Trump called...he digs your hair
Boise State heads to Las Cruces on Saturday to take on Hal Mumme and his Air Raid offense. The Broncos are coming off a hard fought win over a legit San Jose State team, the Aggies are coming off a demoralizing loss to the Vandals. Most fans, like me, know little about New Mexico State outside of Polo Gutierrez and his foot-filled mouth. 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 about Hal Mumme. For the mutual benefit of the Aggie faithful, I will let you get to know us a little bit too...so take notes.
Ten things Bronco fans might not know about New Mexico State
10. NMSU coach Hal Mumme has developed a series of instructional DVDs on the intricacies of the "Air Raid" offense (you can get all 3 for only $109.99). According to Mumme, "the beauty of the Air Raid Offense is that players love to play this offense and fans flock to see it". I apologize to anyone that was mid-sip on their daily beverage. Order now!
9. Hal Mumme is in love with Hawaii. In 2006, he openly stated that Hawaii was the best team in the league (over eventual 13-0 Boise State), voted for June Jones as WAC coach of the year (though Chris Petersen won National Coach of the Year) and last year was the only coach to vote the Warriors number one in USA Today poll. Get a room, you two.
8. The founder and first president of New Mexico State University was Hiram Hadley. Hiram Hadley wished to see "3 principal items" accomplished in his lifetime: National Prohibition, Women's Suffrage and International Peace. Hadley died in 1922, and as such, lived to see two of those 3 items come to fruition. Item number 4, "Never hire Hal Mumme", which was scrawled on a lost piece of parchment, was sadly discovered far too late in 2006.
7. New Mexico State is home to the world's hottest chile pepper. In 2006, NMSU professor Paul Bosland discovered the Bhut Jolokia pepper, which measures at 1,001,304 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). For comparison, an average jalapeño pepper measure 10,000 SHU. Last year during the ESPN broadcast of the NMSU/UNR game, annoying sideline reporter extraordinaire Rob Stone decided to give it a little taste test.
6. New Mexico State has never lost a bowl game. Of course, they've only been to three, and none since 1960—but still, no one can away their 1960 Sun Bowl victory over Utah State, their 1959 Sun Bowl victory over North Texas or their 1936 tie with Hardin-Simmons in, you guessed it, the Sun Bowl.
5. The New Mexico State head coach with the best winning percentage was Arthur H. Badenoch, who won 86% of his games between the years of 1910 and 1913 (4 seasons). Badenoch also coached the NMSU basketball team during those years, but had less success—posting only 3 wins and 22 losses.
4. At the Whole Enchilada Fiesta in early October, the city of Las Cruces makes the world's largest enchilada. Afterwards, the city then takes the world's largest Alka Seltzer.
3. The outlaw Billy the Kid resided in Las Cruces for a portion of his short life, as did his killer, lawman Pat Garrett. Popular legend suggests that Garrett killed Billy the Kid by feeding him a portion of the world's largest enchilada and then lighting a match near his residence.
2. Well before the Air Raid sirens went off, New Mexico State actually had a run game. In 1998, running back Denvis Manns rushed for 1,469 yards...still an Aggie record. In fact, Manns was only the 3rd ever NCAA runningback to rush for at least 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons. Despite Manns' offensive prowess, he never enjoyed a winning season as an Aggie...a feat that Chase Holbrook is sure to match.
1. In 1912, the Aggie football team defeated Fort Bliss, TX 116-0. Apparently, the football team at Fort Bliss were all 4-F.
Ten things Aggie fans might not know about Boise State
10. Hollywood director Michael Hoffman is a Boise State alum and was the school's first Rhodes Scholar. He won two Oscars for the film Restoration, but I think his finest work is the documentary film Out of the Blue, which is about Boise State's undefeated 2006 season...oops, I just spoiled the ending.
9. Cornerback Kyle Wilson's older brother Gerry, a Princeton grad, is the founder and CEO of Yoonew.com, the world's first futures exchange for event tickets. Basically you can guarantee yourself a ticket to the big game if your team makes it. Weird, a search of the term "Idaho Vandals" offers no results on the site.
8. In 1982 Jay Luo received his bachelors in mathematics from Boise State University. No biggie, right? Wrong...he was only 12 years old. When I was 12 I beat Super Mario Bros. 3. I think we all know who made the bigger accomplishment there, am I right?
7. The founder and CEO of Money Tree Payday Loans, Dennis Bassford, is a Boise State alum. Now you know who to punch for unleashing the Money Tree caterpillar upon the world*.
