisiana Tech fans might not know about Boise State

10. Dr. Robert Kustra, Boise State University president, is the former Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. Who says that a Lt. Governor can't be president?

9. Troy McClain, a cast member on the first season of The Apprentice, was offered a full-ride scholarship to any school of his choice by Donald Trump. McClain chose Boise State. Eat that, Harvard!

8. According to an antiquated and bizarre statute...it is illegal for residents of Boise to fish from a giraffe's back. Dang, there goes my afternoon.

7. The school record of 732 yards of offense in one game came against...wait for it...the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in 2003. Pssh...Kellen Moore could do that all by himself!

6. Earl Boen, who played Dr. Silberman in Terminator 2, attended Boise State. We so totally own Louisiana Tech in the B-list actor department.

5. Once upon a time the land on which most of Boise State's campus sits was an island. Its most famous resident was Sage Brush Ann (also known as Tarpaper Annie), who lived alone in a modest tarpaper shack. I got nothin'...this one speaks for itself.

4. A ghost named "Dinah" is said to haunt Boise State's Communication Building, that was built in 1941. This is extremely relevant, because after Wednesday's game, Jeron Johnson is going to haunt Taylor Bennett fortnightly.

3. The father of Boise State football, Lyle Smith, compiled a record of 156-26-8 in his time as head coach. The Broncos had 5 undefeated seasons under Smith as well as 16 conference titles and a national championship. Smith also coached the baseball team for 17 years and the basketball team for one season. Smith once raced Superman and won by 2-tenths of a second.

2. The attendance record (32,335) for Bronco Stadium was set two weeks ago when Bowling Green came to town. See mom, I told you I'd be in the record books one day.

1. Bronco safety Ellis Powers and Bronco wide receiver Jeremy Childs are cousins. Kellen Moore's cousin? Chuck Norris.

There...now we all know each other better—and knowing is half the battle.

9.25.2008

Bronco Nation Podcast 9-25-08

With the podcaster numbers reduced by prior engagements...JT and Drew still manage to trudge through another podcast that simply had to be done. We chat about Autzen stadium, Kellen Moore's perceived greatness, the Bronco secondary's perceived dirtiness and the Vandals perceived crappiness Of course we chatted about players of the week and the upcoming schedule, too. Give a listen.



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Cheerleadergate claims first victim

Gimme a 3...an 8...and a 7.5!

The University of Idaho cheerleader drama has now been holding the nation hostage for over a week...and it has finally claimed it's first victim (second, if you count 'credibility'). The pleather-clad cheerleading squad's skipper, Cassie Helm, has formally announced her resignation over the affair:

Helm, who teaches aerobics and gymnastics, said she resigned because of the school administrations more conservative vision for the spirit squad.
As you may have heard, John McCain has suspended his presidential campaign and is en route to Moscow to help bring a resolution to this "national crisis". For those not in the know...the Vandal cheerleaders had their racy, Bavarian-style cheerleading unis confiscated last week after an uproar on the Palouse. The cheerleaders took the loss of their uniforms with dignity and grace...
Helm said some cheerleaders told her they cried after a meeting in which the uniforms were confiscated. “Kids aren’t crying if they hate something,” the ex-coach said.
Vandal football players and fans alike joined in sob-fest after losing, badly, to Utah State on Saturday. More fallout and bloodshed are bound to occur in upcoming weeks so brace yourselves because more hissy fits are surely on the horizon. The saddest part of this whole thing?
(cheerleader Heidi) Lyons said the uniform switch deprived the squad its goal to excite the crowd at football games.
You brazen hussies...in my day, "Boom goes the dynamite" was enough to whip the crowd into a frenzy.

9.23.2008

University of Idaho is ranked

No, I this is not the Bizarro world where up is down and Vandals are Broncos...looky at this top-15 ranking pulled down by the Vandals on Google Trends today. The University of Idaho has been riding the wave of uniform controversies for weeks now and have finally settled in just under "naked cyclist". Way to go, tribe from the North...you are one more controversy (and maybe a sleeping porch mishap) from the top 10!

