Wednesday, September 30, 2009
So, we lost the blog bet to One Bronco Nation Under God, and as the winner, he gets one post on this blog, which is below.
The Falcons have announced that Dennis Hopson will join the team's coaching staff. He comes to BG after being an assistant for Rollie Massimino somewhere in Florida.
Anyhow, this has been rumored for a long time. It is very good news. He is a Toledo native, and was a professional basketball player for 13 seasons, six in the NBA. He was also a great college player, and has an NBA Championship ring...which might play well in the living room of a recruit.
Here's is what Coach Orr had to say....
"Dennis has been where they are and also where they want to go. He’s very organized in his thoughts and his direction. He understands the game and can teach the game. He’s skilled in the areas you need to be skilled in to be a productive collegiate basketball coach today.”
Welcome to the Falcon family, Dennis. We look forward to your contribution to championships for the orange and brown!
(PS, I hear there will be some more good basketball news coming in a day or so).
OK, below is my blogpoll ballot revised. One of the strong points of our poll is the opportunity to reflect....and as I did, I had no idea (none) what I was thinking with where I had Oregon and Cal. So, that has been remedied. Rock on
|Last week's ballot|
For those who track such things the post-game report shows that Jordan Roussos, a true freshmen appeared in the Boise game, and will not be red-shirted. The report also showed that true FR. Ricky Retzinger played too, but sometimes those are inaccurate, so I left him off. The report showed that our backup kicker played, but I couldn't see where, and DeMark Jenkins played, even though he is out for the season. Anyhoo.....
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The fourth meeting of the International Centre for Special Teams research is hereby convened for the purpose of evaluating special teams.
If you recall, this is a system I have been cooking up for some time. It awards points for positive plays and negative plays made on special teams, and gives no points to plays which are expected or in an ordinary range. You can read the explanation here if you like.
Monday, September 28, 2009
So my first week in the MAC Blog prediction contest I finished first and this week I finished tied for first.....Bull Run is attributing it to beginner's luck. I have pretty much made my living picking Buffalo to lose. Just sayin'
Darius Gilbert, a D-lineman from Hamilton, OH has verballed to the Falcons. He's 6'2", 250 and this local media report says he had offers from "most" of the MAC schools.
Welcome aboard, Darius. We always like to beat out our conference brethren.
I've had a chance to review the box score a little more, and a couple of things do jump out at me.
This is by far the toughest year to make these votes. Everybody keeps losing. Anyway, input appreciated.
|Last week's ballot|
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Well, I've had a night to sleep on last night's Boise game, and listened to Coach's post-game presser a couple of minutes ago, and have some thoughts on last night's game at the Doyt.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Heath Jackson of Ada might be playing at a smaller school, but he is putting up some Playstation numbers. He had 324 yards receiving and four TDs against Toledo Christian last week. On ten catches!
Isaiah Byler blocked a FG by Parma's kicker....and the kicker was a She!
QB Commit Trent Hurley is trying to get his team back to the promised land. Hurley is nearing 2,000 career passing yards and 40 TDs.
Justin Ford, who is coming in as a DB, had a pick six and three other TDs from the QB slot in a win over Northview.
Caleb Watkins of Middletown has his team at 4-0 and scoring over 40 a game, more often than not. He is dangerous, even on a run-oriented offense.
DJ Lynch, who is also coming to BG on defense, had 90 yards rushing.
Friday, September 25, 2009
What is their body of work?
Idaho State +42
La Tech +35
Southern Miss +17
San Jose State +17
NM State +49
Utah State +35
What was their best result last season or this season?
They had a nice win @Oregon last year and Boise absolutely destroyed Fresno State.
What was their worst result last season?
What was the turnover margin?
They are +3 this year and were +7 last year. They seem to fumble more than you would expect but get a sick number of interceptions. A team with an explosive offense can get by with a lower turnover ratio than other teams.
How is their QB play?
Kellen Moore is a good QB. 8th in the nation in pass efficiency, he completes 66% of his passes, 8 TDs over 1 INT, with 8.5 yards per attempt. There is nothing else to say except that is highly productive. They only pass 26-27 times a game, limiting his passing yards, but he is a very effective QB. (He is not a dual threat QB).
What was their yard per play?
This year? They are making 6.5 yards per play and last year it was 6.3. The rocket-fueled Ball State offense was gaining 6.7 yards per play last year, for reference.
Can they run the ball?
This is an open question. Sorta. Generally, the run the ball great. DJ Harper was gaining 6.5 yards per carry, but is now out for the season. They still have Jeremy Avery, who is also getting over 6 yards per carry and Boise fans are high on Doug Martin. However, he has only 9 carries this year and 24 last season, with an average somewhere in the low-mid 4s.
Do they pass the ball?
See above as it relates to Moore. Austin Pettis and Titus Young are both excellent WRs and account for over half of their receptions.
How is their run/pass balance.