6. Astronaut and "Teacher in Space" Barbara Morgan holds an honorary doctorate from Boise State and is a Distinguished Educator in Residence. Morgan was Christa McAuliffe's backup on the ill-fated Challenger shuttle voyage. While in space, Morgan was able to see the great pyramids, the great wall of China, and the hole in the ozone caused by Hal Mumme's overuse of Aqua Net.
5. One of the most famous moments in NCAA tournament history happened in Boise State's basketball arena (formerly the Pavilion, now Taco Bell Arena) when UCLA's Tyus Edny drove the length of the floor in the closing seconds and nailed a layup to defeat Missouri in 1995. There was a memorable game in the WAC tournament in Las Cruces last year too, but I forget how that one ended.
4. Werner Hoeger, a Boise State professor of excercise physiology competed for his native Venezuela in the 2006 Torino Olympics in the luge event. Hoeger was the flag-bearer for Venezuela and, at 52, was the oldest individual competitor at the games. Hoeger, rather than gracing a Wheaties box, was featured on a box of Centrum Silver.
3. The city of Boise has the largest concentration of Basques outside of the Pyrenees mountains. As such, Boise also has a large concentration of unpronouncable last names.
2. Pokey Allen came to Boise State in 1993 and turned a 3-8 squad into a 13-2 squad playing in the 1-AA national championship. Pokey got sick with cancer soon after and missed almost all of the 1996 season, Boise State's first in Division 1-A. The Broncos were 2-10 that year and Pokey missed the first 10 games while undergoing treatment. He returned and coached the last two games of that year...his last win as Bronco head coach was in Las Cruces against the Aggies. Pokey died a little over a month later.
1. Boise State has been shutout only twice in football, the last coming against Washington State in 1997. Boise State registered two shutouts over their opponents just last year. 20 of Boise State's 24 opponent shutouts since 1968 have occurred at home. Their most lopsided win ever? The first ever game on the blue turf: a 74-0 win over Humboldt State which answered once and for all the question, "can Hippies play football?"
Well, now we know a bit more about each other. Enough fraternizing...let's get ready to RRRUMMBLE!**
* FFBSU does not condone violence...well maybe a little.
** No, Michael Buffer, I don't owe you a cent.
Trump called...he digs your hair
I think it goes without saying that J Bates is the only local sports personality with a personality...so we grabbed him for last night's podcast and let the fur fly. I did my best JT impersonation this week and hosted the show while the real JT nursed a sore throat and Buck, J, and I hashed out the WAC week in review, the San José State game, Hal Mumme's overwhelming Mumme-ness, and whether or not Austin Pettis is actually human. Listen up.
"The world's most dangerous marching band"
This week's opponent, the New Mexico State Aggies, have a rich tradition of losing, Bill Gates rich. Seriously, they haven't been to a bowl game since JFK was in office. But why do the Aggies struggle so mightily on the field? Well, I put all of FFBSU's resources into analyzing the Aggies' dire situation and, in a "Eureka moment", found the culprit of their futility: the fight song. Let's break down the lyrics of their depressing anthem and see if we can get to the heart of the problem, shall we?
Aggies, Oh AggiesTry to recite this first line without having Barry Manilow's Mandy popping into your head.
The hills send back the cryThat's called an echo...not the first thing you want to hear in a football stadium.
We're here to do or dieThose are the only two options? Must've been a lot of fatalities after losing to Idaho on Saturday.
Aggies, Oh Aggies...you came and you gave without takin'...
We'll win this game or know the reason whyThe reason why? Hal Mumme is our coach.
And when we win this gameI think the word you're looking for is "if".
We'll buy a keg of boozeCan we see your collective IDs?
And we'll drink to the AggiesJust don't take a shot every time Hal Mumme wipes his nose on camera...very bad for the liver.
Till we wobble in our shoesFriends don't let friends party in Las Cruces.
A-G-G-I-E-SThis part is a public service benefitting the adult literacy program.
Aggies, Aggies, go AggiesAggies aggies aggies...
Aggies, Oh Aggies...well you kissed me and stopped me from shakin'...
The hills send back the cryThe hills were angry that day, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli...
We're here to do or dieThe latter, if you don't mind.
Aggies, Oh Aggies...but I sent you away, Oh Aggies...
We'll win this game or know the reason why!Yeah!
Why, I haven't seen such an inspiring ditty since Ronnie James Dio's Holy Diver. Fix this, Aggies, and your troubles may be behind you. You may want to give recruiting, coaching, facilities, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, uniforms, and conference a close look also.
Blue Hairs may need to click on this for a larger view
BC.com poster Mindcrime brought this to my attention this morning: a)the Sporting News has a free digital paper b)they mentioned FFBSU on page 33 of today's edition. Too bad they didn't inform me first or I coulda set them straight on who's baby the podcast really is, but I certainly appreciate the love. Thanks for caring Sporting News, and thanks for posting the first Boise State blog that google returned.