9.22.2008

I am legend

Photo by Joe Jaszewski/Statesman

The kids are alright. Boise State played exactly how they needed to and the Bronco coaching staff put together a brilliant game plan to beat the Ducks and send monkeys flying off the collective backs of this young, but talented squad.

Autzen was plenty loud at times on Saturday (just ask my ruptured eardrums), but at other times was as quiet as a funeral when Boise State reeled off 24 unanswered points to put the Ducks on the ropes. Oregon was able to mount a furious comeback in the 4th quarter due to some deft passing by frosh Darren Thomas, a fumble by the Broncos and some painful 15-yard penalties...but it was all too little and much too late as the boys in blue (white) notched the first true BCS road win for the program and the first non-BCS win at Autzen in 14 years. Needless to say, we couldn't have been happier as we loaded the shuttles back to the Thurston High parking lot.

The crappiness of the Oregon fans was greatly exaggerated as we found them by and large to be very gracious and complimentary of the Bronco program. Most Duck fans were bummed at the outcome, but shook hands with us as we left Autzen and praised the scrappy Broncos and the unflappable Kellen Moore.

Only upon returning home did I see some unfortunate comments and allegations of dirty play by the Broncos. Unfortunately, I think that OSN's own commentators fed these claims that the Broncos were playing dirty regarding the Ellis Powers and Jeron Johnson hits. Ok...I was at the game and saw these plays from a very good vantage point and their subsequent replays on DuckVision (or whatever it's called). Ellis Powers was rightly flagged for roughing the passer as he laid a good smack on Masoli after he had released the ball, but this hit was not as egregious as some revisionist Duck homers are making it. The ball had scarcely been released and Powers was barreling full steam unabated toward Masoli and he popped him...it wasn't after the whistle or even close to the 3 seconds that some time-perception-challenged Duck fans contend. Roughing the passer...he got flagged...get over it. The Jeron Johnson hit may have been even less of an infraction than Powers', but I think he was on the receiving end of some payback by the refs. Remember, in the 4th quarter, Darren Thomas had come in and orchestrated some quick passing TDs and Ed Dickson was making the Bronco secondary pay, grabbing some big gainers over the middle...he went for a high pass over the middle (he eyed the ball the whole way and was leaping for the ball) and Jeron Johnson did like any Safety would've and played the receiver, not the ball. Dickson got crushed by Johnson, but Johnson was called (and ejected) for "targeting a defenseless player"—Is any tightend running at mid-field with his eye on the ball in a "defensive" position? Of course he was defenseless, he wasn't looking at the defender, but rather, the ball...the defender (Johnson) was looking at the player and gave him a shot. Fine with the flag...not with the ejection. Neither player had malicious intent, but both may be guilty of an error in judgement. End of story.

Kellen Moore looked stone cold. The Autzen noise levels are not exaggerated...it is ridiculously loud at times, but I didn't see one false start by the Broncos. Very impressive. Moore bounced back immediately from a tip-ball interception and engineered a great drive...he finished the day 24-36 and threw for almost 400 yards on a Duck secondary that was supposed to be one of the best in the nation. Kellen Moore is something very special...we are all starting to see that now. I am going to predict right now that Kellen Moore will win the Offensive Player of the Year award in the WAC. Heck, while I'm at it, I will predict that Jeron Johnson, not Solomon Elimimian, will win Defensive Player of the Year honors too. This team may just be scary good...and much sooner than a lot of people think.

Here are the players that I was extremely impressed with on Saturday:

Kellen Moore—duh...he was Walter Camp NPOTW good
Billy Winn—reminds me an awful lot of Alex Guerrero...and he's just a frosh
Mike T. Williams—played like a beast all game long
Jeremy Childs—the only way to describe some of his catches would be "miraculous"
Austin Pettis—can't think of a better guy to field an onside kick
Vinny Perretta—forget the long TD...he literally risked his neck to get a critical first down...we don't blame you for not holding on Vinny...hope you're feeling better
Kyle Wilson—we've known it for a while...kid's a baller
Brandyn Thompson—amazingly athletic interception
Jeron Johnson—we know your not a dirty player, JJ...but lordy, can that kid hit
O-line—run blocking be damned...keep pass blocking like you have been and Kellen Moore can pick apart any defense

On a final note...I didn't think that Saturday could've gotten much better. I was wrong.

