Thursday, September 1, 2011

Don't buy into the Boise Hype.

It’s been nine months - nine horribly long months. Somewhere, there is a child being born who was fathered during a drunken celebration of UCF’s victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. Message boards and sports news shows have been buzzing in anticipation of the return of the football season. The Boise State Broncos, the darling-est of the Media Darlings are poised to finally make that championship run, as they start the season against another BCS-conference Team. The Dawgs are looking to avenge the past two seasons of dedicated mediocrity. Georgia’s roster includes a former Boise QB. Boise’s roster includes a bunch of “Davids” playing “Goliaths”. The story lines are everywhere.

Don’t buy into the hype.

This is not a David V Goliath story. Boise is nobody’s little stepbrother. Georgia is no juggernaut. The entire pretext to the story is a sham. There aren’t many in the college football world who are claiming UGA has a real shot at this game. Outside of the blind SEC loyalists who believe that Georgia will win on sheer arrogance alone, most believe this game is Kellen Moore’s to win or lose.

Don’t buy into the hype.

I hate Boise State almost as much as I hate Southern Cal, and I’ve never even been to Idaho. In 2005, I cheered the loss of USC to Texas, because it finally proved what I’d been saying all season – USC wasn’t THAT good. Pundits everywhere were trumpeting that team as the best to ever play the game. It wasn’t only hyperbolic nonsense, it was just plain stupid. Boise State is a similar animal. They have looked mightily impressive against some absolute dirt competition, and fairly run-of-the-mill against better competition. Yes, they won that Fiesta bowl against an OU team who was disappointed to even be in the game, and they won it on trickeration at the end of the game. Hey, you do what you gotta do. Yes, they beat an Oregon team which was on the way up…but that Oregon team plays Boise’s game…spread it, zone it, read it, and find gaps – hardly a pro-style attack. Yes, they beat VT last season (a week before that same VT team dropped a game to James-Madison).

Don’t buy into the hype.

For all the things UGA did wrong last season, there were a number of things the Dawgs did right. The defensive coaching changes made a difference. You could see it in the play of the defense. Yes, there were breakdowns. Yes, there were instances when one more stop could have won the game – but there were also enough play-by-play victories to see that these kids were moving in the right direction. The offense found a true leader in Aaron Murray. UGA hasn’t had his brand of leadership at the Quarterback position in quite some time. Stafford was a talent, but he rarely seemed to lift the team when they really needed it. Murray seems to give them a spark, and that is incredibly important.

Don’t buy into the hype.

Boise is experienced, Boise has been there, Boise wants it. And Georgia doesn’t? Kiss my Bulldawg ass. I’m not falling in love with the “Devastating run defense” of Boise State. Yes, they have good players. Yes, the held their past few BCS opponent’s runningbacks to a less-than 100 yd average. But, they weren’t facing the line they are now, nor the scheme. Will Friend has brought smash-mouth blocking back to UGA, and that is something Boise hasn’t had to contend with. They haven’t lined up against 330lb behemoths who are there purely to blow them off the ball. I’m not buying into Kellen Moore as the savior of Bronco Nation. He is accurate, he is smart, he understands football better than most at his position. He is still fallible. Has he seen corners that can run like ours? Will his receivers have the top-end speed to let him out-throw coverage and lay the ball in for those deep scores? I don’t know. And…will he have the TIME to make those throws? Boise’s offensive line is a tad undersized, and UGA’s front 7 has only gotten bigger AND more athletic with the emergence of Geathers and the addition of Jarvis Jones and Ogletree to the linebacking corps. Any QB under pressure is going to have greater difficulty.

Don’t buy into the hype.

Boise suffered last year from one of the same maladies as UGA – late-game falloff. Against VT, had they not exploded to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, they would have lost the game. They DID lose against Nevada after squandering a big lead. UGA did the same thing. In the past 9 months, UGA has addressed that issue and the changes in the players’ physicality has been well documented. Will it produce results on the field? I certainly think so.

End result? I’m not buying this as a game when Boise finally takes that step and shows the world that once again they have slain a BCS team and are ready to take their rightful place in the National Championship debate. No, I’m sorry Broncos…I see this as a case of the Dawgs truly spreading the red…in Boise BCS-dreams Bloodshed. I’m not going to quote stats, because none exist for the 2011 versions of these teams. I’m just going with gut on this one. It won’t be 2005, It won’t be the 2007 Sugar Bowl….but it won’t be 2010 BSU-VT either. Get ready, Broncs…you’re coming back to the South, where football is King. Prepare to kneel.

Go Dawgs!

5 comments:

TrboDawg said...

Amen

Dawgfan17 said...

Preaching it anywhere I can but if you take away the negative yardage from Boise's sacks last year they gave up 4 ypc. The reason for the low number of carries against Boise and the high number of sacks are for one reason, their offense. They played with big leads most of the team and as a result other teams almost completely abandoned the run. If Georgia can weather the storm that Boise has a knack for putting on teams in the first ten minutes of games then everything changes. They will be forced to deal with the run for more than a couple of drives. Plus as you said no team has come out with the size we have and committed to running it down their throats.

Xon said...

I like the article, but doesn't Boise run a pro-style attack? It is, granted, very wide open FOR a pro-style attack. But they ain't Oregon. Boise runs a bit more than they pass, and most runs are out of the I.

But Boise has done real things. VT might have had a hangover after their loss to Boise last year, but they then went on to run the table and win the ACC. The Oregon team that was only "on the rise" when Boise beat them won the PAC-10 in that same year.

All this shows, mind you, is that Boise is a good team. They aren't a world-beater that we should cower in front of. Georgia is capable of beating a good team very badly if we play up to our capabilities. Go Dawgs!

Russ Fortson said...

Woof! Tell it, brother! I think we'll shut them down. Our defense will lead us this year.

Ben Dukes said...

Xon - Good point on Boise's Pro-Style...I wasn't clear enough. What I was saying is that the Boise defense thrives against the spread because their line is quick and handles read-and-zone blocking very well. They haven't faced teams who will play smash-mouth against them.

Yes, Boise's offense is very pro-style...perhaps more pro than most pro-style attacks because Moore is a high-level QB who leads his receivers. If Murray has taken the step to where he's doing THAT consistently now, it'll be an amazing QB match-up tomorrow. I expect Murray to face less pressure, though.