Some other great Bronco blogs:
Bronco Nation N.O.W.
Orange and Blue Circus
The Blue Turf
Titus, we hardly knew ye...
Titus Young is gone-zo (for the remainder of the year at least). This coming from Chris Petersen's mouth this afternoon as he has upgraded Young's "3 game" suspension to an indefinite one. As usual, we have little details about Young's misdeeds, and we know that no rules were broken during his suspension, but Coach Pete says that TY and the team "need time apart" and that they'd "look at things down the road". Young has been in the doghouse for much of this season...a stark contrast from last year's "golly gee" demeanor as a true frosh. We certainly can't speculate on the reasoning behind Young's uber-suspension (although we've heard rumors)...but it's hard to imagine that the team won't miss his speed and elusiveness. Not so sure they'll miss his ball security, however. We selfishly hope that we'll see TY on the blue again next season, but I don't think anyone can take that for granted. I guess the bottom line is that Titus could outrun defenders all day long on the field, but couldn't outrun the long arm of the coaching staff off of it.
Can I go back to Cal?
San Jose State was game, but the Broncos defense was stellar once again and the offense found a 165 lb. spark in Jeremy Avery and the Broncos ran their record to 7-0. The Spartans offense looked flustered all night long, but the Spartan defense kept things tight for most of the night with a pick-six, endzone fumble recovery and some very solid play from their D-line. With a 33-16 final, the Spartans scored the most points against the Bronco defense since the September 20th game at Autzen, but really can only be held to account for 10 of those points. I will give a lot of respect to the Spartans...they play hard and that defense is for real...if they can find an offense they may be very good. As it stands, however, the Broncos were the better team tonight and will probably not face a stiff test for weeks.
- Austin Pettis has some sticky hands
- Jeron Johnson is a stud, but needs to dial it down a notch at times...personal fouls hurt.
- Jeremy Avery is one slick dude and tough, too.
- Dick Tomey needs some ginseng.
- Kyle Efaw should've had a TD.
Don't get used to this
Boise State heads to bizarro world tomorrow night when they tussle with "first place" WAC team San José State (political correctness dictates that I must put that little swash above the 'e'). The Broncos are coming off a defense-led beatdown of Hawaii and the Spartans are coming off a defense-led beatdown of New Mexico State. Most fans, like me, know little about San José State outside of Jeff Garcia and some recent inexplicably-close games there. 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 Spartan faithful, I will let you get to know us a little bit too...so take notes.
Ten things Bronco fans might not know about San José State
10. San José State University, founded in 1862, is the oldest public university in the state of California. Dick Tomey didn't come around until 1874.
9. Since 1982, San José State's English Department has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest which rewards participants for penning the worst opening sentence to a fictional novel. The contest is named after Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, an English novelist who penned the famous intro "It was a dark and stormy night..." Rewarding intentional mediocrity...hmmm...sounds like an idea the University of Idaho could really get behind.
8. Krazy George Henderson (this guy) is a San José State alum and resident cheerleader. He is credited with inventing the audience wave. For this, Krazy George was recently inducted in my Guys who invented annoying things Hall of Fame, where he will be enshrined next to the inventors of the Macarena, the pan flute, and Richard Simmons.
7. The song Do You Know the Way to San José earned Dionne Warwick a Grammy award and was a top 10 hit in 1968. The follow-up single Do You Know the Way to Rancho Cucamonga was less well received.
6. San José State football has an all-time winning percentage of around 50%. They have won 16 conference championships since 1932, but have not won a title since 1991. The San José State Judo team, on the other hand has won 42 of 46 national championships in the sport.
5. San José State's one undefeated season in football came in 1939 under coach "Dud" DeGroot. They went 13-0 and recorded 8 shutouts. DeGroot was apparently quite a guy, he is the winningest coach in the history of the Washington Redskins franchise, won a Rugby gold medal in the 1924 Olympics, was Stanford's first All-American, held a doctorate, and was once one of the foremost ornithologists (he studied birds) and oologists (and their eggs) in the world. Though not documented, I think he also possessed heat vision and could recite pi to it's 1400th decimal.
4. Former Spartan football player Neil Parry suffered a compound fracture in a 2000 game against UTEP and had to have his right leg amputated below the knee. 3 years later, he returned to the field as a special teams player against Nevada. It is safe to say, no matter who or where you are: Neil Parry is tougher than you.
3. Former head football coach Fitz Hill, who had a very Tom Cable-y 14-33 record at the SJSU is now the president of Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, Arkansas. This appears to be in compliance with SJSU's restraining order stipulating that he stay at least 1000 miles away from the football program at all times.