9.17.2008

Know your enemy (for this week, anyway)

Boise State will have their hands full this weekend in Eugene, OR when they have their first-ever (hard to believe) tussle with the Ducks. The Ducks survived a double overtime game against Purdue last weekend whilst the Broncos beat the Bowling Green Falcons. Most fans, like me, know little about the University of Oregon outside of Dennis Dixon, Mike Belotti and all that Nike moolah. Needless to say, there is a lot to be learned about our week 4 foe (don't worry, Kellen Moore already knows their defense intimately)...so let's explore through the magic of factoids and childish jokes. For the mutual benefit of the Duck faithful, I will let you get to know us a little bit too...so take notes.

Ten things Bronco fans might not know about the University of Oregon

10. The University of Oregon has been playing football since 1894. It would have been cool to see all those Dayglo Nike leather helmets, huh?

9. The Ducks, while enjoying great success as of late under coach Mike Belotti, have only won 52% of their football games all-time. The Broncos are hovering around 70%...neener neener.

8. The University of Oregon has won 7 conference championships since 1919 and are 52-3 against the University of Idaho. That last bit wasn't really related, but I thought it was hilarious.

7. The Ducks football venue, Autzen Stadium, is named after it's chief financial contributor and lumberman Thomas J. Autzen...an Oregon State alum.

6. Oregon's first home game at Autzen Stadium was a 17-13 loss to Colorado in 1967—their first win at Autzen? A 31-6 victory over, you guessed it, Idaho (it was the only home victory that year for Oregon)

5. David Ogden Stiers, who played Winchester on M*A*S*H, attended the University of Oregon as did Ann Curry, current host of The Today Show. Also: a lot of hippies.

4. Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight is a University of Oregon alum and remains a huge donor. He enlisted a Portland State University student to design the famous Nike "swoosh" logo...she was paid $35 for her effort.

3. The Oregon Country Fair is held every year in Veneta, Oregon about 15 miles outside of Eugene. Boasting an attendance of over 45,000, it is a great place to hear folk rock, jazz and slam poetry...it is also a great place to see a naked hippie playing a cello.

2. During half-time of the 2002 game against Stanford, the Donald Duck-like Oregon mascot hatched a terrifying and extremely ill-advised roundhouse-kicking new mascot known affectionately as "Robo Duck". Wow...just wow.

1. The cult-hit comedy Animal House was shot on and around the University of Oregon's campus. They say that John Belushi's ghost still haunts the Lillis Business Complex

Ten things that Duck fans might not know about Boise State University

10. Boise State started out as a junior college in 1932 and became 4-year Boise College in 1968. Hal Zimmerman was the starting QB for BJC in 1967 and in 1968 was the starter for Boise College. How many can make that claim?

9. The first U.S. commercial air flight was an airmail flight in 1926 from Pasco, Wash., to Boise on Varney Air Lines, predecessor of United Airlines. The dirt landing strip was where Bronco Stadium is now. Prior to the campus being built, it was Boise's first airport...and before that: a landfill.

8. Boise State offers the nation's only masters of science in Raptor Biology. We're assuming, the kind from Jurassic Park.

7. Boise State's mascot, Buster Bronco shares his name with Western Michigan's mascot. Extra fun fact: Did you know that Idaho's "Joe Vandal" is the first openly gay mascot in the NCAA? Talk about progressive!

6. Boise State's legendary coach, Lyle Smith was an amazing 153-25-6 at the helm of the Bronco program from 1947-1967. He could still beat you in arm wrestling too.

5. Prior Boise State's coaches that have gone on to not be as successful at their next school: Houston Nutt, Dirk Koetter, and Dan Hawkins (this ain't intramurals, Dan).

4. Boise State's famous Statue of Liberty play that they used to defeat Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl (or at least their particular version)was notoriously RIPPED OFF by none other than the Oregon Ducks when they played in Ann Arbor last season.

3. Current Defensive Coordinator, Justin Wilcox, is an Oregon alum who played for the Ducks from 1995 to 1999. His father, Dave Wilcox is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame...and played his college ball for Boise State...and Oregon.