Actually, this is interesting. In terms of play mix, they are heavily run, which I suspect is not what most people would think. They have run it 117 times against 86 passes this year. (In case you think the Miami blow out is throwing things off, they were actually pretty close to 50/50 against Miami and Fresno, but ran the ball 59 times against Oregon in 89 plays. They certainly meet the test of being able to produce with either weapon--5 per play on the ground and 8 per play on pass is very effective.
Do they convert on 3rd Down.
43% this year and 44% last year, both are very solid though not among the top 40 in the country.
Do they score in the red zone?
4.2 points per red zone trip, which is good but not spectacular. They have been shut out on 3 occasions.
Do they protect the quarterback?
Yes, only 2 sacks this year and that is an improvement over a stellar 13 all of last season.
In general. This is a very strong offense, with a good line. They are productive running and passing and appear to be strong despite a serious injury at RB. We will be hard pressed to pressure the QB. Simply put, our d-line is going to have to play great along the line of scrimmage to keep us in the game.
Topline: Scoring and yards per play.
They have given up only 14 ppg, with 8 points between the Miami and Oregon games. Fresno did get 34 points against them. They are allowing 4.8 yards per play, which is among the 30 top figures in the country.
Do they defend the run effectively?
This surprised me, they give up 4.7 yards per rush, which is even a little worse than BG's. I looked a little further and saw that both Oregon and Miami averaged below two yards a carry, while Fresno State gained 320 rushing yards on 39 attempts, for an average of 8.2.
Could they be passed on?
Of all the things that Boise does well, this is the thing they may do best. Opponent passing against Boise has been difficult at best. They are allowing only 53% completions, 1 TD against 7 INTS (one of the best figures in the nation) and 4.8 yards per attempt, which is next to nothing.
Did they get off the field on 3rd down?
Yes. So far, they have allowed only 29% of their opponent's third downs to be converted. This is among the top 25 percentages in FBS.
Do they defend in the red zone?
Well, it is hard to tell. As I mentioned, Boise had 15 red zone trips to date. They have only allowed 3. Are you kidding me? One TD, one FG and a stop. So, if you must know, they allow 3 points per rz trip. But mostly, they stop teams early so they don't need red zone stops.
Do they pressure the QB?
Four sacks in three games is a typical amount.
This is another astounding figure. They average 45 yards a kick and have a 43.8 yard net. This is the second highest net punting in the country. On top of that, 6 of their 11 punts have been inside the 20.
Their punt returners are dangerous, average over 10 yards on the punts they do return, and they have gotten measurable returns on 10 of 19 punts, which seems like a lot in today's game when everything is done to prevent a return.
Brotzman is 3-5 this year and was 17 of 26 last year, making him a good but not great kicker. He hit two past 50 last year and has a career long of 51.
Opponents are starting, on average, on the 27, which is pretty normal.
We better be ready to cover kicks, because Boise's two returns AVERAGE 35 yards a return with a start on the 38 yard line. They each have a non-scoring 77 yard return. I predict a high number of high pooched kicks to the 30 yard line.
Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.On paper, this game should be a win for Boise. They are simply a great football team from a great football program.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
So, I joined in with Bull Run on a contest to pick the games in the MAC each week. I was a little late getting started, and I won last week, apparently on the strength of calling the UCF win over Buffalo. So, you know, being pessimistic about the MAC has some value.
Hey, with thanks to One Bronco Nation Under God, here are my responses to his questions....
A pleasure as always....
Well, it is Blogswap time again, as we take the opportunity to learn about our out-of-conference opponents. We actually swapped with One Bronco Nation Under God last year, and it was good fun. We also have wagering....if Bowling Green wins, I get one post on the OBNUG site, and if the Broncos win, he gets a post on my site.
After looking around their site, those guys in Boise are true fans. They have a good sense of humor, and they are proud (as they should be) of what they have accomplished.
So, the bet is on this year again. (Last year he offered me points and I took the game straight up. I think we might have actually covered the spread. Anyway, we're going straight up again this year.) If you want to know more about the Broncos, check his site out.
Do you think you might be looking by BG for that big UC Davis matchup?
The Broncos' most important game is always their next game, according to the nonhuman, unfeeling automated response bot that BSU head coach Chris Petersen uses at his press conferences. Still, that emotionless robot is awfully convincing, sitting there in his real world cocoon. Boise State honestly does not overlook opponents. I believe that they have been numbed by years of playing awful teams like Idaho, Utah State, and New Mexico State year in and year out.
Were you surprised at last year's game? It was your closest home victory.
Last year's game was horrifying to watch as a Boise State fan. The offense looked bad. The defense looked burdened. It wasn't at all like how I pictured the game would go, namely Kellen Moore throwing seven TD passes before halftime then being airlifted out of the stadium to headline a Ron Paul rally. I've wondered many times if the Bowling Green result was more the Falcons playing well or the Broncos playing poorly. I don't have an answer. But I do have night sweats. Thanks a lot, Gregg Brandon.