2. Current Spartan head coach Dick Tomey is vice president of the American Football Coaches Association. He is expected to move to president in 2009, but only if he can hold off fresh-faced challenger Barack Obama.
1. Tampa Bay QB Jeff Garcia spent his collegiate career at San José State. He is the second most successful ginger kid in NCAA history behind Jared Zabransky.
Ten things San José State fans might not know about Boise State (re-runs this week for close blog followers)
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. 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 62-2 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.
Well, there you go...now we know a little about each other. Feel better?
The boys are back in town...and they brought their opinions with them. Buck from Statueleft, JT from BNN and I pondered our own existence and rumored existence of a Bronco "run game". We also let out our emotions over the stellar Bronco defense, the long overdue vengeance on Hawaii, the WAC players of the week and whether there will be more spooky goings-on in San Jose. Cherish it.
Sorry Dick, "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Among all the hand-wringing and backhanded praise for the Spartans going on this week, I actually found a couple of level-headed takes on the game...but from an unusual source...the San Jose State student newspaper's blog. What was apparently supposed to be a spirited point/counterpoint quickly devolved into the dramatic realization that the Spartans aren't playing a patsy this weekend, and thusly, will lose.
Last week, Boise State’s defense dominated Hawaii. They forced Hawaii’s quarterback Inoke Funaki into five interceptions. Funaki is very comparable to Kyle Reed who threw three interceptions against a soft New Mexico State defense. That spells trouble for the Spartans offense...It also spells L-O-S-S. According to John Hornberg (who also picked the Spartans to lose), the Spartans held a "top notch" New Mexico State offense to only 14 points last week. Fun fact: Boise State held the same "top notch" NMSU offense to zero points last year, and that wasn't our "good" D. Bottom line: Boise State can and will score more than 14 pts. on the Spartans...and that's all they need to do. The Spartans anemic offense will not score more than 10 points on the Broncos—mark it down...use a permanent marker. Besides the erroneous classification of NMSU's offense as "top notch"...the San Jose guys got it right...the Spartans will lose this weekend and it probably won't even be as close that they think.
Boise State 23, SJSU 6
San Jose Daily Sports
Boise State's burgeoning Dutch connection has paid off again as Capital High wide receiver Geraldo Hiwat has verbally committed to play for the Broncos. Hiwat is a 6'3" wide receiver from Amsterdam who has only played in 5 games in the states...but the Broncos liked what they saw in Hiwat's 26 receptions for 297 yards and four TDs as well as a slew of rushing and special teams yardage. Capital coach Todd Simis raved about the lanky import:
“From my opinion, on talent, in the future he’s going to be in a league of his own,” Simis said. “He’s only really played five American football games. I just think the upside is tremendous.”No word yet on whether international rules dictate that Hiwat must be passed to on the left hand side only.
Hiwat is the 14th known verbal commit for the Broncos 2009 class. Booyah!
Photo by Chris Butler/Idaho Statesman
Benefitting from a truly Timmy Chang-like performance from Inoke Funaki...the Broncos rolled to an easy win on the blue last night and avenged last season's loss that stripped them of the WAC title. The Broncos overcame a slow start by the offense in the first half and two fumbles that allowed the Warriors pull within 3 at halftime...the Bronco defense, as it has all season, took the team on their backs, sacking Funaki 7 times and intercepting 5 passes. Sophomore Brandyn Thompson had 3 of those INTs, none of which were "gimmes"...truly an outstanding effort by Thompson. The Broncos held the Warriors to only 7 points in the game, the 5th time this season they have accomplished that feat. Kellen Moore was 25 of 33 on the night (75%) for 256 yards and 3 TDs, with no INTs.
The Broncos now look to keep their undefeated season alive when they head to San Jose next week, a place where the Broncos have never lost, but have come darn close several times. The Spartans look to have a good squad this year and lead the WAC in defense (not scoring defense, though) and will provide a good test...no reason to think their offense can score more than 7 points though, right? More on that next week.
What's wrong with this picture?
Boise State kicks their WAC season into high gear tomorrow night as they take on the defending *ack* WAC champion Hawaii Warriors on the blue. The Broncos are coming off an impressive defensive performance in Hattiesburg while the Warriors took care of Louisiana Tech. Most fans, like me, know little about Hawaii outside of mutual June Jones hatred. 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 Warrior faithful, I will let you get to know us a little bit too...so take notes.
Ten things Bronco fans might not know about Hawaii
10. In 1923, after defeating Oregon State on Moiliili Field, a rainbow appeared, causing local reporters to start calling the UH football team the "Rainbows". The Warriors dropped the "Rainbow" from their name and logos in 2001 (only 23 years after it became a symbol of the gay pride movement...way to get right on that)
9. The John A. Burns school of medicine, the Medical School of the University of Hawaii, is ranked 12th in the nation for geriatrics. Could this be why Greg McMackin always looks so happy?