2. Boise State head coach, Chris Petersen, is 25-3 as the Broncos' head honcho...he won Bear Bryant coach of the year honors in 2006 and was nominated several times prior to that for the Frank Broyles award...given to the nation's best offensive coordinator. Petersen played college ball at UC Davis, as did Oregon HC Mike Belotti. Petersen served as Belotti's wide receivers coach at Oregon from 1995 to 2000.

1. Boise State, since moving to Division 1-A in 1996, has been one of the most successful teams in the nation...but still have not won a road game against a BCS opponent. *Sigh*

Well, now you know some things about your foe, Ducks and Broncos...and knowing is half the battle.

9.16.2008

9-15-08 Bronco Nation Podcast

Back in the mix this week is Kevan from OBNUG and of course old standbys Buck from Statueleft, me from this here blog and the father of it all JT Ray from BNN. Topics discussed are the Bowling Green positives and negatives, the pathetic WAC weekend, the top 25, surprising(ly good) Broncos thus far, one Moore recruit (guffaw), and the Broncos chances in Eugene this Saturday. Give a listen.



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9.15.2008

One more Moore?

One more Moore makes me muy, muy happy! Bronco fans are hailing the news that just came down the pike that Kellen Moore's "little" brother Kirby has verbally committed to play for the Broncos. Once considered a pipe dream by those that keep their eye on the recruiting wires after the younger Moore received offers from Washington, Washington State and Stanford...the lure of the blue and his brother tossin' him bombs for a few years obviously turned Moore's head in the last few weeks. No doubt "big" bro Kellen being named the starter helped sway Kirby in his decision, but clearly he chose the squad with the most upside (if you take "being a Pac-10 also-ran out of the equation). Moore is rated as a 3-star recruit by scout.com and rivals.com as well as a top-20 player in the state of Washington. Kirby will bring with him ridiculous pinball type numbers that apparently typify players with the last name "Moore"...he caught 29 TDs last season for the Prosser Mustangs and averaged about 18 yards per catch. Here's what ESPN has to say about the younger Moore:

Moore consistently moves the chains with big grabs and projects to be a solid outside possession receiver at the next level. Tall, well-built and does a good job using his large frame in one-on-one coverage. Has great hands, sound concentration in traffic and adjusts well to the difficult throw. Plucks the ball effortlessly over smaller defensive backs with his big, soft hands. Extends well away from his frame and rarely makes a body catch. Savvy, precise route runner. Conscious of steps, knows how to attack the defensive back's leverage and set him up on the double move. Deceptively explosive off the line and can slip behind coverage. Not real fast but builds good speed with his long stride allowing him to separate on vertical routes. Does not gear down much on the top of his stem. Snags the ball smoothly in stride. Strong frame needed to absorb the big hit and also break tackles after the catch. However, top-end speed is just adequate in the second level. Could struggle separating versus faster defensive backs after the catch and on intermediate to deep patterns as a route runner. Lacks great burst out of his cuts and needs to sink his hips more. More of a possession receiver and will not offer a lot after the catch. Can be slippery to wrap up but he lacks great movement skills in the openfield and is not real elusive. That said, we feel Moore will be productive in a big-catch, possession role in college. Fundamentally sound at the position masking his lack of great speed -- but it will be harder to do at the next level. Good athlete with the size, range and ball skills to also play safety.
Kirby is the 13th known commit in the 2009 Bronco class...non-binding till LOI day blah blah blah.

A win's a win...

Photo by IPT/Greg Kreller

While the Boise State win on Saturday may not have set the nation abuzz like, say, Missouri's demolition of Nevada or BYU's ridiculous beatdown of UCLA, it was not without it's merits. Boise State played a pretty good Bowling Green team and dominated them... far more than the final score indicated.

