Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thoughts on Boise State and the Dawgs

Let me begin by saying this won't be a "hating on the Blue" post. Those who live in the past and believe that the "Major Conference" schools are by nature better football teams than those in smaller conferences are simply ignorant. Today's college football world is filled with incredible athletes at all levels. Yes, the major programs attract more of these elite athletes than the smaller schools do, but it doesn't take a roster full of five-star players to create a good team. Boise State has developed talent and has a few key players who are absolutely fantastic. That being the case, they have built themselves into one of the premiere programs in the country. Say what you will about their ability to hang with the big boys (and you won't have much of a leg to stand on given their BCS bowl history and a win over VT to open this season), but high-school kids all over the country know who Boise State is.

Now, not many people were happier to see them lose than I was last night. The loss affirmed what I've been saying all year long, that it isn't Boise State's talent as a football team that I question - but their ability to survive a season against similar competition. Boise State has climbed to the level they have mostly by dominating lesser competition. This year, against the only other quality team in the WAC, they couldn't play a full four quarters and win. In the second half, Boise State had two big plays - a 79-yard screen pass TD and a deep bomb with 9 seconds to go, which resulted in a missed field goal attempt. Other than that, the offense did nothing in the final 30 minutes. In overtime, they again did nothing. As the game wore on, you could see it on the faces of the Broncos defense - they simply weren't ready for this kind of a battle. Nevada, on the other hand, was dictating the game and doing exactly what they wanted to do.

Boise State is not likely to end up in a BCS bowl. In my opinion, they HAVE to be ranked below Nevada in the new rankings. Perhaps Nevada jumps to 12 and Boise falls to 13, I don't know. I just don't see how you can rank Boise ahead of Nevada when Nevada is the WAC champion, and just beat Boise. But, the media loves the orange and blue, and there's no telling what they'll do. Still, I beieve this is the beginning of quite a reality-check for Boise State. Next season, Boise opens with Georgia. They will play TCU in-conference. They will play Air Force and Fresno State and Nevada as well. This is not the same cupcake schedule they've been dealing with for the past few years.

Now, for our Dawgs, we can't take them lightly. What I noticed about defending against the Boise State offense was simple. PRESSURE. When you pressure Kellen Moore, he becomes very average. The other thing you have to do? Run with their receivers. The Boise State offense is basically built on Moore dropping back, having time, and heaving deep passes. When you take that away from them, they lose a good bit of potency. What does this mean for the Dawgs? We already have to improve in both of these areas. Our deep coverage has not been great, and our pass rush has been less than stellar.

The Chick Fil A kickoff will be a barometer for how Grantham improves his squad over the next nine months. We must bring in some size on the defensive line. Our line this year has been serviceable, but we're losing Demarcus Dobbs, Kiante Tripp and Brandon Wood. All of these guys have been contributors, and filling the spots vacated will not be simple. Grantham is reportedly looking to do some JC moves, which is a smart - and would have been a great move last winter. Now, it's basically a necessity. He needs kids who are familiar with a 3-4 defense, have collegiate level experience, and are ready to make an immediate impact. Then, the defensive backfield. I don't know much about the young talent on this team, but I think Lakatos is pretty comfortable with Boykin. Ogletree is coming along, but he and Rambo need to be a much more solid duo. Also, finding a solid corner on the other side of the field is going to be paramount. Commings looked pretty good in his work this year, and Brandon Smith is a good Nickel Corner. The LB corps will be strong, even stronger if Grantham convinces Houston to give it one more go.

Overall, I think the defense will improve with a year under their belt and another full offseason under Grantham. Lakatos is getting some more BIG Dbs this year, which is something we need badly to be able to compete with the giant wideouts who are beginning to litter this league.

I'm looking forward to the Chick Fil A game like no season opener I can remember since actually suiting up for the Dawgs. Can't believe this season is over - and can't wait for the next one to get here. The offseason - hell for fans, but quite possibly just what the doctor ordered for this team.

Go Dawgs.


haws1178 said...

what im looking forward to is the press telling me that GA has fired bobo his play calling is out of date and as long as he is there we will continue to have yearts like this until then looking ahead to the bowl game and september without bobo great QB couch crappie OC use all your talent CMR players and couches just in case you dont know richt bobo aint an OC

haws1178 said...

first p0ost hell yeah

Unknown said...

I don't understand why everyone hates Mike Bobo so much. Sure, he might make calls that I disagree with sometimes. However, at the end of the day our offense is ranked 26th in the country in points per game, has scored 30 or more points in 8 games this season and 24 or more points in 10 games. Sorry haws1178, but our offense is NOT the reason we're 6-6 and barely bowl eligible this season...

Ben Dukes said...

I don't understand why someone would be excited to be the first commenter on my blog...which has a very small readership.