8. The University of Hawaii won the 2004 Intercollegiate Sailing Association National Championship. I'm told the championship trophy resides in a case titled: "Championship trophies that no one knew existed"
7. Hawaii's State motto is: Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono. Boy, you can say that again.
6. Graduated star wideout Davone Bess was recruited by June Jones' henchmen while serving a 15 month sentence at a juvenile facility. Why June Jones had recruiters at prison-sponsored flag football games is obvious to anyone who's ever watched The Longest Yard.
5. Current UH coach, Greg McMackin authored a book, titled Coaching the Defensive Backfield that is currently in its 7th printing. If you like that, you may also want to check out June Jones' memoir, The Gentlemen's Guide to Mustaches, Leis, and Prison Recruiting
4. In 1926, Hawaii coach Otto Klum's squad scored 101 points twice against opponents "Field Artillery" and "Heilani AC". Interestingly, 101 points is what June Jones' 2007 squad would've scored on San Jose State, had field conditions not been so poor.
3. Singer/Actress Bette Midler attended the University of Hawaii. It is widely believed that Timmy Chang is the wind beneath her wings.
2. Hawaii has won 3 WAC conference titles in their 29 years in the league. Boise State has two more than that in 7 years...so...well...yeah, just suck on that.
1. Runningback Thomas Kaulukukui's number 32 is the only number to date that has been retired by the UH football program. Kaulukukui was only 5'4" and weighed a whopping 145 lbs.
Ten things Warrior fans might not know about the Broncos
10. Boise State sophomore wideout Austin Pettis is the nephew of former major league baseball player Gary Pettis. Gary Pettis still holds the record for most stolen bases in the Angels organization (186)...Austin holds the Boise State record for stealing the most corner fade routes from defensive backs (all of them).
9. NHL Legend Bobby Hull's son Bart played running back for Boise State in the early 90s. Bart's brother Brett is a future NHL Hall of Famer and is 3rd all-time in the league in goals scored. I guess this makes Bart the least successful member of the Hull family.
8. Boise State University's motto is: Splendor Sine Occasu, which I believe is Latin for "place of very few parking spaces"
7. Boise was once a key trading post for the Hudson Bay Trading Company. Now Boise is a known mainly as a key trading post for Starbucks coffee and JoAnn Fabrics.
6. Coach Chris Petersen was the 2006 Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year, but lost the WAC Coach of the Year title to Hawaii's June Jones. We demand reparations!
5. Dee Pickett (father of NFL and CFL QB Cody Pickett) was the Broncos quarterback in 1976-77. Pickett was a prolific player for the Broncos, but left the sport to pursue rodeo "fame" and fortune in 1977. Pickett was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2003, which, I believe entitles him to some sort of huge belt buckle.
4. Boise State freshman QB Kellen Moore set state records for career completions (787), career touchdown passes (173), completions in a season (317), passing yards in a season (4,600) and touchdown passes in a season (67) at Prosser High, in Washington, but he never won state. Timmy Chang knows how you feel, Kellen.
3. Boise State freshman walk-on runningback Carlo Audagnotti, probably had the longest trip to the blue of any current player...he's from Johannesburg, South Africa.
2. Backup QB Bush Hamdan was born in Kuwait and his birth name is Bashar...his brother, Gibran is a backup QB for the Buffalo Bills. "Bash" is a cooler name then "Blaze", isn't it?
1. Boise State hasn't lost a WAC game at home...ever. You hear that Hawaii? EVER.
...and a Winn's a Winn
So we learned something valuable on Saturday night: Boise State's offense can play 1 quarter and still win. After treating us to 3 of the most boring quarters of football imaginable, Boise State exited Hattiesburg, MS still undefeated, but Coach Pete was none-too-happy about the effort. Thankfully, the defense continued their domination—holding Southern Miss well below their usual output and shutting them out on 4th down attempts and redzone scoring for all but one ill-fated series. Kyle Wilson owned 5-star freshman WR DeAndre Brown and the Billy Winn and company made the absence of Sean Bingham and Joe Bozikovich scarcely noticeable. A seismic shift has happened this year, however, as I find myself getting much more excited to watch our Defense perform than our Offense. Guess I just don't find holding penalties, fumbled snaps and 2 yard rushing losses all that exciting anymore.