The Boise State defense was on their game once again, swarming to the ball, pressuring the QB and locking down receivers. The Bronco defense definitely look like they have largely fixed the mistakes of last season and have only given up 7 points in the first two contests of the year. If I were to pick a low point of the game for the D it would be getting fooled on a 4th and goal were the Falcon receiver got it way too easy. Of course, another low point could be that the Falcons were even that close to the endzone anyway after the Bronco D allowed Bowling Green into the redzone following a pass interference call on 3rd and long. The call looked a little suspect, but nonetheless. The Broncos collected 3 turnovers on Saturday and will need to maintain that level of production in Eugene this weekend. Ellis Powers played like a man possessed, Jeron Johnson continued his torrid pace, and Ryan Winterswyk was back in action (though somewhat quiet on the evening). Billy Winn looks like he will be hard to keep off the field as he made his presence known several times during the game. Derrell "hard luck" Acrey was injured in the game...no telling how bad (thanks, Augusto).

The Bronco offense was the other big story from Saturday night. They came out with their hair on fire behind an 11 for 11 start by Kellen Moore. The Broncos were spreading the ball well, flummoxing the Falcon defense en route to a 20-0 halftime score. Then the second half happened. No telling exactly what the issue was, but the Broncos seemed to be flat and confused and did not score again on the night. Thankfully, the Bronco defense was on top of things allowing only one Falcon score in the 4th quarter of play...but clearly, the Bronco offense will need a MUCH better performance at Autzen. The offense in the second half seemed far too cutesy and far too sloppy. Drives were killed by penalties, drops and abandoning a run game that had been very productive in the first half. Also slowing the Bronco offense a bit was the absence of Titus Young, who was serving a (hopefully) one game suspension. Young's ability to stretch the field was sorely missed as the Falcons took away the dink and dunk passing game that Moore had exploited in the first half. The Falcons offense was also on the field longer in the second half which kept the Bronco offense from getting much rhythm back. The sour taste that many felt after the game was certainly due to the yawn-inducing second half offensive effort...the only real detractor of the evening.

The bottom line is that the Bronco offense needs to keep pace with the defense. The defense has been showing an intensity and focus that I haven't seen since 2006 (so far), and the offense, though young, needs to match it. The playcalling has been okay and Moore has run the offense incredibly well for a frosh...but the Bronco receivers need to gain the confidence of Moore and the Bronco run game needs to pick up the production a bit. The O-line play was actually a pleasant surprise...they kept Moore relatively safe and opened some decent running lanes. Mentally, the O-line has a little ways to go. All in all, a very dominant game by the Broncos...they shut down the vaunted spread offense of the Falcons and showed that they can score at will...unfortunately their will was missing in Saturday's second half. We'll give them a 2-quarter mulligan this time...but things need to be fixed by Saturday...you already know that.

Grades
Offense—which quarter?
Defense—A-
Special Teams—B (you can't run into the kicker, IJ)
Derrell Acrey's injury—D
Titus Young's absence—F
Idaho losing to WMU—A+

9.14.2008

ADRIANNN!

Good lord, look at this photo of linebacker Kyle Gingg from last night's win over Bowling Green. All I can say is: this personifies what the defense needs to be about this year...and so far, so good. The Defense has been hitting hard, getting turnovers and bending, but not breaking...giving up only 2 scores in two games. I'll have a game wrap-up and reaction in the morning. Photo by the Statesman's Joe Jaszewski

9.12.2008

Get Noisy, Boise

Understanding that this headline reinforces the improper pronunciation of the name of our fair city—it still serves as a public notice to Bronco fans who plan on attending tomorrow night's game. In 2005, the Bowling Green Falcons made the trip from Ohio only to be buried 48-20 by the Broncos. The Falcons had highly-touted QB Omar Jacobs and a scary spread offense that had nearly beaten Wisconsin the week prior...and they had the no-huddle. The no-huddle doesn't work in Bronco Stadium (at least for visitors)...and the Falcons still run it. Remember last year's win over a no-huddling Wyoming team that had coach Joe Glenn claiming that the Broncos were illegally "piping in" crowd noise to throw them off their game? Well, Bronco fans now know that Joe Glenn was/is nuttier than a fruitcake and no crowd noise was actually being pumped in, but we certainly don't blame Glenn for thinking that—the stadium was a-rockin' and the no-huddle wasn't a-knockin'...on the door....of the endzone...ahh forget it. My point is that the no-huddle offense (which the Broncos are fiddling with this season) didn't work for Wyoming in Bronco Stadium last season and it certainly didn't work for Bowling Green in 2005—stands to reason that we should get a little loud tomorrow night, eh? Who's with me?