Tell me about the offense without DJ Harper. And, how does the offensive line look this year?
Hyperbole alert! D.J. Harper's replacement, Doug Martin, is as talented a running back as Bowling Green will face this year. The man can flat out run the football. He runs angry and downhill, like a boulder with an intense fear of heights. His style of running is different than Harper's, and that might be the biggest offensive change following Harper's injury. I don't expect the playcalling to change all that much, other than maybe putting Martin in the backfield with a fullback. This week, Martin admitted that his biggest focus needed to be pass protection, so that is the one area that I would watch on Saturday.
The offensive line looks better than it did last year, particularly up the middle. On the ends? Eh, not so much. Thomas Byrd, Will Lawrence, and Kevin Sapien have done an exceptional job for the most part. Boise State pulled a switch at RT (Kellen Moore's blindside) last week, starting Garrett Pendergast in place of Michael Ames. If there's a weakness on the offensive line, it is at tackle. But that's better than last year's O-line weakness, which was "somewhere new on every given Saturday."
After two pretty strong defensive performances, Fresno State lit it up a little. Did they find something in your defense?
Fresno found out that Boise State does not tackle well 60 yards from its own goalline. Other than that, the Bronco defense played well enough that we shouldn't stop comparing them to great college football defenses just yet. I certainly haven't stopped. On an interesting note, cornerbacks in man coverage got beat by Fresno's receivers more often than I thought would be possible. Just thought I'd mention that.
I drafted Kyle Brotzman in my fantasy league. WTF?
Are you referring to the revelation that you play fantasy college football or the revelation that Kyle Brotzman is the new Mike Vanderjagt? Here's my theory on Brotzman (I can't help you with fantasy college football; sorry): Kicker consistency is overrated, especially over a there- or four-year period. Brotzman was great his freshman year, and he's been okay since. His misses early this season were as much a result of a new snapper and new holder as they were with his aversion to the left hash. I have been on the fence confidence-wise with Brotzman since the middle of last year. Overall, with punting, kicking, and kickoffs, his game has improved. But his field goal kicking had nowhere to go but down from his freshman year.
Talk about your defensive backfield. They have been pretty productive this year.
I think they are one of the best secondaries in the West, top to bottom. The starting five (Wilson, Johnson, Iloka, Venable, Thompson) has no holes. They can cover one-on-one, blitz, support the run - basically, whatever you ask them to do, they are capable of doing. So far this season, I think their play has been overshadowed a bit by how good the defensive line has been. I know you won't hear many other Bronco fans admit it, but I've been more impressed by the Broncos' front four than I have of their back five.
So you go undefeated all year, you get hosed out of a BCS bowl by Utah, and then you draw TCU and lose to them in a bowl game. Discuss.
It's the injustice of college football at its finest. The NCAA lumps 120 teams into a division then makes it so that a team can do everything right during its regular season and still not have a chance of competing for anything meaningful in the postseason. What other entity does this? Fidel Castro's Cuba? I think that the only redeeming element of the whole situation last year was that the Broncos were able to play one of the nation's top ten teams in their bowl game. TCU was really good, and it's a shame that the Horned Frogs didn't have a chance to prove that to more people.
Do you mind being thought of as the "Gonzaga of Football?"
Gonzaga has a chance to win a national title every year in a fair and equitable postseason tournament, so I don't really follow your analogy.
Will the Bronco nation represent in the Flatlands of Ohio?
I know of at least two Bronco fans who will be in attendance on Saturday, so my hopes are high. I will point out, though, that it will be hard to tell which fans are Bronco fans if BGSU's Orange Out comes to fruition.
There seems to be some dispute...what is the correct pronunciation of Boise?
The correct pronunciation is "Boy-see," unless you work for ESPN's family of networks, in which case you tend to just pronounce it however you want to pronounce it.
So Coach Clawson did his presser today, but if you measured it, you would probably find out that he spent more time talking about Boise than he did about the Falcons. In a certain sense, that is not surprising. After all, this is the highest ranked team to play on our field, and the excitement around the game is palpable.
- Boise has won low scoring and high scoring games.
- They are very well coached.
- Defense is their hidden secret
- They have explosive kickoff returns
- Not signing 5-star guys
- They are a complete team--they can pound it and get big plays
- If you have a weakness, they will find it
- Our goal is to be where they are
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Jacquemain is dismissed from team, as suspensions hit others in the coaching and playing ranks, including a felony assault.
Bowling Green has certainly had their turn with stuff like this, so we have no right to feel superior. Best of luck to Akron in bringing things around and keeping the program under control.
OK, based on comments placed here, I have adjusted my CBSSports.com blogpoll ballot. I moved Cincinnati and Houston up two spots--UC because of their two road wins and Houston because of their win over OK state--and dropped Michigan, who has one win over a Notre Dame team I don't have ranked (and at home) beneath those teams.
|Last week's ballot|