Now, what exactly is the issue with the offense? Hard to say. They did look nigh unstoppable in the second quarter and they truly look, at times, like they could drop 24 in every quarter..but our old pal inconsistency reared his ugly head. Kellen Moore had a so-so outing, throwing for 3 TDs, but also tossing an INT and mishandling a few snaps. The run game looked better...sparked by some nice runs by IJ, Doug Martin and Jeremy Avery. Avery looked the most explosive in the run game, moving the chains well at times and hitting the holes hard, one 77-yarder by Avery was called back by *gasp* a penalty. Jeremy Childs and Austin Pettis had stellar games and truly, two of Kellen's TD passes where "all them". Despite all the good things in the game...it still felt kinda "icky"—5 games in and 5 and 0...but this team seems so far from their potential...maybe that, in itself is a good thing.
The defense is clicking in a big way and the defending WAC champs (sorry, just threw up a little) Hawaii are heading to the blue for a Friday night tussle. You better believe that Coach Pete is gonna work these guys hard this week and no Bronco will lack motivation when the Warriors come in with our hardware. This team may really be scary when every cog falls into place. One such cog, Titus Young, will not be falling in anywhere for a few games, by the way.
OBNUG takes you to the Southern Miss/BSU no spin zone.
Statueleft compares Bronco fans to small poultry.
Well guess what? Now this is happening...
The way I see it, Boise State can easily win in Hattiesburg on Saturday by doing just one thing: limiting big plays from Damion Fletcher. We all know that Damion Fletcher is one heck of a back, and despite being outplayed last year by Ian Johnson, will be a force at the Rock on Saturday. Last season, with a much more schizophrenic defense, the Broncos were able to contain Fletcher and hold him to minimal yardage (84 yards)...this year, with a physical defense that has risen to every challenge—I see Fletcher once again being held in check.
Now, I strongly suspect that Ian Johnson and crew will not "upstage" Fletcher again, but limiting Fletcher's effectiveness and not giving up "home run" types of plays is quite simply the key to this weekend's matchup. Lest you forget, the Golden Eagles are also starting a freshman QB, Austin Davis...who is playing admirably, but so far not close to the level he will need to play against the Broncos if the run element is stripped from the USM playbook. Davis is completing 60.1% of his passes and has thrown 9 TDs and 5 INTs...with a strong pass rush by the Bronco DEs I see his TD/INT ratio becoming much more balanced. The Bronco pass defense will have their hands full with DeAndre Brown, but I don't see Davis reeling off many to the mammoth wideout as pressure will be coming all night long. The Bronco defense, though missing Joe Bozikovich and Sean Bingham will just need to play within their zones and keep Fletcher out of the secondary and the game should go the Broncos' way.
On offense, the Broncos should be able to do as they please, quite frankly. The Golden Eagles are lacking a sufficient pass rush and the Bronco O-line has been remarkable with pass blocking. Honestly, Kellen Moore does not need as much time in the pocket as he will be given on Saturday...giving him more time to find Childs, Young, Pettis or Perretta (not to mention Efaw, Brockel, Gallarda, or Hawkins) could be absolutely disastrous for a Southern Miss team that is struggling with pass defense to begin with. USM's home field advantage will allow them to come up with some scoring opportunities, but I suspect, far less than the Broncos will receive. Whether or not the Bronco rushing attack takes off or not (USM hasn't been stellar against the run, either), look for the Broncos to score early and often. I see the runningback committee being utilized in the passing attack a lot this weekend as Southern Miss tends to overpursue with their ends allowing the runningbacks to find space in the flats.
It will be interesting to see what the Bronco coaches have planned for Doug "Doug Mad" Martin, as they have hinted that he will take an unconventional role in the offense on Saturday. Richie Brockel hinted that Martin may be utilized in more of a fullback role as Brockel slides into Chris O'neill's vacant spot. Martin, who is an excellent blocker, can provide lead blocking or simply carry the ball himself. We're giddy thinking about it. Martin will also be heavily utilized on special teams and we may see him return some kicks (with any luck).
The Golden Eagles are certainly no team to take lightly...but it seems the Broncos maintain their focus as good or better than any team in the country and I don't see Southern Miss simply has not encountered an offense of the caliber the Broncos are fielding. The scary part for both sides may be the fact that the Broncos haven't really fired on all cylinders, offensively speaking, for an entire game yet. A few 3-and-out offensive series by the Broncos will be the only thing to keep this one close, in my opinion...if they've ironed out the wrinkles, however...it's curtains for Southern Miss.
Boise State 42, Southern Miss 17
Last year's game highlight:
Boise State will wrap up their non-conference schedule this Saturday when they head to Hattiesburg, Mississsippi to take on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. The Broncos are coming off an impressive 38-3 win at Bronco Stadium against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs while the Golden Eagles are reeling from two straight home losses (Marshall and UTEP). Most fans, like me, know little about Southern Miss outside of Brett Favre. 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 Golden Eagle faithful, I will let you get to know us a little bit too...so take notes.