Now seems like a good time to reinforce some fundamentals of stadium noise-making.



Catch the fever.

9.10.2008

9-10-08 Bronco Nation Podcast

Buck, JT and some guy named me mull some things over—namely: the WAC's new ESPN deal, Jake Locker's "excessive" celebration, Vinny Perretta the blogger, some predictions, and the key to the Bowling Green game on Saturday. Enjoy the wit and wisdom.




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9.09.2008

Korey Hall a part of history

The Vegas oddsmakers surely put long odds on Korey Hall getting the Packers' first TD of the season...but the Glenns Ferry product and Boise State standout LB delivered on Monday night...catching Aaron Rodgers' first TD as the Packers' starter. We all knew that Hall had good hands after watching him snag interceptions by the boatload from his MLB position on the blue...but the diving catch in the endzone at Lambeau last night was mighty pretty. Hall also blew up Darren Sharper on a long Ryan Grant run. See for yourself (TD at the 1:25 mark...sweet block at the 2:30 mark)



You may not get that many more scoring opportunities, Korey...go ahead and do the Lambeau leap next time.

Oversimplification

The Bowling Green Falcons will roll into town in a couple of days to take on the Broncos. The Falcons are coming off a tough home loss at the hands of Minnesota and prior to that a nice win over sorta-ranked Pitt. Conversely, the Broncos are coming off a half-hearted drubbing of the Idaho State Bengals and an excruciating bye week. It's safe to say that neither team knows exactly what to expect come Saturday. How will Boise State's young team respond to a veteran squad? Will BSU's O-line really be fine? Is Minnesota as terrible as they were last year? We just don't really know these answers, but one thing is clear: Boise State knows a lot more about Bowling Green than their team knows about Boise State. Let's look at the following examples...

Falcon Five-O

It's no surprise that what doomed Bowling Green against Minnesota last week were the turnovers...the Falcons had 5. Certainly, they had the Gophers right where they wanted them, but gave the ball away far too many times. However, insiders in the program appear to believe that a) Minnesota can be compared favorably to Boise State, and b) playing in Boise is something akin to playing at home against a weak Big Ten team. I believe this to be true because of the following head scratcher of a comment from BGSU coach Gregg Brandon:

"If ['5'] happens we're going to lose, probably," Brandon said. "If ['0'] happens, we'll win. We have a great chance."
Oversimplification? So...if the Falcons have 5 turnovers they will lose "probably"...I'd say "definitely". Also, coach Brandon also seems to think that if the Falcons have 0 turnovers they will win. Well, coach...you certainly will have a better shot at winning, but let's not mince words here—Boise State is FAR superior to Minnesota and Pitt offensively, and I think your defense may have to factor into this one too. It will not only take 0 turnovers offensively for the Falcons, but some takeaways by the defense because if you leave the Bronco offense on the field, they will score.

It ain't the uniforms
Bowling Green defensive end Diyral Briggs thinks the Falcons are in for a test. Why? Well because of our jerseys, of course!
"I think it's an advantage," Briggs said. "I went up there my redshirt sophomore year. It was pretty tough to play in there. They got the crowd behind them, and having the blue turf and the blue jerseys, it definitely gives them an advantage."
Oversimplification again? Bingo. The Broncos are also pretty good on the road, Diyral...if it were the jerseys that made the Broncos so good wouldn't Marshall, USF, Oregon, and others have the same "advantage"? I think disciplined football, few errors, good coaching and gameplan, high powered offense and defense factor in as well. I'm just joking...it's the uniforms.