Ten things Bronco fans might not know about Southern Miss
10. Southern Miss' first mascot was the Tiger, but they were also called the "Normalites" since the University of Southern Mississippi was originally called Mississippi Normal College. Three things to look out for in a cave: Stalagtites, Stalagmites and Normalites (they bite).
9. The current Southern Miss mascot's name is Seymour d'Campus. He was preceded by Seymour d'Freshmanquadresidencehalls.
8. Singer/Songwriter Jimmy Buffett is a USM alum. Some say his lost shaker of salt is in the Student Union lost and found.
7. The Golden Eagles play their home football games at M.M. Roberts stadium (capacity 36,000) which is nicknamed "the Rock". Sadly, the Rock, who played football at Miami...never got to play at the Rock.
6. Southern Miss has been playing football since 1912 and have an all-time winning percentage of 58%. They have been nationally ranked 3 times in their history and have won 10 conference championships along with national championships in 1958 and 1962. Their coach during their national championship years? A hall of famer named "pie"
5. USM's early Student Handbooks (and current alumni publication) were known as The Drawl. Southern stereotypes be damned!
4. Some claim that Hattiesburg, Mississippi is the birthplace of rock and roll since 1936 recordings in Hattiesburg by Blind Roosevelt Graves and his Mississippi Jook Band "featured fully formed rock & roll guitar riffs and a stomping rock & roll beat". The "rock band" consisted of a guitar, piano, tamborine and kazoo—that must've been some crazy moshpit.
3. 7 Southern Miss alums currently play in the NFL, most notably Brett Favre of the New York Jets. Least notably? Chris White, who plays Center for the Houston Texans.
2. Southern Miss runningback Damion Fletcher won the Conerly trophy in 2007. The Conerly trophy is "awarded to the best college football player in the state of Mississippi"—Wow...with criteria like that how could he lose?
1. Southern Miss is a combined 5-0 against the Mobile (AL) Shipbuilders, the Parris Island (SC) Marines, the Seashore (MS) Campground, and the Hattiesburg (MS) Boy Scouts. Rumor has it that they played a band of hobos sometime in the 1920s as well, but no records were kept.
Ten things Southern Miss fans might not know about Boise State
10. Boise State has an all-time win percentage hovering right around 70%. They have won 13 conference titles and 2 national championships (JC and 1-AA) and are the only non-BCS team to have been ranked in either national poll, at least at some point, over the last 7 seasons. The entire 2006 squad was encased in carbonite and are housed in Boise State's Allen Noble Hall of Fame.
9. Boise State's famous Blue turf was first installed in 1986. This was the biggest thing to happen in 1986, until Police Academy 3 came out.
8. To this date, the only number that the Broncos have retired is #12. It was worn by quarterback Jim McMillan, an NFL draftee and record holder for most touchdowns in a single game (6, against Montana in 1974). I wasn't alive when McMillan was assaulting Big Sky defenses, but I imagine he had a mustache.
7. Annually, Boise State generates $330 million in economic impact on the state in jobs, earnings and sales. Oh...and lots of useless Boise State merchandise.
6. Boise State University started out as Boise Junior College in 1932. Prior to becoming BJC, it was a school for girls called St. Margaret's. No "school for girls" jokes will be tolerated.
5. The Bronco mascot was chosen during BJC’s first year because students wanted something that reflected Boise’s western location, and because so many wild horses roamed the nearby Owyhee Canyonlands. Horses are known to stomp eagles to death on the range...particularly those of the golden variety...I think.
4. Boise State star runningback Ian Johnson (pay no attention to this year's stats) once ran a small business knitting beanies for anyone who wanted them. The NCAA shut down his semi-lucrative business after an ESPN story about his "hobby" hit the airwaves.
3. Lyle Smith, whom Boise State's field is named after coached the Broncos football team for 20 years and compiled a record of 156-26-8 (82%). Smith won a national championship in 1958 (a good year all around, apparently) and went undefeated 5 times. Take that, "Pie"!
2. It is illegal to fish with a beaver in Boise, Idaho. Thankfully, it is also illegal to point out obvious childish innuendo.
1. Boise State's Freshman phenom, Kellen Moore, is currently 6th in the nation in pass efficiency and 1st in the nation in awesomeness. You can't make that stuff up, folks.
The Bronco Nation Podcast just got much Bart Hendricks-ier. Bart joined JT Ray of Bronco Nation N.O.W. and I and we discussed the only ray of hope and goodness in this world amid the turmoil and despair: Bronco football. Bart answers whether or not Kellen Moore is better than he was as a frosh, we rehash the La Tech game, praise the Bronco D and give our predictions for the WAC-ky weekend ahead. Start the podcast playing...then minimize the windown and do your spreadsheets...the boss will never know!
Every now and again, a story comes along that is at once sad and inspiring. One such story that has come out in the last few days was of the untimely death of Ernest Jones of Salina, CA. Jones and his roommate, Taryn Dechant, were found gunned down in their apartment on September 26th in an apparent double homicide. This horribly sad news, however, struck a decidedly more inspiring tone when Jones' former teammates at Eisenhower High ponied up over $11,000 for his funeral. According to Eisenhower coach Mike Clark, the lion's share of the money was given by ex-Boise State Bronco and current Denver Bronco, Ryan Clady. It seems that tragedy often brings out the best in people and I found the story of ex-players honoring a fallen teammate to be quite inspiring. We all knew that Clady's wish was to take care of his family first and foremost when NFL riches seemed inevitable—it is certainly great to hear that Clady is using his fame and fortune to take care of others in a world where so many only think of themselves.
Full story HERE.
Is this the "Boston Crab" or the "Sharp Shooter"?
The preceding headline not only describes the Wednesday night beating that the Broncos delivered on ESPN, but also the reason that I did not post on the game yesterday...just swamped.
Kellen Moore is mortal...he threw an ugly pick on the opening series midway through what looked to be a long scoring drive. Whether Kellen misread the play or his receiver was in the wrong place...it was ugly. In typical fashion, however, Kellen was unfazed on the next drive and led the Broncos on a 80+ yard scoring march. Truthfully, Kellen didn't really make another error in the game finishing 20 of 28 for 325 yards and 2 TDs. If you want a tiny bit of perspective on the freshman signal caller, consider this: through 4 games last season, 5th year senior Taylor Tharp (who had a very solid year) had 5 TDs and 4 INTs and had completed 63% of his passes for 958 yards. The kid, Kellen Moore, through 4 games this year has 7 TDs and 2 INTs, while completing 72% of his passes for 1165 yards. Mull that over for a while...and savor the flavor.
The running game is going nowhere...but fast! The run game really never took off on Wednesday, but it didn't get much of a chance...IJ and DJ only ran the ball 9 times apiece. Harper scored two rushing TDs (both in the redzone) and Titus Young scored on a 15-yard scamper. The ballgame was really put out of reach for the Bulldogs, however, when Kellen Moore decided to use our largely ineffective running backs as receivers. Now, I don't know if this was a direct reaction to Louisiana Tech's defensive adjustments or if Kellen Moore decided to improvise—either way—it blew the game open and notched Ian Johnson a ridiculous 106 receiving yards on only 3 receptions.
The trickeration made a special guest appearance on Wednesday under ESPN's bright lights as Chris O'neill scored on a 44 yard pass from Kellen Moore, Vinny Perretta and Kellen Moore. Personally, I would've preferred to see a couple of more laterals on that play...something along the lines of: pitch to Perretta who hands off to Titus Young on a reverse...Young then flips the ball over his shoulder to Kellen Moore (who was lying prone on the field, feigning a twisted ankle)...Moore then gives the ball to Ian Johnson, who punts the ball to Perretta...back to Moore...THEN to O'Neill. These guys just don't "get" real theatrics.
Once again, the "D" was solid...allowing La Tech to flirt with the endzone, but never score. A few blemishes on the night for the D (big plays)...but they didn't break and, unlike last year, didn't allow big plays to kill them or their momentum. The defense and butterfingers allowed Bulldog QB Taylor Bennett to only complete 33% of his passes. If the defense continues their stellar play, the offense will have time to find their rhythm (they stalled on several drives) and learn to run-block (how can Kellen have 3 minutes to throw, but Ian has to try to squeeze through a 6-inch hole?)
38-3 ain't half bad. Kansas "only" beat La Tech by 29.
Another excruciating half bye week lies ahead and then on to Hattiesburg to play the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss.
A much timelier review of the action over at Statueleft's blog.
Kevan divvies up game balls.
Photo by Greg Kreller/IPT
Mark it down. Now underline it. Now pin it on the fridge. Kellen Moore and company are going to light up the Bulldogs like a Christmas tree in just a few short hours. If I weren't heading down to Bronco Stadium in short order, I would give you more details. Suffice it to say, the Broncos are going to smack Dooley's dogs in the mouth and take advantage of the Bulldogs weak pass defense in a very large way.
IJ gets his hundy. Moore gets his trés (in 3.5 quarters). Jeron Johnson meets Taylor Bennett...and people will hear it in the parking lot.
How's that for concise?!