I would welcome Bowling Green players and coaches to believe that they can put up a similar effort against the Broncos that they did against Pitt and Minnesota (sans turnovers) and come away with a win. The Broncos aren't 59-2 since 1999 on the blue for no reason (jerseys, remember?) and have had a bye week to prepare some crazy offensive and clean up any sloppy defensive play. Might want to keep in mind that Boise State is incorporating the no-huddle this year as well, and while the Bowling Green defense sees their own version of the no-huddle all the time...they haven't seen the Broncos run it and it will keep them guessing with the personnel sets that BSU is constantly rotating in and out. If the Falcons can get to Kellen Moore early and often and force the Broncos to run behind their young O-line, they might have a chance to slow the offense a bit—even then, Ian Johnson, Jeremy Avery, Doug Martin and DJ Harper don't need huge holes to run through. Of course, the Falcons are going to have to answer with some offense of their own—how's that for oversimplification?

9.08.2008

Know your enemy (for this week, anyway)

Boise State's first real test of the season will come sauntering onto the blue this Saturday in the form of the Bowling Green Falcons. The Falcons started the 2008 season with a bang when they knocked off then #25 Pitt—unfortunately, they promptly fell back to earth losing big this last weekend to Minnesota. So...our SOS remains so-so, but after a excruciating bye-week the Broncos are ready to dine on Falcon. Most fans, like me, know next to nothing about our MAC foes other than the fact that they run a no-huddle offense that doesn't lend itself to loud noises (hint, hint) and that they were soundly beaten in their last trip to the blue. Needless to say, there is a lot to be learned about our week 3 foe (don't worry, Kellen Moore already knows their defense intimately)...so let's explore through the magic of factoids and childish jokes. For the mutual benefit of the Falcon faithful, I will let you get to know us a little bit too...so take notes.

Ten things Bronco fans might not know about Bowling Green

10. Bowling Green State University appears to be aptly named, as it resides in Bowling Green, Ohio. Bowling Green is also the name of cities in New York and Kentucky. You are now ready for Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

9. Bowling Green State University was originally known as Bowling Green State Normal School. It was just up the road from Bowling Green State Abnormal School.

8. Bowling Green plays their football games at Doyt Perry Stadium, capacity 24,000. The Stadium is named after coach Doyt Perry, who led the Falcons to a 77-11-5 record in his tenure there in the 50s and 60s. While not huge...the stadium makes the Kibbie Dome look like Papa Smurf's toadstool cottage.

7. Falcons are fond of gibberish. The official fight song of the university is a little ditty called Ay Ziggy which features stirring lyrics like: "Ay Ziggy zoomba zoomba zoomba Ay ziggy zoomba zoomba ze". Now I'm really glad that BSU changed their fight song from Blee bloo bah bah boo bee beep.

6. Bowling Green has been playing football since 1919 and has 16 conference championships to show for it. Their last championship came in 2003 as they went 11-3 and won the MAC west division title. That year, they defeated Purdue and Northwestern of the Big Ten and only lost to Ohio State by 7 in Columbus.

5. Bowling Green has completed 5 undefeated seasons in school history...their last coming in 1959 under Doyt Perry (yes, THAT Doyt Perry!)

4. The Falcons have won 56.5% of their games since their debut in 1919.

3. Bowling Green's highest (and only) national ranking in Division 1-A came in 2003 when they finished at #23 in the AP and Coaches polls. That year, Boise State finished 16th and 15th in the AP and Coaches polls, respectively.

2. Urban Meyer coached at Bowling Green for two seasons and racked up a 17-6 record there before blowing up at Utah and eventually ending up at Florida, where they won the National Championship in 2006.

1. There are currently 5 Bowling Green alums playing in the NFL...one of them, WR Steve Sanders, was played by Ian Zering on Beverly Hills 90210.

Ten things Bowling Green fans might not know about Boise State

10. Boise State has been in existence since 1932, when it was founded by the Episcopal Church as Boise Junior College. In 1968, it achieved 4 year status and was changed to Boise College, then in 1969 changed again to Boise State College and finally became Boise State University in 1974.

9. The father of Boise State football is Lyle H. Smith. I guess you could call him the Doyt Perry of Boise...but a more accurate way would be to describe Doyt Perry as the Lyle Smith of Bowling Green. Smith coached Boise State football from 1947 to 1967, going 153-25-6 in that span. Under Smith, Boise State football went undefeated 5 times and won a national championship. Smith chose his own replacement, Tony Knap, in 1968 and served as the Athletic Director until 1981. Knap was pretty good too...he went 71-19 in his eight years with the Broncos.

8. Many think that Boise State ripped off their colors and mascot from the Denver Broncos...well it may be the other way around. Boise State's mascot and colors were picked in 1932 by student Owen Sproat and others after a basketball game. As Sproat put it:

“most of the guys rode horses — it was pretty much cattle country in those days.”
The johnny-come-lately Denver Broncos didn't come on the scene until 1960.

7. Since 1973, Boise State has won 13 conference championships including 5 straight WAC titles from 2002 to 2006. Prior to 1968, they competed in the JC ranks, and as stated before...were a dominant force at 153-25-6 and winning the JC national championship in 1958. Boise State won the 1-AA national championship in 1980 by defeating Eastern Kentucky and played in the championship again in 1994, but lost to a Jim Tressel-led Youngstown State.

6. Boise State joined the 1-A ranks in 1996...since that time, they have finished the season ranked 4 times (peaking at #5 in 2006) and won 7 conference championships.

5. Bronco Stadium's Lyle Smith Field is the nation's only non-green playing surface. "The Blue" or the "Smurf Turf" as it is affectionately known was first installed in 1986 and is currently in its 4th iteration. Contrary to popular belief...geese do not break their necks after mistaking it for a white lined lake. Jimmy Hoffa is also NOT buried under the field (as far as we know)

4. The Broncos are 59-2 at Bronco Stadium since 1999. Their last regular season loss on the blue was to Washington State in 2001.

3. Boise State currently has 11 players active on NFL rosters. Ryan Clady is the highest ever draft pick from Boise State. He was picked 12th overall in this years draft.

2. Boise State's current QB, redshirt frosh Kellen Moore, owns pretty much every high school football record in the state of Washington. Moore had 787 completions, 173 touchdowns, and over over 11,000 yards passing at Prosser High School. As a junior, he was named the Washington player of the year over Jake Locker, the current QB at UW. He emits awesomeness from every pore.

1. Chris Petersen won the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year award in 2006. In 2007, Mark Mangino of Kansas ate won the award.

So there you are...now we know each other...and knowing is half the battle.

9.07.2008

Jeron Johnson's felonious assault

I've been warning people since last season—Jeron Johnson is going to kill somebody. No one listened...people shrugged it off, but I kept repeating my warnings. The sophomore safety has been incredible for the Broncos in his short tenure here...but seems to have a disregard for his own body and a disdain for the bodies of opponents. Witness the following evidence and I defy you to tell me that Jeron Johnson isn't a bad, bad man.

Russell Hill was courageous to take the field again after this hit...it left him with a bloodied nose (most likely due to whiplash). I fear we may witness Jeron snapping someone in half before the year is out, heck, it may be this Saturday against Bowling Green. We're all going to be accessories.

Thanks to JT for finally getting this vicious hit online.

9.04.2008

Sophomoric humor gets results

It seems that the Vandals butt logo situation has been...wait for it..."rectified" *snicker*. The Vandal logo debacle, it seems, went all the way to the top this week and Rob Spear, as expected, blamed everyone else:

"They're saying we signed off on it. We did sign off on it, but the actual design of the uniforms were changed,"
Spears says that the logo was supposed to be higher up on the pants, near the "beltline"...but apparently conspirators at Nike decided to move the logo to a decidely funnier location. I'm sure that's what happened...yep. Spears went on to add (most likely with tears welling in his eyes):
"I was disappointed with the look and the appearance. We didn't realize how noticeable it would be until it was on our players,"
Well, we all didn't realize how terrible Idaho would be this year either until we saw them take the field in Arizona. Keep the stories coming, Vandals...I've got a family to support and all the Adsense revenue that I get from embarassing Vandal stories allows me to feed my family.

9.02.2008

Vandals say "sit on it"

The fashionistas in Moscow have topped themselves once again. Not content to humiliate themselves in Arizona by the score alone...the Vandals also trotted out their new jerseys on Saturday and...well...their new pants put their logo in a rather...interesting location. Examine the above pic and see if you can find it...it's like a Where's Waldo? book.

Well done, Vandals...and we thought that this was embarassing:


Or this.

Phil Knight is chuckling loudly somewhere.